For the last year and a half, UK law enforcement authorities have had the power to freeze and potentially forfeit funds held in UK bank or building society accounts where they suspect that the funds are derived from, or will be used for, criminal activities. Account freezing and forfeiture orders (AFFOs) can be applied for, and obtained through, the lower-level domestic courts, without authorities having to demonstrate a pre-existing criminal finding of guilt or first resort to complex civil recovery proceedings. These powers, once granted, are hard to discharge and may give rise to many difficulties for those subject to them. Read more

This article first appeared in inCOMPLIANCE, the magazine of the International Compliance Association, www.int-comp.org