Abou-Rahmah and others v Abacha and others

[2006] EWCA Civ 1492

Appeal dismissed against finding that a Nigerian bank was not liable for knowing/dishonest assistance in breach of trust. The manager had suspected in a general way that the parties might be involved in money laundering, but did not have suspicions about the two transactions which gave rise to the claim.

Akhtar, Amir (R v Urfan Akhtar : R v Abida Shaheen Amir)

[2011] EWCA Crim 146

The offence of money laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.328(1) would only be committed where the property in question was "criminal property" at the time of the relevant arrangement; the appellant, who had knowingly submitting false mortgage applications on behalf of third parties, was not guilty of the offence, because when he entered into the relevant arrangements with the mortgage brokers the property in question was not criminal in the hands of the mortgage company.

Ali,Hussain, Khan, Bhatti (R v Liaquat Ali, Akhtar Hussain and Mohsan Khan Shahid Bhatti)

[2005] EWCA Crim 87

The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) quashed three convictions on the grounds that the prosecution had to prove that the defendants knew, and did not just suspect, that the cash was the proceeds of crime. The prosecution had alleged in substance that the conspirators had concealed, disguised or removed from the jurisdiction bank notes knowing or having reasonable grounds to suspect that in whole or in part they represented another person's proceeds of drug trafficking.

Assets Recovery Agency v Olupitan and another

[2007] EWHC 162 (QB)

The first final decision on a contested application by the Assets Recovery Agency for a Recovery Order, based on allegations of mortgage fraud, conspiracies to defraud and money laundering. The court dismissed an argument that no property was obtained from alleged mortgage fraud based on R v Preddy [1996] AC 815.

Assets Recovery Agency v Olupitan and another

[2008] EWCA Civ 104
Court of Appeal judgment

Attorney-General of Zambia v Meer Care & Desai

[2008] EWCA Civ 1007

A solicitors who failed to heed the Law Society’s Blue Card warning on money laundering was foolish but not dishonest. Appeal allowed.


Barlow Clowes International Ltd v Eurotrust International Ltd

[2005] UKPC 37

A civil case against an alleged money launderer based upon the defendant’s dishonest assistance in a breach of trust, the Privy Council held that a person could know, and could certainly suspect, that he was assisting in a misappropriation of money without knowing that the money was held on trust or what a trust meant: it was sufficient, on the facts of that case, that the defendant "entertained a clear suspicion" that there had been a misappropriate of monies.

Bowman v Fels

[2005] EWCA Civ 226


C v S

[1998] EWCA Civ 1474

(Westlaw Subscribers)

Canada (Attorney General) v. Federation of Law Societies of Canada

2015 SCC 7

The Supreme Court of Canada has held that money laundering laws are unconstitutional in so far as they apply to lawyers, holding that legal professional privilege is near-absolute and that a lawyer’s duty of commitment to the client’s cause is a “principle of fundamental justice”. ‘Clients are not, however, entitled to make unwitting accomplices of their lawyers let alone enlist them in the service of their unlawful ends.’


Da Silva (R v Da Silva)

[2006] EWCA Crim 1654

Decided under s.93A Criminal Justice Act 1988 but equally relevant to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The words "suspect" and "suspicion" meant that the defendant had to think that there was a possibility, which was more than fanciful, that the relevant facts existed. A vague feeling of unease would not suffice, but the statute did not require the suspicion to be clear or firmly grounded or based upon reasonable grounds.


Elaine Hmicho v Barclays Bank PLC [2015]

[2015] EWHC 1757 (QB)

Financial Sanctions – Extent of the application of Sanctions,

In the case of Elaine Hmicho v Barclays Bank PLC [2015] EWHC 1757 (QB) the High Court has considered an interim injunctive relief application made by the wife of a designated individual subject to EU sanctions against Syria whose accounts were frozen by the bank. Her accounts with the bank were frozen even though she was a non-designated third party individual and there was discussion about the extent to which her husband might have access to her accounts. The court refused the application and although the issues will be determined at a full trial, the Court recognised that it would not be appropriate to make an order requiring Barclays to take action which would, or might, render it criminally liable for breach of sanctions legislation. The court further stated that the “balance of convenience …. rests very firmly on Barclays’ side rather than that of Mrs Hmicho”.


Gabriel (R v Gabriel)

[2006] EWCA Crim 229

Profits made from trading in legitimate goods were not necessarily converted into criminal property by a failure to declare them to the Inland Revenue or the Department of Work and Pensions. The failure to declare the profits for the purposes of income tax could give rise to a criminal offence but it did not make the trading itself an offence.

Gale & Anor v SOCA

|2011| UKSC 49

Supreme Court held that the application of civil standard of proof in civil recovery proceedings did not breach Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights .

