Bright Line Law win Hawala cash forfeiture appeal

Crown Court London

An appeal against a cash forfeiture order has been allowed after a complex seven day re-hearing in the Crown Court. Jonathan Fisher QC, Lead Counsel, and Anita Clifford, Barrister and Principal Associate, were instructed by the appellants on a direct access basis.

The power to forfeit cash is available under Part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and exercised by the Magistrates’ Court. An appeal lies to the Crown Court by way of full re-hearing although such appeals are uncommon. Central to the case advanced by the National Crime Agency were allegations of money laundering derived from unregistered Hawala banking. The appellants challenged their involvement with an illegal Hawala enterprise requiring a detailed understanding of the Money Laundering Regulations, inferences of money laundering and regulation of Hawala banking in the UK and abroad.

The money had been seized since November 2016 and Bright Line Law was instructed on the appeal in February 2018. Jonathan and Anita prepared the case on appeal in entirety. The court ordered the full return of the funds inclusive of interest to the Appellants and exercised its discretion to award costs in this case.

Bright Line Law specialises in Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 cases and has a focus on cash seizure and forfeiture, account freezing and forfeiture, money laundering and civil recovery proceedings in the High Court. Jonathan Fisher QC is ranked Band 1 by the legal directories for Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 cases.