Enforcement of Overseas Restraint Orders

At EBR Attridge we understand that Restraint Orders and the enforcement of them has a wide and far reaching impact.

The purpose of any issued confiscation order, namely to deprive any defendant of the proceeds of a crime, is only fulfilled once the order is paid. A confiscation order is a debt owed by the defendant to the Crown. The defendant can choose to pay the order voluntarily, but if he or she fails to pay the order, compulsory enforcement action can be taken.  All domestic confiscation order payments, however enforced, go to HM Treasury.

The Home Office operates an Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme (ARIS) by which any money enforced in respect of domestic and overseas confiscation orders are collected and thereafter returned in part to various units including the CPS.

The offender will normally be given the opportunity to satisfy the confiscation order voluntarily before enforcement action is pursued in the courts. There are many advantages to the offender in agreeing to make voluntary payment including:

  • He will avoid liability to pay interest provided he pays before time to pay expires;
  • He will avoid the risk of having to serve the default sentence; 
  • He will avoid the risk of having a receiver appointed over his assets; and
  • As soon as full payment is made, any restraint order will be discharged.

From the perspective of the CPS, voluntary satisfaction by anyone results in the speedy enforcement of the confiscation order without the delays and expense involved in taking court proceedings.

However it is the enforcement of Overseas Restraint Orders that has in the past caused the recovery agents, whether it be the CPS or any third party agent, major issues and hurdles to cross.  The government have recently sought to introduce unique teams made up of casework teams and specialist lawyers fulfilling roles as Asset Recovery Advisors - or ARAs - overseas to priority countries, to work directly with local criminal justice agencies and their partners in government to improve asset recovery in both the short and longer term.

Specifically, these ARAs will in the near future:

  1. support international financial investigations through clear, informed, expert casework advice and assistance; and
  2. assist on policy and legislative developments, helping to identify where systemic or legal change in the UK or elsewhere would increase the ability to seize more illicit assets.

This is not just about the UK recovering assets overseas but with the new ARAs and other overseas staff playing a key role in satisfying confiscation orders.

At EBR Attridge we understand that our advice, in respect of these ever changing and adaptive orders, is current and relevant to forming any defence strategy to lessen the impact of the order as well as dealing with the technical difficulties that the CPS or their respective bodies enforcing them have to overcome.

In regularly dealing with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Enforcement Units as well as other bodies dealing with the satisfaction of orders both here in the UK and Overseas, we can advise you on the most recent and up to date legislation as well as providing you with a one stop service designed for your needs.

If you are being investigated or prosecuted, please make an appointment to see a specialist Solicitor who can attend upon you by telephone, face-to-face or online.

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