Geary (R v Geary)

[2010] EWCA Crim 1925

The Court of Appeal quashed the defendant’s conviction for money laundering under section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002: ‘In our view the natural and ordinary meaning of section 328(1) is that the arrangement to which it refers must be one which relates to property which is criminal property at the time when the arrangement begins to operate on it. To say that it extends to property which was originally legitimate but became criminal only as a result of carrying out the arrangement is to stretch the language of the section beyond its proper limits. An arrangement relating to property which has an independent criminal object may, when carried out, render the subject matter criminal property, but it cannot properly be said that the arrangement applied to property that was already criminal property at the time it began to operate on it.’ (Paragraph 19). Practitioners will therefore need to consider carefully whether the circumstances they are considering involve laundering of the proceeds of crime, or merely the initial crime itself.

GH (R v GH)

[2015] UKSC 24

The Supreme Court distinguished R v Geary [2011] 1 WLR 1634, CA. The defendant opened bank accounts and provided the documentation to a fraudster who operated bogus car insurance websites. The victims’ money was paid into the accounts. There was no criminal property at the time the defendant entered into the arrangement with the fraudster, but an offence was committed contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act (arrangements) at the later time when the proceeds of the fraud were paid into the account and the money laundering arrangement came into operation.

Green (R v Green)

[2007] EWCA Crim 1248

Where one defendant receives money or other property jointly on behalf of several other defendants each defendant is regarded as having received the whole of it for the purposes of confiscation proceedings. It does not matter if one defendant had received the whole sum, retained his 'share' and passed the balance on. The capacity in which he received it is the test

Griffiths & Anor, (R v Griffiths)

[2006] EWCA Crim 2155

Appeal against sentence by solicitor convicted of failing to make a required disclosure contrary to section 330(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The jury’s verdict demonstrated that the solicitor did not have knowledge of money laundering but that reasonable grounds existed for him knowing or suspecting that others were involved in money laundering. The Court of Appeal concluded with the following warning – ‘We do not leave the case without underlining to all professional people involved in the handling of money and with an involvement in financial transactions the absolute obligation to observe scrupulously the terms of this legislation and the inevitable penalty that will follow failure so to do’.


Harvey, R. v [2015] UKSC 73

The court should ignore the total amount of VAT for which the offender had accounted to HMRC when making a confiscation order assessing the amount of benefit obtained by an offender for the purpose of making a confiscation order under s.76(4) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 as to do otherwise would be disproportionate and breach Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Hogan v DPP

[2007] EWHC 978 (Admin) Lawtel subscribers only.


I K (R v I K)

[2007] EWCA Crim 491

The Court of Appeal held that the proceeds of evading tax on income which was derived from a legitimate trade could amount to ’criminal property’, distinguishing the case of Gabriel [2006] EWCA Crim 229 which appeared to have caused confusion in the minds of some practitioners.

Irwin Mitchell v Revenue & Customs Prosecution Office and Allad

Solicitors could transfer money held on client account to office account to pay costs without requiring variation to a restraint order under section 41 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.41. Lawtel subscribers only


JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov & Ors

[2009] EWCA Civ 1124

Held that the Fraud Act 2006 s.13 had removed the privilege against self-incrimination in respect of an offence under section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.


K Limited v National Westminster Bank and others

[2006] EWCA Civ 1039

The court would not grant an injunction requiring a bank to pay money to a customer's order, where the bank had reported a suspicion of money laundering and sought consent, nor would the court permit cross-examination as to the grounds for the bank's suspicion; it was a subjective test and there was no legal requirement that there should be reasonable grounds for suspicion. The bank had adopted the correct procedure to avoid a tipping off offence, when application was made for the injunction, by instructing solicitors to write pursuant to section 333 (2) (c) and (3) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 identifying the bare fact that the bank had made a disclosure to Customs.


Lonsdale v National Westminster Bank Plc [2018] EWHC 1843 (QB)

Disclosure of a Suspicious Activity Report ordered under CPR 31.14 in an action for defamation and breach of contract. Suspicious Activity Reports are subject to qualified, not absolute, privilege. Discussion as to entitlement to receive copies following a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 1998 (pre-GDPR).


McDowell & Singh v The Queen

[2015] EWCA Crim 173

The Court of Appeal has considered two separate cases which raise similar issues on the application of the test 'property obtained as a result of or in connection with criminal conduct' in section 76 (4). It is not known whether there might be any impact on the SARs reporting regime, given that the criminal conduct definition applicable there is very similar.

Merida Oil Traders Ltd, R (On the Application Of) v Central Criminal Court & Ors [2017] EWHC 747 (Admin)

A production order could not be used by the police in order to freeze funds by asking the holder to write a cheque for the sum and seizing it.


