News Criminal Defence 8th Sep 2017

Narita Bahra leading Stephen Donelly acted for a client who was charged with an array of Money Laundering, Fraud, supply of class A drugs and cultivation of class B drugs offences

Money laundering prosecutions have increased in the UK since 1998 when research identified that approximately £2.5 billion was being laundered though the UK financial system. Prosecuting authorities have been working on improving tools and techniques to rectify inadequate suspicious transaction reporting, inadequate law enforcement resources, the fragmented legislation, relative investigative and prosecutorial discretion, and the problems of obtaining evidence in a field characterised by sophisticated criminality. UK law allows the prosecution to build a stand alone offence without having to prove the predicate offences. Once a finding of a “criminal lifestyle” is made by the court this technically enables confiscation of everything the individual owned over last 6 years.

Narita and the defence team succeeded in maneuvering the prosecution into a position where they had to offer no evidence on the main conspiracy to money launder offence, class A drug offences and a substantive money laundering allegation at the outset of the case. This resulted in the defence severing the client and her husband  from the four co-defendants and thereby removing any links or associations with class A drugs. Evidence of class B drugs found at co-defendant’s premises were successfully argued to be inadmissible.

Narita was instructed by Priya Wader at Veja & Co Solicitors.

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