West Law Report

R v GREEN

Posted in confiscation order, House of Lords (case), Westlaw Reports by mrkooenglish on May 23, 2008

(See also Times law report: International obligations)

Last Updated: 11:27AM BST 22/05/2008
House of Lords

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood

May 14, 2008 (Filed: May 22, 2008)

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Benefit from criminal conduct – Confiscation orders – Conspiracy – Drug trafficking Money Laundering – Proceeds of crime – Conspiracy to traffic drugs – Proceeds received by several co-conspirators – Value of each conspirator’s proceeds – s. 1(3) Drug Trafficking Act 1994 – s. 4(1)(b) Drug Trafficking Act 1994 – s. 2(2) Drug Trafficking Act 1994

FACTS

The appellant (G) appealed against a decision of the Court of Appeal ([2007] EWCA Crim 1248, [2007] 3 All ER 751) upholding the making of a confiscation order against him under the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 s. 2. G had been the principal directing mind behind a sophisticated conspiracy to obtain and distribute drugs and to launder the proceeds. Along with a number of fellow conspirators, he had pleaded guilty to three offences of conspiracy in connection with the scheme. Whilst the Crown calculated his benefit from the conspiracy to amount to some £10.5 million, G claimed that the figure was actually in the region of £4.8 million. In computing that sum he sought to deduct from the benefit received by him a proportion of the profits retained by two of his co-defendants. The judge made a confiscation order and in calculating the amount of the order he held that money retained by the two co-defendants was held by all three jointly as proceeds in which they were all fully interested. The Court of Appeal decided not to disturb the judge’s decision to give credit to G for the amounts received by his co-conspirators and for the value of the proceeds they received. It did, however, certify a point of law of general public importance in the following terms: where any payment or other reward in connection with drug trafficking was received jointly by two or more persons acting as principals to a drug trafficking offence as defined in s. 1(3) of the Act, whether the value of each person’s proceeds of drug trafficking within the meaning of s. 4(1)(b) of the Act included the whole of the value of such payment or reward. G submitted that the appropriate measure of benefit was the total value of the property actually received by him and that the sums received by his co-defendants should have been deducted from the amount specified in the confiscation order.

ISSUE

Whether the appropriate measure of benefit was the total value of the property actually received by G and that the sums received by his co-defendants should have been deducted from the amount specified in the confiscation order.

HELD (appeal dismissed)

G’s appeal could not succeed. For the reasons given by the Appellate Committee in R v May (Raymond George) [2008] UKHL 28, the decision of the Court of Appeal in that case, that where money or property was received by one defendant on behalf of several defendants jointly, each defendant was to be regarded as having received the whole of it for the purposes of s. 2(2) of the Act, was correct.

Tim Owens QC and Andrew Bodnar (instructed by Stokoe Partnership) for the appellant. David Perry QC and Duncan Penny (instructed by Crown Prosecution Service) for the respondent.

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  1. […] International obligations (See also Westlaw report: R v Green) […]


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