Account Freezing Order Success: North West Regional Organised Crime Unit agree to unfreeze £20,000
Our client, a provider of personal concierge services, including travel arrangements, was subject to an account freezing order on £20,000 held by World Pay UK following a credit card transaction which should have been transferred to their business bank account.
As a result of the police’s suspicions that the transaction represented the proceeds of crime, despite no evidence or specific allegation, the business was denied access to this capital. The business always maintained the money was received from legitimate business activity relating to a client who had purchased flights and hotel accommodation and that such high value transactions were common to their business.
Over the course of our representation, we worked with our client to establish the provenance of the money. We prepared an extensive and detailed witness statement combined with exhibits to establish beyond doubt the legitimate source of the money. This included materials to demonstrate the nature and history of the business, the relationship with the client, the bank accounts, the services requested, paid for and provided and the origins of the money. When the police considered this evidence, and following our representations, they agreed to lift the freezing order without opposition and the need for a contested hearing. This cut the delay, costs and risk to our client. Shortly after our client received the funds.
Sadly, the case demonstrates how law-abiding business and people can be subjected to the draconian freezing orders on the suspicion of the police where there is no criminality. Fortunately, in this case the consequences were not more severe.
Marlon Grossman was the solicitor with conduct of this case.