Whether you are a UK citizen or not, you should know about certain border offences that may lead to cash and other asset seizure. This way, you can be prepared any time that you’re entering the UK. If you do find yourself in such predicaments, you should also consider getting legal help. With that said, here’s what you should know about cash and asset seizure due to UK border offences.

Cash and Asset Seizure Due to UK Border Offences

Depending on how you’re entering the country, the border patrol officers, i.e., the UK Border Force, the police, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), or other government agencies may search you and your belongings and seize cash or other assets under certain circumstances.

According to the law, someone who has more cash than £1,000 is not directly suspicious. However, the authorities can seize it if they have reasonable suspicion that the cash will be used for criminal activity. This is also the case if they have reasonable suspicion that the cash is a product of criminal activity.

It’s also important to note the authorities can also seize a minimum of £1,000. However, they may be able to seize amounts lower than that if they need to use that cash as evidence for some crime that the accused is suspected of or arrested for.

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 offers definitions of what counts as cash. Cash includes the following.

  • Coins or notes of any type of currency
  • Bearer bonds, banker’s drafts, and bearer shares
  • Any type of cheque, which includes a traveller’s cheque, and postal orders

Carrying large amounts of cash when crossing the border may be considered suspicious by the authorities.

Other Assets That Can Be Seized

Other assets such as cars and other forms of personal property can be seized. These include offensive weapons, dairy products or meats, products for which incorrect VAT was paid, products with missing necessary paperwork, alcohol, tobacco products, and more.

What You Can Do When Your Possessions Are Seized

You can contest the seizure if you believe it was wrongly done, i.e., without a legal right. Thus, you can challenge the legality of the seizure by starting condemnation proceedings. On the other hand, you can also ask the appropriate authorities, which could be the HMRC or the UK Border Force to return your goods to you. You can make this request even if your possessions were seized on legal grounds. This process is known as restoration.

Last Few Words

Cash and asset seizure due to UK border offences may happen to anyone. So, if you or anyone you know is ever dealing with such an issue, it’s in your benefit to consult a trained and experienced solicitor to help you manage your case, especially if you believe that it was not legally taken.