HMRC application for an Account Freezing Order (AFO) successfully defeated

March 13, 2020

Naureen Shariff, together with Benjamin Waidhofer of Foundry Chambers, successfully defeated a ‘with notice’ application by HMRC to freeze a bank account holding a credit balance of just under £250,000.00.

Following a fully contested hearing at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court, before Deputy District Judge Harte, which involved detailed cross-examination of HMRC’s financial investigator, HMRC’s application for an Account Freezing Order (AFO) was swiftly refused in the course of a brief ex tempore judgment.  

The Criminal Finances Act 2017 inserted sections 303Z1 – 303Z19 into the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Those provisions came into force in 2018 and are increasingly used by enforcement officers to obtain Account Freezing Orders (303Z1 – 303Z8 POCA 2002) and subsequently Forfeiture Orders (section 303Z9 – 303Z19 POCA 2002).

The work done on a very tight timescale, in this case, demonstrates the need for anyone in receipt of an applicant for an Account Freezing Order should urgently and immediately obtain legal advice and assistance.

Share this