James Fletcher appeared for the NCA and Edmund Burge QC for Vlad Filat in an application brought by the NCA for Account Forfeiture Orders against the balances of three bank accounts totalling approximately £500,000 held in the name of Vlad Filat. 
The Court forfeited the money, finding that the balances derived from Vlad Filat’s  father, the ex-prime minister of Moldova, who was convicted of bribery and corruption offences in 2016 for his role in the disappearance of USD 1 billion from three Moldovan banks. The Court also considered that the bank account funds derived from money laundering.
This was the first contested Account Forfeiture application brought by the NCA pursuant to new powers introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 2017 which permit law enforcement to freeze and seek to confiscate balances of bank accounts that have been obtained from criminality or are going to be used in criminality.
Click here to read Macfarlanes LLP recent blog post on this case.

5SAH has an expert team of barristers in our asset recovery, civil fraud and confiscation team who act for both applicants and respondents and have appeared in many of the leading cases in this fast-developing and niche area of law. The barristers in the team are at the forefront of new legislation such as unexplained wealth orders (UWO’s), account freezing/ forfeiture orders (AFO’s) and also specialise in challenges to investigation orders and warrants under POCA, PACE and other legislation. 5SAH barristers have been instructed in some of the first cases involving these orders and lecture on them.  They are the experts in this field. The team are ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.