Not every investigation by the authorities results in a prosecution before a Crown Court.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’) there is provision for proceedings to be issued in the civil courts for the recovery of assets that the investigating authority believes to have been acquired with the proceeds of crime derived from such activities, for example, as drug dealing or financial fraud.
Also, should a criminal prosecution have failed in a criminal court, it is still open for the investigating authority to issue civil proceedings for the recovery of assets.
John Veal of Kangs Solicitors outlines the procedure.
The Freezing Order | Kangs POCA Advisory Solicitors
Invariably, a Freezing Order is obtained from the Court against those individuals believed to be in possession or control of property acquired with the proceeds of crime.
Such an Order can be obtained ex parte i.e. without notice, thereby preventing those under suspicion from transferring any asset out of the jurisdiction or in any way trying to hide or depreciate the value of any asset.
The Disclosure Order | Kangs National Financial Fraud Solicitors
The Freezing Order may well be accompanied by a Disclosure Order which seeks information in regard to the assets in which the authorities are interested.
Provision of this information, required by a specified date, will be required to be submitted by way of:
- a written statement with supporting documentation,
- interview under civil caution at the police station, at which time any supporting documents must be available
- any other means as specified in the Order.
Possible Criminal Sanctions | Kangs Financial Fraud Team
There are sanctions for non-compliance and it is a criminal offence:
- without reasonable excuse, to fail to reply to questions during interview/provide information requested
- to provide false information or replies that are false during interview.
- to recklessly provide false information or be reckless as to whether replies given during interview are false.
A prison sentence up to two years may be given and may also be accompanied by a fine.
The Civil Caution Given Before Interview | Kangs POCA Interview Advisors
As part of the civil investigation process, an interview under caution may be required at the police station.
The caution given is a civil caution that warns of possible consequences of failing to answer questions, giving false answers or being reckless as to whether false answers are being given.
What Should You Do During Interview? | Kangs Specialist Interview Team
Individuals called for interview should not enter such process without first having sought specialist legal advice.
Our Team of specialists has many years’ experience dealing with interviews and will be happy to advise beforehand and attend any interview.
How Can We Help You? | Kangs National POCA Defence Solicitors
At Kangs Solicitors we have the expertise to deal with all matters arising under POCA.
Our team is led by Hamraj Kang who is recognised as a leading expert in the field. He is one of only two solicitors nationally to be ranked as a ‘star individual’ for three consecutive years in the legal directory Chambers & Partners.
You should not hesitate to contact: