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Normally an application for an unexplained wealth order will relate to property already subject to a restraining order. However, an unexplained wealth order may be made whether or not a restraining order has previously been made.
An application for an unexplained wealth order can be made to the Supreme Court at any time after the alleged serious crime related activity.
The Supreme Court must make an unexplained wealth order if the court finds that there is a reasonable suspicion that the person against whom the order is sought has, at any time before the making of the application for the order:
The unexplained wealth of a person is the whole or part of the current or previous wealth of the person that the Supreme Court is not satisfied on the balance of probabilities is not or was not illegally acquired property or the proceeds of an illegal activity.
In calculating the current or previous wealth of a person the court will add the value of interests in property both owned and controlled by the person and interests in property that the person has disposed of (e.g. given as a gift or sold).
If you have been given written notice of an unexplained wealth order application, it is essential that you seek legal advice immediately, attend the hearing and give evidence. The burden of proof is on you to prove that the property in question was acquired lawfully. If you are able to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that your current or previous wealth is not or was not illegally acquired property or the proceeds of an illegal activity, the court has the discretion not to grant the unexplained wealth order.
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.