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GALE & ANOR v SERIOUS ORGANISED CRIME AGENCY

In civil recovery proceedings, it did not breach the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.6 for the court to apply the civil standard of proof in determining under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.241(3) whether property recovered was the product of criminal conduct on the part of the defendants. Further, an order for costs made in favour of the Serious Organised Crime Agency against a person against whom a recovery order had been made could include the investigation costs incurred by an interim receiver.

1 November 2011

The appellants (D and T) appealed against a decision ((2010) EWCA Civ 759, (2010) 1 WLR 2881) upholding a civil recovery order made against them under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 Pt 5 and ordering that the costs of the respondent Serious Organised Crime Agency should include the investigation costs incurred by an interim receiver. The agency had claimed that property held by D and T was derived from criminal activity on the part of one or both appellants in the form of drug trafficking, money laundering and tax evasion in the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions. The judge so found on the balance of probabilities under s.241(3), notwithstanding D’s never having been convicted of drug trafficking, although he had been prosecuted and acquitted in Portugal. An interim receiver had been appointed under s.246; his investigation had incurred substantial costs. The agency paid those costs and the Court of Appeal ordered them to be recovered from D and T. D and T argued that (1) prov...

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