Condemnation & Cash Forfeiture

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Becket Chambers’ Criminal Team has considerable experience in representing businesses or private individuals as well as acting for the Home Office (National Crime Agency, Customs, etc.).

Our Expertise covers cash seizure and forfeiture proceedings and/or condemnation cases involving excise goods (tobacco and/or alcohol) arising from interceptions at Dover or the Channel Tunnel. Many of our cases have involved foreign nationals so we are experienced in working with clients where the additional services of an interpreter are required.

Case Studies

Seized cash

The Respondents were intercepted at Stansted Airport in 2019 with suitcases containing in excess of £800,000 in cash; the cash was seized and the matter progressed to a final hearing listed for two days in the Magistrates Court. The Respondents failed to attend the final hearing, the Magistrates determined the matter on the basis of Continue reading

Seizure of Imported Wine

This case related to the seizure of over 50 cases of wine being brought into the country without having paid the UK duty. The owner of the goods stated they were for personal consumption and not liable to duty and should not be forfeit. In the contested hearing, Christian managed to show on cross-examination of Continue reading

Condemnation of a luxury car

Paul acted for the Border Force in a matter where an individual had his Porsche Cayenne seized under sections 88 and 139 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 as having been ‘adapted’ by the construction of two concealed voids in the sills of the vehicle. The vehicle had been purchased second hand by Continue reading

Obtaining condemnation of goods

Lavinia represented the Director of Border Revenue – the Complainant – in a case where the Claimant’s tobacco products had been seized. The Claimant’s main argument was that; as he had purchased these goods in an EU country he was entitled to bring back as much as he wanted. Lavinia highlighted that, although there were Continue reading

Successfully defending a Crown Court appeal

Paul acted for the Border Force, responding to an appeal in the Crown Court against a condemnation (and costs) order made by the Magistrates’ Court. Mr A had travelled into the United Kingdom with 10,400 cigarettes in a car belonging to his brother, and was stopped by the Border Force, who seized the cigarettes and Continue reading

Cash seizure on leaving the UK

Paul represented the Home Office in a case concerning a cash seizure of approximately £40,000 from foreign nationals leaving the UK through Dover Docks. The concealed and undeclared cash was claimed to be the profits of online gambling and/or foreign property transactions, however the lack of sufficient audit trail or evidence of currency exchange suggested Continue reading

Condemnation & Cash Forfeiture Articles

Seizure of adapted vehicles

I have dealt with a number of cases recently where vehicles have been seized by Border Force pursuant to their powers under Section 88 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 (“CEMA”), which provides that: “Where— … (c)  any other vehicle is or has been within the limits of any port, railway customs area Continue reading

Condemnation & Cash Forfeiture Testimonials

It was a very interesting Tribunal and I would also like to say how impressed I was with Christian Fox. He was extremely prepared and could not have provided better representation.

Solicitors Instructing Christian Fox – September 2021

“Thanks very much for the update. That’s a great result – we can hopefully put all this to bed now. I was really impressed with how you handled the concerns in conference last week by the way. Thanks very much for your help with this case.”

Ms E from Solicitors instructing Edward Kenny – January 17

“…My sincere thanks again for your great work as ever, and delivering a very positive result…”

Mr S from a firm of Solicitors instructing Paul Tapsell – October 16

“….Our counsel,  Paul Tapsell, was second to none….well done and thanks for all your work on this….great result….”

Mrs M from a firm of solicitors instructing Paul Tapsell – February 15