Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001

Measures to detect counterfeiting.

39.—(1) In this section—

“designated body” means:

(a) a body licensed to carry on banking business under the Central Bank Act, 1971 , or authorised to carry on such business under the ACC Bank Acts, 1978 to 2001, or regulations under the European Communities Acts, 1972 to 1998,

(b) a building society within the meaning of the Building Societies Act, 1989 ,

(c) a trustee savings bank within the meaning of the Trustee Savings Banks Acts, 1989 and 2001,

(d) An Post,

(e) a credit union within the meaning of the Credit Union Act, 1997 ,

(f) a person or body authorised under the Central Bank Act, 1997 , to provide bureau de change business,

(g) a person who in the course of business provides a service of sorting and redistributing currency notes or coins,

(h) any other person or body—

(i) whose business consists of or includes the provision of services involving the acceptance, exchange, transfer or holding of money for or on behalf of other persons or bodies, and

(ii) who is designated for the purposes of this section by regulations made by the Minister after consultation with the Minister for Finance; and

“recognised code of practice” means a code of practice drawn up for the purposes of this section—

(a) by a designated body or class of designated bodies and approved by the Central Bank of Ireland, or

(b) by the Central Bank of Ireland for a designated body or class of such bodies.

(2) A designated body shall—

(a) withdraw from circulation any notes or coins received by it or tendered to it which it knows or suspects to be counterfeit, and

(b) transmit them as soon as possible to the Central Bank of Ireland with such information as to the time, location and circumstances of their receipt as may be available.

(3) Counterfeit or suspect currency notes or coins may be transmitted to the Garda Síochána under subsection (2) in accordance with a recognised code of practice.

(4) A recognised code of practice may include provision for—

(a) procedures to be followed by directors or other officers and employees of a designated body in the conduct of its business,

(b) instructions to them on the application of this section,

(c) standards of training in the identification of counterfeit notes and coins,

(d) procedures to be followed by them on perceiving or suspecting that currency notes or coins are counterfeit,

(e) different such procedures to be followed in respect of different currencies,

(f) the retention of documents required for the purposes of criminal proceedings.

(5) Without prejudice to section 58 , a designated body which contravenes a provision of subsection (2) of this section or who provides false or misleading information on matters referred to in those subsections is guilty of an offence under this section and liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or both.

(6) It shall be a defence in proceedings for an offence under this section—

(a) for a designated body to show—

(i) that it had established procedures to enable this section to be complied with, or

(ii) that it had complied with the relevant provisions of a recognised code of practice,


(b) for a person employed by a designated body to show that he or she transmitted the currency notes or coins concerned, or gave the relevant information, to another person in accordance with an internal reporting procedure or a recognised code of practice.

(7) Where a designated body, a director, other officer or employee of the body—

(a) discloses in good faith to a member of the Garda Síochána or any person concerned in the investigation or prosecution of an offence under this Part a suspicion that a currency note or coin is counterfeit or any matter on which such a suspicion is based, or

(b) otherwise complies in good faith with subsection (2) or with a recognised code of practice,

such disclosure or compliance shall not be treated as a breach of any restriction imposed by statute or otherwise on the disclosure of information or involve the person or body making the disclosure in liability in any proceedings.

(8) Every regulation made under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling it is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the regulation is laid before it, the regulation shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under it.