Andrew Bird represented the City of London Police in an application for Forfeiture Orders over funds in bank accounts totalling over £2 million, believed to be the highest value Frozen Funds Forfeiture Order made to date by a court following a Police investigation.
Two accounts were the subject of Account Freezing Orders (AFOs) in July 2018 which allowed time for an international investigation to take place. The Forfeiture Orders (in sums of £1,723,706 and €356,043) were made by Westminster MC on 22nd July 2020 following an uncontested hearing.
Although higher amounts have been forfeited by means of non-judicial Account Forfeiture Notices this is believed to be the highest value Frozen Funds Forfeiture Order made to date by a court following a Police investigation. A court can make a Frozen Funds Forfeiture Order under s.303Z14 of Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 if it is satisfied that funds are, or represent recoverable property or are intended for use in unlawful conduct.
This case has been reported in the Evening Standard and can be viewed here.
Andrew Bird is a leading expert in POCA forfeiture cases, which can involve cash, high-value chattels, or (as here) funds in bank and building society accounts. The Frozen Funds Forfeiture regime was introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 2017.