The Financial Intelligence Unit v Fox Global Ltd (Civil Side No. 104 of 2011) [2011] SCSC 60 (18 September 2011);

THE REPUBLIC OF SEYCHELLES

 

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF SEYCHELLES HOLDEN AT VICTORIA

 

Civil Side No. 104 of 2011

 

The Financial Intelligence Unit===========================Applicant

 

Versus

 

Fox Global Limited==================================Respondent

 

 

Barry Galvin, State Counsel for the applicant

 

Respondent absent and unrepresented

 

 

 

INTERLOCUTORY RULING

 

 

Egonda-Ntende, CJ

 

  1. This is an application for an interlocutory order pursuant to section 4 of the Proceeds of Crime (Civil Confiscation) Act, hereinafter referred to as POCA, seeking to prohibit the respondents or any person having notice of this order from disposing of or otherwise dealing with or otherwise diminishing the value of the sums of money found in the dollar account of the respondent in Barclays Bank (Seychelles) Ltd, hereinafter referred to as specified property. The applicant seeks a further order pursuant to section 8 to appoint Liam Hogan, Deputy Director of the applicant, as a Receiver of the specified property subject to further orders of this order. The applicant is a statutory body. The respondent is registered as an international offshore company in Seychelles.

  2. This application had been made by notice of motion with a supporting affidavit sworn by Mr Liam Hogan. In spite of service the respondent did not appear at the hearing of this application. There is no evidence from the respondent.

 

  1. Mr Liam Hogan believes that the respondent is in the possession of property in its account with Barclays Bank (Seychelles) Ltd which constitutes directly or indirectly benefit from criminal conduct or was acquired wholly or in part, with or in connection with property that constitutes, directly or indirectly, benefit from criminal conduct. The said property is in excess of R50,000.00.

 

  1. The respondent stated while opening the account in question that the business of the respondent was consulting services in the area of property purchase and advising on re location of the British ex-Patriot Community. An examination of fund inflows to the account in question revealed that it received funds purportedly for share or stock purchases.

 

  1. Barclays Bank (Seychelles) Ltd received a complaint from one Christopher Mahler who complained that he had been the victim of a boiler room scam in which he lost Euro 50,000 in the course of purchase of shares. Subsequently he was contacted by a group of people who claimed that he should pay a sum of US$33,000 in order to re sell the said shares and he was directed to pay it to the respondent’s account.

 

  1. Mr Hogan contends that this account was basically for money laundering purposes as it received proceeds of crime committed outside of Seychelles but would have been a crime if committed in Seychelles and that is the offence of money laundering.

 

 

  1. I have examined the information that has been attached to the affidavit of Mr Hogan. The said information together with the affidavit of Mr Hogan are not challenged. I am satisfied that it is sufficient to lead to a reasonable suspicion that the specified property in this case constitutes directly or indirectly benefit from criminal conduct or was acquired wholly or in part, with or in connection with property that constitutes, directly or indirectly, benefit from criminal conduct.

 

  1. I accordingly grant this application and issue the interlocutory order prohibiting the respondent or anyone having notice of this order from disposing of, or dealing with or diminishing the value of the specified property.

 

  1. I appoint Mr Hogan, pursuant to section 8 of POCA to be the Receiver of specified property and to hold the same in an interest bearing account in Barclays Bank (Seychelles) Ltd until further orders of this court.

 

  1. Costs will abide the final outcome of the proceedings in relation to the specified property in this case.

 

Signed, dated and delivered at Victoria this day of September 2011

 

 

 

 

 

FMS Egonda-Ntende

Chief Justice