Peters & Peters

Account Freezing Orders and Account Forfeiture Orders – a warning for compliance officers. Maria Cronin and Karl Masi discuss in Compliance Matters

Globalisation and the increasing use of the global financial system have enabled criminal gangs to move from hoarding piles of cash to using sophisticated electronic banking systems capable of moving money across borders in milliseconds. To deal with this, Parliament introduced the Criminal Finances Act 2017, which amended the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) to grant new powers to law-enforcement agencies to freeze and forfeit funds in bank accounts using AFrOs and AFOs. Before this, the police could not seize funds held in bank accounts that they suspected to be the proceeds of crime in the same straightforward way that they could seize cash. Instead, they had to follow more complex legal routes with a higher standard of proof in order to recover funds. Read more.