Cash Seizure

​With effect from 31st December 2002 Police Officers and officers from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have had the power to seize cash in excess of the minimum amount from persons or premises where they believe the cash has been or is intended for use in criminal conduct or represents the benefit of criminal conduct. Cash includes cash of any denomination or currency, cheques, travellers’ cheques, postal orders or banker’s drafts. With effect from 31st July 2006 the minimum amount stands at £1,000.

These powers are determined at the civil standard, which is ‘on the balance of probabilities’. Cash seizures are dealt with in the magistrates court but using the civil rules. The action is taken against the cash, not against anyone in possession of it or linked to it but the circumstances of the seizure may well give rise to the suspicion that some criminal offences, particularly money laundering, may well be in progress. Those suspected of involvement in criminal offences may be liable to arrest. A cash seizure investigation can run ancillary to or alongside a criminal investigation.

Once seized we will take the cash before the magistrates court very quickly and apply for a detention order for three months where appropriate. This will allow us to investigate the derivation of the cash or its intended use. If necessary we can apply to the court for further detention orders up to a maximum of two years. Once we have completed our investigations and we believe the cash is linked to criminality or intended for use in criminality we ask the court to forfeit it. The court will make its determination to the civil standard, which is on the balance of probabilities. If we believe there is sufficient evidence we will also pursue criminal charges against those associated with the cash.

We are determined to remove criminal cash and criminal assets from circulation to ensure that crime does not pay.