N v The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc [2019] EWHC 1770 (Comm)

A bank, suspecting money laundering, was entitled to close the accounts of its customer, a money service business (MSB), without notice. A secondary claim in negligence failed. ‘[The] interests and reputation of N and of the Bank are only part of the picture. The wider, public, interests of the prevention of crime and the protection of the victims of crime are a further crucial part of the picture.

National Crime Agency v Mrs A [2018] EWHC 2534 (Admin)

Judgment in failed application to set aside Unexplained Wealth Order. The judgment will be of particular interest to AML compliance practitioners for its analysis of the definition of “state-owned enterprises” in relation to Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).

NW and others (R v NW and others)

[2008] EWCA Crim

This case considers whether the Crown must prove what type of criminal conduct generated the benefit represented by criminal property in money laundering cases.


Online Tax Rebate Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKUT 0167 (TCC)

Decision includes obiter remarks on distinction between “business relationship” and “occasional transaction” under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.


P v P

[2003] EWHC 2260

Pace & Anor v R

[2014] EWCA Crim 186

In spite of public policy considerations, where the police were carrying out an undercover operation concerning the sale of scrap metals, the Court of Appeal allowed the appellants' appeals and held that on a count of attempted conversion of criminal property, proof of a mental element of suspicion only would not suffice.


R v Rogers

[2014] EWCA Crim 1680

Where the conduct occurred outside the UK and there was no allegation of money laundering against the defendant there, POCA was sufficiently wide to confer jurisdiction The court considered that ‘the offence of money laundering is par excellence an offence which, in effect, has no national boundaries’. v


[2010] EWCA Crim 97

A Solicitor - an MLRO during the time a client had laundered fraudulently obtained money through the firm's client account - was cleared of six counts of money laundering in January 2010, after a judge ruled that a fair trial was impossible due to delays in bringing the prosecution.

RTA (Business Consultants Limited) v Peter Bracewell

[2015] EWHC 630 (QB)

Estate agents who failed to register under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (then with the OFT but it would now be HMRC) were unable to recover their fees as the contract was illegal.


Saab & Anor v Angate Consulting Ltd & Ors [2019] EWHC 1558 (Comm)

Confidentiality, fraud and anti-money laundering disclosures, public interest and compulsion of law.

Shah v HSBC (Update)

[2012] EWHC 1283 (QB)

Update: The claim for alleged negligence/breach of contract in reporting of money laundering suspicions failed in the High Court of Justice QBD on 16 May 2012.

Shah v HSBC Private Bank (UK) Ltd

[2010] EWCA Civ 31

Court of Appeal decision following claim for failing to carry out customer’s instructions following notification to SOCA struck out; suspicion was a purely subjective matter, and absent any allegation of want of good faith, did not have to be a reasonable one. The Court of Appeal confirmed the test of suspicion as set out in the cases of Da Silva and K Limited - a suspicion does not have to be on reasonable grounds, just that the possibility has to be 'more than fanciful'.

Soca v Pelekanos

[2009] EWHC 2307 (QB)

A claim by the Serious Organised Crime Agency in which it was held that the court could make a recovery order under Part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in relation to a false statement in a mortgage application form, albeit this particular application was unsuccessful. The court stressed that this should be more widely known, and that it would be desirable for mortgage providers to spell out in their application forms the possible consequence of a misstatement.

Stephen Dare v Crown Prosecution Service

[2012] EWHC 2074 (Admin)

For a person to be found guilty of an offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.328(1), entering into an arrangement which he knew or suspected facilitated the acquisition of criminal property by or on behalf of another person, that other person had to be identified or at least identifiable at the moment of the arrangement. Lawtel subscribers only


Tayeb v HSBC

[2004] EWHC 1529

The National Crime Agency v N & Anor [2017] EWCA Civ 253

Court of Appeal decision reviewing the consent regime under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The court emphasised that the grant of consent by the National Crime Agency (NCA) does not imply NCA approval of the proposed act, that funds are clean or that no criminality is involved. The NCA stated that ‘in cases of urgency it can and does in appropriate cases move considerably faster than within 7 days and indeed potentially within hours’. In appropriate cases, it is ‘desirable that the need for urgency is communicated to the NCA and that it responds promptly in so far as it can do so’.



[2007] EWCA Civ 406

SOCA could be subject to judicial review for refusing to revisit its decision refusing consent.


Wilsons Solicitors LLP v Revenue & Customs (PROCEDURE : Other) [2018] UKFTT 627 (TC) (22 October 2018)

HMRC was not entitled, by serving an information notice, to obtain solicitors’ records kept under the Money Laundering Regulations.

Wolfsberg Group

Frequently Asked Questions on Risk Assessments for Money Laundering, Sanctions and Bribery & Corruption

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