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MPR make Met Police return cash seizure of £30,000 and jewellery to Traveller family

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We were instructed by 3 clients after police raided their safety deposit boxes in London and seized £30,000 in cash and a large amount of jewellery under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

The Police also arrested 2 of our clients for allegations of benefit fraud, burglary and handling stolen goods.

We were instrumental in making representations to the police about the criminal allegations and pointed out that they had no evidence to substantiate arrests for benefit fraud, burglary and handling stolen goods. Seema Parikh who is a Partner at the Firm represented the clients at the police station.

Her second line of attack against the police was the cash seizure part of the case. Her clients did not have all the relevant receipts for the money as much of it had been transferred from Poland several years ago after the sale of a property, the proceeds of which had been liquidated in cash. Their Traveller lifestyle and culture did not conform to the traditional Westernised urban way of living and certainly was not conducive to proving where the cash had come from for the purposes of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Seema came up with a cost-effective strategy for her clients and this involved obtaining documentary and oral testimony from Poland prior to defending any court proceedings. Armed with the documentary evidence she was happy with and using her legal knowledge to make forceful representations to the police, she was able to successfully persuade the police to return all of the seized cash without the necessity of going to court. The jewellery was also returned.

Her clients were extremely pleased with the outcome as it avoided the expense and uncertainty of litigation and they obtained their property and cash back at a fraction of the cost at just under 10% of the total value of the combined goods.

There is no mechanism within the legal framework in successful cash seizure cases to apply for defence costs against the courts or the police.