Paul acted for the National Crime Agency in connection with the seizure of €394,500 in cash at Coquelles in April 2015. The traveller, Mr X, a non-UK EU national, said that the money was intended for the purchase of construction machinery at various auctions in the UK and Europe.
Over the course of a two-year investigation, Mr X had provided a huge quantity of documents in connection with his previous business activities and said that the money had been part of a larger series of loans and transactions connected with his commercial enterprises.
Mr X was charged with money laundering but the CPS decided to offer no evidence before the matter came to trial.
The NCA sought to establish, regardless of the decision not to prosecute Mr X, that the cash was recoverable property, i.e. obtained through unlawful conduct, or intended for use in criminal conduct pursuant to section 298(2) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, specifically money laundering.
After a three-day trial the Magistrates found that the NCA had established that the money was derived from or intended for use in a money-laundering exercise and rejected the evidence of Mr X and his witnesses. The cash was forfeit and Mr X was ordered to pay the NCA’s costs of over £10,000.