Financial Intelligence Unit v Seymore Associates Limited (CS 99 of 2011) [2011] SCSC 64 (18 September 2011);

 

THE REPUBLIC OF SEYCHELLES

 

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF SEYCHELLES HOLDEN AT VICTORIA

 

Civil Side No. 99 of 2011

 

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

 

Versus

 

Seymore Associates Limited============================Respondent

 

 

Barry Galvin for the Applicant

 

(Respondents did not appear.)

 

 

 

INTERLOCUTORY RULING

 

 

Egonda-Ntende, CJ

 

  1. The applicants are seeking an Interlocutory Order pursuant to Section 4 of the Proceeds of Crime (Civil Confiscation) Act, hereinafter referred to as POCA, prohibiting the respondent or such other persons as may have notice of this order from disposing of or otherwise dealing with the whole or any part of the property set out in the table annexed to the Notice of Motion, hereinafter referred to as specified property, or diminishing its value. Secondly the applicant seeks the appointment of Liam Hogan, pursuant to section 8 of POCA, as a Receiver of the specified property subject to such terms as this court may decide.

 

  1. The grounds of this application are that the respondent are in possession or control of specified property which constitutes directly or indirectly benefit from criminal conduct. Secondly that the applicants contend that the respondents are in possession or control of specified property acquired in whole or in part, with or in connection with property that, directly or indirectly, constitutes benefit from criminal conduct. Lastly that the specified property exceeds in value R50,000.00.

 

  1. The notice of motion is supported by an affidavit sworn by Mr Liam Hogan, Deputy Director of the applicant. The specified property is in respect of 2 accounts with BMI Offshore Bank (Seychelles) Ltd, one a dollar account and one euro account.

 

  1. The respondents were served with court process but did not appear at the hearing of this application. The hearing proceeded in their absence.

 

  1. In opening the bank accounts the respondent state that they are in the business of UK immigration consultancy. Available information on the internet shows that the respondents claim to provide immigration, relocation, second passport and second citizenship services in the EU, North America, South America and Australia. There is also an internet warning that blacklists the respondent as a firm engaged in fraudulent second passport and second citizenship services. Further investigations revealed that the respondents were associated with another firm, Alda Associates Ltd that is engaged in the provision of fraudulent official documents. Both firms have transferred funds between each other.

 

  1. Mr Hogan believes that the respondent is engaged in similar business as Alda Associates Ltd which amount to criminal activities, in terms of making and supplying forged official documents, like driving permits, passports, etc a crime under Seychelles law as well as the law of other nations and that the specified property is the result of those activities.

 

  1. The case for the applicant is uncontroverted at this stage. After examining the evidence before me I am satisfied that a case has been made out for the issue of an interlocutory order prohibiting respondent or anyone with notice of this order, from disposing of, or dealing with the specified property. The section 4 interlocutory order is granted. I appoint Mr Liam Hogan to be the Receiver, pursuant to Section 8 of POCA, of the specified property and to hold the same in an interest bearing account in BMI Offshore Bank (Seychelles) Ltd until further orders of this court.

 

Signed, dated and delivered at Victoria this 19th September 2011

 

 

 

 

 

FMS Egonda-Ntende

Chief Justice