The case stated raised four questions for consideration by this court. Having analysed the issues, this court considers that the four questions in essence amount to one question: in a case of cash forfeiture does a customs officer have to show that the property seized was obtained through conduct of one of a number of kinds each of which would have been unlawful conduct or is it sufficient for the officer to point to criminal conduct of an unspecified kind?
Applying the provisions of section 242(2)(b) of the Act, our answer to the question is as follows: in a case of cash forfeiture, a customs officer does have to show that the property seized was obtained through conduct of one of a number of kinds each of which would have been unlawful conduct.
Of course, it still doesn\’t go far enough. The idea that the State can just take your stuff because you\’ve been a naughty boy, rather than levy a specific fine for a specific crime, is a foul and vile blot on a free society.
Yet at least now they\’ve got to show that you\’ve been a naughty boy in a specific and illegal manner rather then stealing your stuff just because the h\’officer is sure you\’re a bad\’un.