Divisional Court quashes extradition for alleged EUR 350,000 money laundering offence

16.02.17 | |


On 16 February 2017, the Divisional Court (Irwin LJ and Sweeney J) quashed an order for extradition made by district judge Goldspring in September 2016, which ordered the appellant’s surrender to Germany to face charges of purported money laundering worth EUR 350,000.


Germany sought the appellant’s surrender for an allegation of “swindling” which took place in Beijing, China in 2006. Germany asserted jurisdiction to prosecute on the basis that the alleged victim was a German national. At first instance, the district judge found that the conduct would amount to an offence of theft or fraud in England and Wales. The judge further found that the conduct would amount to an offence under s. 329 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and that, following the Court of Appeal decision in R v Rogers [2015] 1 WLR 1017, s.340(11) POCA gave domestic courts jurisdiction to prosecute extra-territorial money laundering offences.


On appeal, the appellant argued that the judge was wrong to find that there would be jurisdiction to prosecute an offence of theft or fraud as no “relevant event” took place in England and Wales for the purposes of s. 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1993. Furthermore, the decision in Rogers had misinterpreted s.340(11) POCA and had thereby erred in finding that there is extra-territorial jurisdiction to prosecute offences under s.329 POCA.


In the event, the Divisional Court allowed the appellant’s appeal without deciding the correctness of Rogers.


Graeme Hall represented the appellant at first instance and was led by Helen Malcolm QC on appeal. Graeme was instructed by Giovanna Fiorentino of Lansbury Worthington Solicitors.

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