Drug valuation is key in cases of asset seizure under the proceeds of crime act (POCA). The valuation of the drugs in each case has become a very important and often very punitive part of the sentencing procedure in drugs cases involving the importation, production and or supply of controlled drugs.
Apart from the seizure of any available assets, any assets deemed by the Crown as ‘hidden assets’ resulting from such activities can lead to years being added onto any custodial sentence already imposed. It is therefore crucial in such cases that the amounts of any drugs involved and the value of any alleged profits are carefully assessed and put into context by an independent drug expert witness.
Person convicted of importing drugs into the UK and selling them on was given a custodial sentence. The Proceds of Crime Act was invoked to seize assets allegedly gained from the illegal drug activity. In addition the Crown also alleged the existence of hidden assets.
The assets of the accused which related to drug dealing were allegedly several million pounds - A figure which was extrapolated from the drugs valuation provided by the Crowns drug exert.
However the amount of drugs, types of drug and therefore the value of the drugs involved were all disputed by the defence
Our independent expert could, by forensically examining the ‘dealers’ own records, ascertain that lower amounts of different types of drugs had been imported and sold. In doing so our expert could provide a more balanced valuation of the drugs in question and thus substantially reduce the value of the assets under threat of seizure.
Our drug expert witness can:
Check the amounts of drugs allegedly sold from ‘dealer’ records
Establish what form the drugs were in
Comment on the original Crown valuation
Re-value the drugs based on information supplied by the defence.
Examine detailed information from the defendant, including one to one discussions in the presence of their solicitor, if appropriate.
Write an expert witness report to present the re-assessed drugs values
Attend court to give expert evidence as appropriate and assist in cross-examination as required.