$12 million frozen following investigation into disgraced art dealer's stolen Cambodian antiquities
TWELVE million dollars held by Jersey financial institutions have been frozen in what has been described as the ‘largest ever’ forfeiture of proceeds from the sale of stolen antiquities.
The Royal Court agreed to freeze the assets following an investigation into a scheme by the late Douglas Latchford, a disgraced art dealer, to sell stolen Cambodian antiquities in the USA and elsewhere.
Attorney General Mark Temple KC said that the Economic Crime and Confiscation Unit in the Law Officers’ Department and the Jersey Financial Intelligence Unit worked ‘in close partnership’ with the US Department of Justice in this ‘important case’.
Following the death of Mr Latchford, the proceedings were brought under the Civil Asset Recovery (International Co-Operation) (Jersey) Law 2007, which Mr Temple called a ‘powerful additional weapon for Jersey in the fight against international financial crime and money-laundering’.
Following an approach by the US Department of Justice to the Attorney Jersey, the Royal Court yesterday agreed to make the funds subject to a property freezing order.
This allows the Attorney General to apply on behalf of another country to freeze and return property which has been found to have been used in unlawful conduct or obtained in the course of unlawful conduct.
The money will eventually be returned via the US Treasury to the people of Cambodia in an asset-sharing agreement.
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