11/12/23

Account Freezing Order | Application to Quash | KANGS Judicial Review Solicitors

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KANGS Solicitors is seeking Judicial Review on behalf of a client against the imposition of an Account Freezing Order imposed by a Magistrates’ Court following an Application by the Police.

The Police allege that the funds in the frozen account arise from the proceeds of crime.

Tim Thompson of KANGS briefly outlines the basis of our client’s Application.

KANGS fields a Team which is highly regarded nationwide for its work on behalf clients relating to issues, of both civil and criminal in nature, affecting all aspects of Asset Seizure, Restraint Orders and proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’).

KANGS is regularly applauded by the leading law directories The Legal 500 and Chambers UK and our Senior Partner, Hamraj Kang is ranked in Band 1 nationally for POCA and Asset Forfeiture by Chambers UK.

Our Team would be delighted to assist you and can be contacted for confidential and discrete advice as follows:

The Background | KANGS Restraint and Freezing Order Defence Solicitors

Following a civil investigation by the Police concerning funds held within a bank account owned by our client, they suspected that the funds constituted recoverable property as define by POCA.

The Police obtained an Account Freezing Order followed by an Account Forfeiture Order resulting in our client’s funds being forfeited by the Court.

Our Client’s Application | KANGS Civil Litigation Solicitors

The Circumstances

Our client contends that the Police failed to lawfully serve him with all the relevant correspondence and documents as everything was posted to an address at which he had not resided for many months.

The Police possessed the relevant resources to determine the correct service address for our client.

Accordingly, our client was completely unaware of the Police actions thereby depriving him of the right to contest the proceedings.

As a result, our client has, inter alia, suffered financial loss.

The Application for Judicial Review asserts as follows:

  • procedural impropriety,
  • breach of Article 6(1) ECHR,
  • error of fact – the Magistrates’ Court has relied on factual errors,
  • failure by the Magistrates Court to provide reasons.

How we are assisting our client

By way of preparation of our client’s Application for judicial review, we are, inter alia:

  • collating and examining all relevant material,
  • attending our client advising and reviewing the issues as we proceed,
  • liaising with experienced Counsel whom we have selected for his experience in both High Court litigation and proceedings under POCA more generally.
  • preparing all relevant procedural and evidential documents including a detailed wotness statement in support of the application for Judicial Review.

The Relevant Law| KANGS POCA Defence Solicitors

POCA states:

s.304 Recoverable Property

  • property obtained through unlawful conduct is recoverable property.
  • if property obtained through unlawful conduct has been disposed of (since it was so obtained), it is recoverable property only if it is held by a person into whose hands it may be followed.
  • recoverable property obtained through unlawful conduct may be followed into the hands of a person obtaining it on a disposal by—

(a) the person who through the conduct obtained the property, or

(b) a person into whose hands it may (by virtue of this subsection) be followed.

S.303Z1 Applications for Accounts Freezing Orders

This section applies if an enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for suspecting that money held in an account maintained with a relevant financial institution is—

  • recoverable property, or
  • intended by any person for use in unlawful conduct.

The enforcement officer may apply to the relevant court for an Account Freezing Order in relation to the account in which the money is held.

S. 303Z14 Applications for Forfeiture Orders

This section applies while an Account Freezing Order has effect and the account to which the Account Freezing Order applies is ‘the frozen account’.

An application for the forfeiture of money held in the frozen account (whether all or part of the credit balance of the account) may be made to a Magistrates' Court by any of the persons specified in POCA.

The court may order the forfeiture of the money or any part of it if satisfied that the money or part is:

  • recoverable property, or
  • intended by any person for use in unlawful conduct.

Who Can I Contact For Help? | KANGS Financial Investigation Solicitors

If you are, or anticipate that you may become, subject to any form of Financial Restraint or Freezing Order or any of the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, it is essential that you seek immediate professional legal guidance.

The legislation covering these financial orders is extensive and complex and the Team at KANGS is accustomed to guiding clients through whatever issues are presented.

As may be appreciated from the description of our client’s case which is in focus in this article, there are frequently grounds available for opposing applications made by the enforcing authorities and the Team at KANGS has an enviable nationwide reputation for supporting clients confronted by such applications.

We welcome enquiries by telephone and email as follows:

Telephone: 0333 370 4333

Email: info@kangssolicitors.co.uk

We provide an initial no obligation consultation from our offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Alternatively, we provide initial consultations by telephone or video conferencing.

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