Counter Terrorism Awareness Week
The Association of Chief Police Officers (Terrorism & Allied Matters) have organised a national Counter Terrorism Awareness Week starting 24 November 2014.
During the week, there will be a heightened police presence at airports, sporting events and in other public places such as shopping centres. There will also be presentations by specialist police counter terrorism advisors on public safety and increasing awareness of heightened threat from terrorist groups.
As part of the initiative, ACPO (TAM) would like to remind solicitors about the implications of the Terrorism Act 2000. Specifically, their obligation to report instances of suspected offences against sections 15 to 18.
Following a report, law enforcement officers may seek access to client files to investigate whether they or their solicitor have committed a criminal or Terrorism Act offence. All reports are treated with complete confidentiality
By being aware of the threat posed by the funding of terrorism, solicitors can help to stem the flow of funds to the various terrorist groupings. Criminals may target solicitor’s services to help them commit financial crimes, or to launder the proceeds of those crimes as they play a key role in facilitating business and financial transactions.
Solicitors already receive some training on the implications of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 from the Law Society of Scotland. This training should make them aware of their obligations regarding dealings with politically exposed persons and the requirements on them to identify and ‘know’ their customer.
The Law Society of Scotland is encouraging all of it members to familiarise themselves with the above requirements and to get in touch if more information is required.
If solicitors have concerns about the practice rules, or concerns about identifying a conflict or confidential matter, confidential advice is available from the Professional Practice team. Any other queries should be directed to the Financial Compliance department.