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Cash, listed asset and bank account detention and forfeiture orders

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (’POCA’) introduced provisions whereby cash can be seized by the police if it is suspected to be the proceeds of criminal activity, or intended by any person for use in unlawful conduct. Those provisions have now been extended to include ‘listed assets’ and the contents of bank accounts (to which see our separate page to Account Freezing Orders).


What is cash?

Cash includes notes, cheques, postal orders and bankers drafts.

What are listed assets?

Listed assets include watches, precious metals, precious stones and artistic works.

How long can the police detain my cash, listed assets or bank account?

Orders in respect of the detention of cash, listed assets and bank accounts cannot continue beyond two years after the date that the first order was made. Usually, applications will be made for a shorter period and then can be extended if grounds still exist.

Can I object?

Yes, you can oppose applications for detention of cash, listed assets or the content of bank accounts. You can also apply to discharge or vary any order.

What happens after detention?

Either the money or listed asset will be returned to you or the police will apply for a forfeiture order. Likewise with bank accounts, either they will be unfrozen or the police will make an application for forfeiture of its contents.

What is forfeiture?

The police can make an application to keep the cash, listed assets or contents of your bank account. The application is made on the basis that the cash, listed asset or content of bank account is recoverable property (i.e. derived from criminal conduct) or intended for use in crime.

Can I object?

Yes, you can oppose an application for a cash forfeiture order, a listed asset forfeiture order or an account forfeiture order.

What do I need to do?

You will be served with a copy of the application and a date to attend court. You should attend court or instruct a legal representative to do so for you. The case will then be set down for a final hearing and the court will give directions.

Why instruct Brett Wilson LLP?

Our London based team of Criminal defence solicitors is listed in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading firm in the field of criminal defence. Brett Wilson LLP’s criminal defence team is headed up by Nick Brett, who is ranked as a leading individual for POCA related work.

How do I Instruct Brett Wilson LLP?

You should contact one of our team to discuss your case and arrange a preliminary consultation.  At the consultation we will advise you on the proceedings, talk through the relevant practical and legal issues, and set out your options.  We will review relevant documentation ahead of the consultation.  The consultation will help you understand your position and allow you to make an informed decision about what action to take.  We will provide you with details of our fee structure.

Consultations take place in our London offices or by Teams/Zoom/telephone.  We can also travel to you.

To request a consultation please send us an emailcomplete our online enquiry form or call us on 020 7183 8950.  If emailing or using the online form, please provide a short outline of your situation.

Details of the cost of a consultation will be provided following your enquiry.


Contact us to request a consultation

Call 020 7183 8950
or send us a message.