Dan argued that the applications were an abuse of the court’s process. In July 2021 a different police force applied for, and obtained, AFOs against the same funds in a magistrates’ court on the other side of the country. Those orders were subsequently discharged after legal argument by Barnaby Hone. Dan argued that the police were manipulating the court’s process and trying to avoid the consequences of their earlier failures by making an application against the same funds but using a different force and applying in a different court. The District Judge agreed this was concerning and the police were persuaded to withdraw their applications, meaning that the client now has access to their funds.
Dan was instructed by Siobhain Egan of Lewis Nedas solicitors.
Chapter 3B of POCA was introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 2017 and allows the police to freeze funds in bank and building society accounts for up to two years if they can show that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the funds are recoverable property or intended for use in unlawful conduct.