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R v Abdul Rahman Saik [2006] UKHL 18

A defendant would not be guilty of conspiracy to commit the substantive offence of money laundering where he did not know, and therefore did not intend, that the money which he had agreed to convert would be the proceeds of crime when at a date in the future he performed his part of the agreement with his co-conspirators. Reasonable grounds for suspicion were sufficient for the substantive offence, but not for conspiracy.

12 May 2006

The appellant (S) appealed against his conviction of the offence of conspiracy to launder money contrary to s 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. S had operated a currency exchange office in London. The case against S was that in the course of that business he had converted a substantial amount of pounds sterling provided by others in the form of cash into foreign currency, and that the cash was or represented the proceeds of drug trafficking or other criminal activity. At trial, S had pleaded guilty to the offence subject to the qualification that he had not known that the money had been the proceeds of crime; he had only suspected that that had been the case. Although reasonable grounds for suspicion were sufficient for the substantive offence of laundering money under s 93C(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, the issue for consideration was whether they were enough for a conspiracy to commit that offence.

HELD: Appeal allowed.

S could not be guilty of conspiracy to co...

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