‘Thrilled’ Client | Account Freezing Order Set Aside
In an article posted to this website entitled ‘Account Freezing Order | Funds Frozen by Law Enforcement Agencies’ we explained the nature of an Account Freezing Order (‘AFO’) and the manner of Application under section 303Z1 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’).
Kangs Solicitors has recently successfully assisted a client set aside an AFO which had been obtained against her by The National Investigation Service (‘NATIS’).
Tim Thompson of Kangs Solicitors outlines the steps taken to achieve this outcome.
Our award-winning Team of criminal and civil fraud lawyers is nationally recognised for its work in Civil and Criminal financial investigations involving, inter alia, Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’) applications such as Account Freezing Orders, Account Forfeiture Orders and Restraint Orders.
Our Team is led by Hamraj Kang, a nationally recognised leader in the field of financial crime investigations.
For an initial no obligation discussion, please contact our team at any of the offices detailed
The Circumstances | Kangs Account Freezing Order Solicitors
NATIS had obtained the AFO believing that our client’s account had been used to receive the proceeds of fraudulently acquired ‘Bounce Back Loans’.
NATIS was not satisfied with the explanations provided by our client and notified her that it was intended to apply to vary the AFO and extend it for a further period of six months.
How We Assisted Our Client | Kangs AFO Solicitors
By way of preparation for our client’s Application the Team at Kangs Solicitors:
- scrutinised all of the information presented by NATIS which made it clear that a forensic examination of the account transactions was required,
- attended our client on several occasions discussing the operation of the account, the basis for the allegations which she faced and obtaining her detailed instructions,
- advised our client upon her position and the appropriate course to adopt and the evidence required to rebut the assertions of NATIS,
- considered the supportive material provided by our client,
- conducted a ‘tracing’ exercise to establish the provenance of the disputed funds,
- prepared extensive Written Representations and Submissions setting out legal and factual grounds for it being inappropriate for our client’s account to be frozen.
We predominantly based our client’s defence upon sections 303Z1 and 304 of POCA in that the disputed funds could not be said to be ‘recoverable property’ and as such, there was no legal basis for an AFO to be in force.
The Relevant Law | Kangs POCA Proceeding Defence Solicitors
POCA states at the following sections:
‘303Z1 Application for account freezing order
(1) This section applies if an enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for suspecting that money held in an account maintained with a relevant financial institution—
(a) is recoverable property, or
(b) is intended by any person for use in unlawful conduct.
304 Property obtained through unlawful conduct
(1) Property obtained through unlawful conduct is recoverable property.
(2) But 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.
(3) 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.’
The Successful Outcome | Kangs Freezing Order Solicitors
Having considered the persuasive Written Representations meticulously prepared by the Team at Kangs Solicitors, NATIS conducted a meeting with senior members of their team in order to review their decision to apply to vary/extend the AFO.
Following that meeting, NATIS confirmed that it agreed with the contentions submitted and confirmed that the AFO should be set aside.
Having regard to the very serious financial implications and consequences which would have resulted had the AFO not been set aside, our client was ‘thrilled’ with the result by the Team at Kangs Solicitors.
How Can We Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
Upon becoming aware of any Restraint or POCA proceedings of any nature it is essential that immediate expert advice is sought.
Stringent time limits are imposed and failure to comply may be penal. These proceedings are extremely technical and comprehensive and each step requires detailed attention.
Accordingly, any proposed Application requires considerable experience which the Team at Kangs Solicitors will be delighted to provide.
Who Should I Contact For Help? | Kangs National POCA Defence Solicitors
Kangs Solicitors offers a highly experienced and acknowledged Team, well versed in representing companies, directors and individuals facing criminal proceedings of every nature including those involving POCA and Part 5 Civil Recovery Proceedings.
We provide initial no obligation discussion at our three offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
Alternatively, discussions can be held virtually through live conferencing or telephone.