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05/08/16

Confiscation Proceedings | Proposed Changes

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Kangs Solicitors have a team of lawyers who specialise in “Confiscation” and action brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2002.

This legislation sets out the powers under which the Government can seize the proceeds of criminal activity.

It is a complex area of law that is regularly changing.

Earlier this month on 15th July 2016 The Home Affairs Select Committee published a report that provides details of how the recovery of criminal proceeds may be altered in the near future.

The full report can be found on the Committee’s website or by following this link:

https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmhaff/25/25.pdf

The report sets out some stark figures relating to the success of the recovery of criminal proceeds in recent years.

Of particular note is the following:

  •  At least £100billion a year is laundered through the UK;
  •  Only 26 pence on £100 of every confiscation order is actually recovered;
  •  Some £1.6billion remains unpaid on historic confiscation orders.

What Changes Are Being Proposed?

Amongst the Committee’s proposals for change are the following:

  • Stronger supervision of agents, buyers and sellers in the London property market which was considered to be a safe haven for laundering the proceeds of crime by those wishing to do so;
  • The creation of a specialist confiscation court to combat the current lack of interest and expertise in confiscation orders among prosecutors and judges;
  • Confiscation of passports until confiscation orders are repaid;
  • The creation of a separate criminal offence for the non-payment of a Confiscation Order

It is clear the Government is sending out a message that it intends to make what is already a draconian piece of legislation even more severe.

Only last year, Parliament strengthened the default terms of imprisonment available for the non-payment of Confiscation Orders. The maximum default sentence of non-payment of a Confiscation Order is now up to 14 years.

Specialist Confiscation Lawyers | Advice Available

Kangs Solicitors have a proven track-record of success in combatting confiscation proceedings.

We also offer specialist advice in relation to cash seizures, forfeiture and restraint orders.

If you have been made subject to a Confiscation Order or believe you may be affected by an Order made pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, please contact John Veale, Zahir Ahmed or Dean Phillips at Kangs Solicitors for advice.

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