‘A Practical Guide to Confiscation and Restraint’ by Narita Bahra KC, David Winch, John Carl Townsend


Paperback: 978-1-913715-44-1
Published: February 2022
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This book is a practical and quick-reference guide to the highly topical and complex issues of Confiscation and Restraint under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) in criminal proceedings. It is aimed at both prosecution and defence practitioners giving advice, preparing statements, and on their feet in the Crown Court or before Magistrates. Confiscation and Restraint issues arise in many criminal cases, where the prosecution seek to recover benefit from the assets of those convicted. The book explains the underlying logic behind the various provisions and their operation in everyday practice. It is packed with useful insights and practical points to assist practitioners to swiftly identify and competently address the relevant issues, supported by references to authority in statute, case law and the Criminal Procedure Rules. The appendices provide examples of key documents which the practitioner can adapt to meet the defendant’s situation. A final chapter outlines issues in relation to civil account freezing and forfeiture applications in the Magistrates’ Court.

“It is a great achievement to create a short guide to this area … clear and accessible … Practitioners will do well to carry it with them and use it as their first port of call to guide them in the right direction. It will save them from error and give them confidence to tackle cases which may at first seem intractable.”
– From the Foreword by Lord Justice Edis


Narita Bahra KC is a leading defence barrister instructed to defend in heavyweight and high-profile Business Crime cases. Narita is recognised as an effective tactician in the field of Business Crime and financial services. Her stellar work ethic results in tangible impact and defining successful outcomes in cases involving fraud, tax evasion, money laundering and Anti-competitive conduct (cartels, market abuse, insider dealing), investment products (carbon credits, diamonds, bitcoin) and Confiscation.

She is noted for handling fraud cases with an international dimension, particularly in Southeast Asia. Narita is recognised as having vast and practical knowledge of the increasing prosecutions involving the Hawala banking system.

Specialism in this field requires an updated and excellent knowledge of financial proceedings such as confiscation, asset forfeiture and restraint law.


David Winch B.Com., F.C.A. is a forensic accountant specialising in crime and proceeds of crime and a sought-after commentator on confiscation and money laundering, appearing on national television and radio.  A chartered accountant and a leading member of the team at Sedulo Forensic Accountants, he has appeared as an expert witness in Crown Courts, the High Court, the First Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber), and the Royal Court (Jersey).  In the Crown Court he has given evidence in leading confiscation cases, including R v Harvey [2015] UKSC 73 and Boyle Transport (Northern Ireland) Ltd v R [2016] EWCA Crim 19.  David is the author of numerous webinars and blogs on confiscation and was joint author (with Janet Bazley of 1 Garden Court Chambers) of ‘Money Laundering for Lawyers: the new requirements and their practical implications’ published by Butterworths (2004).


John Carl Townsend is recognised as a specialist in the field of POCA and asset forfeiture. He has acted in all proceedings connected to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 including Part 5 (Asset Forfeiture) and Part 6 (Tax). He is a tenant at 33 Chancery Lane.

His practice encompasses the civil and criminal courts with a focus on complex and high value financial investigations. In the civil courts he acts for claimant and defendant companies and individuals in claims relating to allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, unlawful means conspiracy and deceit. In the criminal courts he provides advice and representation in fraud and money laundering prosecutions. He is frequently retained in cases where there is the potential for both civil and criminal liability.

John Carl has acted for clients in respect of international freezing orders, restraint orders, civil disclosure orders (including Norwich Pharmacal and Bankers Trust), account freezing orders, unexplained wealth orders, judicial review, tax tribunals, SFO s.2 investigations, allegations of regulatory breach and goods seizures as a result of alleged duty evasion.



Chapter One – Investigation and Charging
Chapter Two – Restraint
Chapter Three – Trial & Pleas
Chapter Four – Legal Aid Versus Private Representation
Chapter Five – The Fundamentals of Confiscation
Chapter Six – The Meanings of Some Common Terms
Chapter Seven – Section 18 & Section 18a Questionnaires
Chapter Eight – The Section 16 Statement of Information
Chapter Nine – Criminal Lifestyle
Chapter Ten – The Statutory Assumptions
Chapter Eleven – The Defendant’s Section 17 Response
Chapter Twelve – Expert Witnesses
Chapter Thirteen – Further Section 16 Statements & Responses
Chapter Fourteen – The Default Sentence
Chapter Fifteen – The Confiscation Hearing
Chapter Sixteen – Variation to Confiscation Orders
Chapter Seventeen – Absent Defendant
Chapter Eighteen – Appeals
Chapter Nineteen – Activating the Default Sentence
Chapter Twenty – A Second or Subsequent Confiscation Order
Chapter Twenty-One – Account Freezing and Forfeiture Orders
Appendix One – Section 18 Response
Appendix Two – Section 16(3) Statement
Appendix Three – Section 17 Response
Appendix Four – Scott Schedule
Appendix Five – Section 23 Application