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Money Laundering Offences under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act – Interpretative Difficulties and a Proposed Solution

Kenny Foo

(2017) 29 SAcLJ 163

Abstract:
The Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act sets out a series of money laundering offences. These provisions target the “benefits of criminal conduct”, which is a concept originally created for use in confiscation proceedings following a conviction under the Prevention of Corruption Act. That same concept, while suitable for use in confiscation proceedings, is very difficult to apply in the typical money laundering scenario, where there is no court proceeding, no convicted predicate offender, and where the predicate crimes are very different from corruption. This article argues that Parliament could not have intended this, and that Parliament actually meant to target “proceeds of criminal conduct” in the money laundering offences. Judicial interpretation to that effect would resolve many of the difficulties. But legislative reform may be timelier and more comprehensive, and can unify the confiscation, money laundering and suspicious transaction reporting provisions around a single, objective and robust definition of the targeted property.