Author: Niall Hearty 22 June 2021
The City of London Police’s use of account freezing orders and account forfeiture orders has risen spectacularly in a year. Rahman Ravelli’s Niall Hearty considered possible factors behind the increase, and why further increases are possible.
The force issued account freezing orders and account forfeiture orders against assets with a total value of £36 million in 2020, whereas the previous year’s total was just under £1 million.
In an article, Niall said the sharp increase could be partly due to the police becoming more familiar with the orders, which have only been available to the authorities since 2018.
He added that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to government schemes being introduced to try and prop up the economy. These initiatives have created more opportunities for fraud. This, Niall believes, could prompt even greater use of account freezing and account forfeiture orders, as the authorities look to take the assets of those who committed fraud.
As account freezing orders and account forfeiture orders can be obtained by authorities without the need for a conviction (or even a prosecution), Niall argues that the increase in their use is likely to continue.
Niall's article featured on Lawyer Monthly.
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