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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Attorney General assists US Department of Justice in ‘Largest Ever Forfeiture of Proceeds from the Sale of Stolen Antiquities’

06 July 2023

The United States Department of Justice requested the assistance of HM Attorney General in aid of an investigation into a long-running scheme by the late Douglas Latchford to sell stolen Cambodian antiquities in the United States and elsewhere. A total of US$12 million of the proceeds of these sales had been transferred to Jersey financial institutions and, once identified through close cooperation between the Law Officers’ Department, JFIU and the US authorities, these were today made the subject of a property freezing order (PRO) under Article 6 of the Civil Asset Recovery (International Co-Operation) Law 2007. 

The Attorney General may apply on behalf of another country to freeze and return specific recoverable property which, in civil asset recovery proceedings outside Jersey has been found to have been used in, or intended to be used in, unlawful conduct or, obtained in the course of, from the proceeds of, or in connection with, unlawful conduct. 

After a period of time has elapsed in the United States and Jersey which allows third parties to make representations about any interest they may have in the money that has been frozen, it is intended that arrangements will be made to pay the sum frozen into the Civil Asset Recovery Fund. The monies, less costs, will then be returned via the US Treasury to the people of Cambodia via an asset sharing agreement. 

Attorney General Mark Temple KC said: “The Economic Crime and Confiscation Unit in the Law Officers’ Department and the Jersey Financial Intelligence Unit have worked in close partnership with the US Department of Justice in this important case concerning the proceeds of stolen antiquities. Due to the death of Mr Latchford, the proceedings are brought under the Civil Asset Recovery (International Co-Operation) (Jersey) Law 2007, which is a powerful additional weapon for Jersey in the fight against international financial crime and moneylaundering. It reinforces the precedent set in the previous proceedings involving Doraville Properties Inc in 2020 whereby over US$300 million was recovered and returned to the people of Nigeria.

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