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CELE SQE1 模拟练习

Examination Timing: 00H00M51S

John Edwards, the solicitor, had reported Mr. Anderson to the NCA. The NCA then requested copies of email correspondence between John and Mr. Anderson. John had forwarded these emails to his firm's MLRO, but his secretary, unaware of the disclosure, permanently deleted both the original and forwarded emails. John did not arrange for the emails to be retained. 


What is John’s legal position?

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Under section 342(2)(b) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, it is an offence to falsify, conceal, destroy, or dispose of documents relevant to an investigation. However, section 342(6) provides defences: if the person did not know or suspect the documents were relevant or did not intend to conceal any facts disclosed by the documents. John did not instruct the emails to be deleted and did not intend to conceal any information by forwarding them to the MLRO. His secretary, unaware of the investigation, also did not intentionally conceal any information. 


Key Point: This question examines the solicitor’s responsibility to retain documents relevant to an investigation and the defences available under section 342 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. It underscores the importance of careful document management and communication within a firm.

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