Applying for the return of seized cash
Applying for the return of seized cash

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Applying for the return of seized cash
  • Application by the person from whom the cash was seized
  • Application by the owner who is a third party
  • Interest accrued on cash seized
  • Compensation
  • Costs of an application for the return of cash seized

Application by the person from whom the cash was seized

When cash has been seized, an application can be made by an officer (ie an immigration officer, HMRC officer, officer of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), police officer or an accredited financial investigator) for forfeiture of the cash, or it may be returned to the person from whom the cash was seized or it may be returned to the owner of the cash who is a third party. See Practice Note: Cash seizure and detention.

The officer who seized the cash may release it, or any part of it, after notifying the magistrates' court, if they are satisfied the detention can no longer be justified. Where this does not occur, applications for the return of detained cash can be made to the magistrates’ court either by the person from whom the cash was seized or a third party owner of the cash.

The magistrates’ court may release cash seized before the expiration of a continued detention order on the application of the person from whom the cash was seized if the conditions for the detention of the cash contained in section 295 no longer apply. This means that the return of seized cash can be granted on the grounds that:

  1. it is not recoverable property

  2. it is not intended for use