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Crown Prosecution Service completes first ever asset recovery in UAE

Further plans in place to secure similar outcomes across the globe with the creation of an asset recovery advisor network

27 August 2014

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Further plans in place to secure similar outcomes across the globe with the creation of an asset recovery advisor network

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has successfully recovered over £300,000 from the sale of a property in Dubai belonging to a convicted British criminal.

Redwan El-Ghaidouni was convicted at Kingston Crown Court on March 2011 for offences of drug importation and possession.

The CPS has said that this is potentially the first time a UK confiscation order has been successfully enforced in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Gary Balch, deputy chief crown prosecutor, at the CPS Proceeds of Crime Service, said: "It is unacceptable that drug barons should be allowed to profit from their criminal activity and our successful action in this case demonstrates our determination to deprive them of their ill-gotten gains."

He continued: "Organised criminals often move their assets across borders in order to prevent them from being confiscated - but the Crown Prosecution Service can and will follow the money wherever it leads in order to reclaim the proceeds of crime. Criminals often consider that hiding money overseas is a safe bet and that their assets will be untouchable - they are mistaken and should take note of today's result."

Following El-Ghaidouni's conviction in 2011, a confiscation order was put in place in September 2012 for £417,031.52, and this order has now been fully satisfied following the sale of the apartment. Due to an asset sharing agreement with the UAE government, the full amount secured from the sale of the apartment has now been transferred back to the British government.

The CPS's new Proceeds of Crime Service has worked closely with the recently deployed CPS Asset Recovery Advisor (ARA) in Dubai to secure the outcome, which Gary Blach praised for its effectiveness.

He said: "This would not have been possible without the work of our Asset Recovery Adviser based in the UAE, the first of our ARAs that were put in post by the Director of Public Prosecutions earlier this year. By the end of the year, we hope to have as many as five ARAs in place in different jurisdictions around the world allowing us to track and recover criminal assets wherever they may be hidden."

The CPS currently has two ARAs working in the UAE and Spain, with further plans in place for three more. One dedicated to Europe, based in London; one focused on the Caribbean, based in Jamaica; and another in Pretoria, South Africa.


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Tax & Wealth structuring