News & Knowledge
"Letter of No Consent" remains to assist victims of fraud
高等法院於2021年12月30日及2022年3月23日在Tam Sze Leung 對 Others v Commissioner of Police一案中，裁定警方使用「不同意通知書」來凍結懷疑由疑犯持有的銀行戶口中的款項是越權、法律並無訂明和過度干預基本自由。
警務處處長就Tam Sze Leung一案提出上訴，上訴法庭於2023年4月14日頒下判案書，警務處處長上訴成功。
In a judgment handed down on 30 December 2021, and a further decision on 23 March 2022, the High Court in Tam Sze Leung & Others v Commissioner of Police held that the use of Letters of No Consent (“LNCs”) by the Hong Kong Police to freeze funds in bank accounts belonging to suspects of a crime to be unconstitutional, not prescribed by law and disproportionate.
Prior to that decision, the Hong Kong Police had the power to issue LNCs to temporarily and informally freeze bank accounts that had received funds from victims of fraud. The temporary freeze on the bank account greatly enhances the victim’s chances of recovering the stolen funds, given that “speed” is key in ensuring the stolen funds are not onward transferred and laundered, and thus maximizing the chances of recovery. Often the issuance of an LNC by the Police is a faster relief compared to obtaining a formal freeze in the form of an injunction order from the Courts.
The Commissioner of Police appealed the decision in Tam Sze Leung and the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal in a judgment handed down on 14 April 2023.
Although the LNC regime remains, it is important to stress that an LNC only provides a temporary relief and the Police holds the power to grant or remove the LNC without notice to the victim. Once an LNC is granted, the victim is expected, and is required by the Police, to instruct solicitors to formally apply to the Court for an injunction order and to take steps to recover the stolen funds, failure to do so may result in the withdrawal of the LNC and confiscation of the funds by the Hong Kong Government as unclaimed proceeds of crime.
For the full text of the Court of Appeal judgment, please visit:
For summary of the CA judgment, please visit:
Anthony Thomas Marrin, Partner
Priscilla Wong, Paralegal