Monday, 3 July 2023, 13:14
A Royal Gibraltar Police money-laundering investigation has resulted in around £2million of assets being confiscated from a local family.
The seizure came after a ruling by the Supreme Court last Friday (30 June), which handed down its judgement in civil proceedings brought by the Attorney General, using powers from the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), against various members of the Serra family.
It followed a criminal money-laundering investigation that was started by the RGP in 2020 against local man Clint Serra, following intelligence received from a Spanish law enforcement agency.
As a result of this investigation, various assets in Gibraltar were identified under the ownership of members of Mr Serra’s close family.
The acquisition of these assets was investigated by the RGP’s Money Laundering Investigation Unit, as a result of which they were believed to have been obtained using the proceeds of crime related to drugs trafficking.
Powers under the POCA allow for the seizure and confiscation of such assets in these circumstances.
In Friday’s ruling, the Chief Justice ordered that three commercial units in Watergardens together with accrued rental payments from the use of the property, a property in Catalan Bay and a taxi licence were to be confiscated by the Crown.
A receiver has been appointed and real estate properties will now be sold with the funds being placed into the newly incorporated Gibraltar Recovered Asset Fund.
This fund has been set up to assist in all aspects of law enforcement’s
fight against economic crime. It is believed that the loss to the family fight against economic crime. It is believed that the loss to the family could be over £2 million.
A spokesperson for the RGP said that they would use the civil powers in POCA to remove the assets obtained by suspected criminals, irrespective of whether a criminal case could be proved.
Furthermore, it made no difference if the assets were not in the suspected criminal’s name as this was no bar to an investigation and would not prevent the RGP from targeting criminal assets.
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