Cash Seizure

View Cases

Cash Seizure

The Power to Seize, Detain & Forfeit.

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 gives the police power to;

  • immediately seize cash for 48 hours (section 294)
  • detain it for up to 2 years (section 295)
  • apply to have it forfeited thereby depriving the owner of any legal claim to it (section 298)

These police powers are highly subjective and are activated if the officer believes the cash may have come from criminality or may be used in criminal activity. Surprisingly, no evidence of a crime is needed! This has affected many people and organisations who cannot immediately show, at the point the cash is seized, where the money has come from. 

We have represented holiday-makers, and people in business who are searched by the police/customs officials and have had their money seized, causing them stress, anxiety and inconvenience.

If you find yourself in this position, it is important to seek legal advice immediately, if possible at the point the cash is seized, so that representations can be made to the officer and the reasons recorded. The authorities who take the money will subject you to a "civil interview".  The information you give at this point will have an impact on the course of the investigation, and any information which is shown to be incorrect will cause further suspicion. Seek our help immediately on 08004101255, so we can offer telephone support and if necessary, attend in person to advise, assist and to make oral representations to the officer seizing the funds.

If you find yourself in a position where you have had cash taken, then you need to establish immediately why the officer believes it to be recoverable (criminal) property. Within 48 hours of the cash being seized, an application has to be made by the police to the local magistrates' court to detain the cash. This detention can be extended for up to two years to investigate the origins of the cash. At any time during the detention period, an application can be made to have the cash returned.

After the period of detention/investigation, an application to forfeit the cash can be made; this means that any party who has a claim to the money will no longer be legally entitled to it.

If the magistrate grants the application to forfeit, then, there is a right of appeal to the Crown Court.

We are experienced in advising and assisting our clients in cash seizure cases.

For further advice and action, please call or e-mail us.


Global Crime & Fraud

Learn More

Business & Regulatory Crime

Learn More

Corporate Investigations

Learn More

Private Crime & Police Enquiries

Learn More


Learn More