27 November 2014
Andrew Smith’s comments re criminal prosecutions for breaches of export and trade controls published in WorldECR
UK Businessman jailed for Iran exports must return £1 million of ‘criminal profits’
In a rare example of a publicly-announced prosecution for a violation of UK export control regulations, a UK company- and a director of that company who was previously jailed for the violations – has been made subject to a confiscation order on 21 November which orders the repayment of £1.14million of ‘criminal profits’ arising out of illegal exports of dual-use items to Iran, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (‘HMRC’) has said.
Andrew Smith, a criminal litigator at London law firm Corker Binning, told WorldECR:
‘Criminal prosecutions in the UK for breaches of export and trade controls remain fairly rare. They are reserved for the most egregious examples of dishonest or manipulative conduct. This case demonstrates that, where HMRC decides to prosecute, the consequences will be far-reaching. A prison sentence is almost inevitable if the offending was persistent and involved high-value goods. Just as important, in virtually all cases a conviction will be followed automatically by confiscation proceedings which seek to deprive the offender of his benefit from the crime – this will involve seizing all money and property tainted by the crime, whether held in the offender’s name or not. An offender can also be ordered to repay the costs of a prosecution, a further form of punishment.’