POCA & Confiscation
A Restraint Order is a powerful investigative tool used by many of the major prosecuting authorities such as HMRC, SFO, FCA, CPS and Trading Standards. Restraint Orders are usually obtained without notice or prior warning to an individual or business and can have a devastating financial impact if matters are not addressed immediately. The effect is to freeze all assets belonging to an individual or business, this includes provisions requiring the respondent to provide certain documentation and information such as the disclosure of all assets and bank accounts in the UK and overseas.
A provision ordering the respondent to repatriate all assets and funds to the UK within a strict time limit. A requirement for the respondent to provide a statement of truth detailing all financial assets and expenditure during a specified period. A restriction on the amount of funds to be utilized for personal living expenses and/or business expenditure.
Our specialist confiscation and POCA team regularly works alongside the leading barristers and forensic accountants and prides itself on providing quick and effective advice in all situations.
We are regularly instructed by defendants in relation to confiscation proceedings after they have been convicted. We advise clients in such circumstances and, if appropriate, take over the conduct of their defence of confiscation proceedings following conviction in proceedings where we have not previously been involved.
POCA is a highly specialised area and our experienced team has had considerable success with members of our team having conducted some of the leading reported cases in this area of law.
Detention & Forfeiture
POCA authorises a relevant officer of the state (including police and HMRC officers) to seize cash in certain circumstances, detain it pending an investigation into its origins or intended use and thereafter to apply for its forfeiture.
The current level of cash able to be detained is a minimum sum of £1,000.
The minimum figure has been gradually reduced over time as follows:
- 16th March 2004: the minimum amount under Section 294 of POCA was lowered from £10,000 to £5,000
- 31st July 2006: the minimum amount was reduced from £5,000 to £1,000