World Uyghur Congress (claimant/appellant) v National Crime Agency (3rd defendant/respondent) & ors

Wednesday 15 – Thursday 16 May 2024

The claim is brought by an NGO focused on human rights violations committed against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (“XUAR”) of the People’s Republic of China. The 2nd Respondent, HMRC, leads money laundering and proceeds of crime investigations and interventions relating to modern slavery. The 3rd Respondent, National Crime Agency, leads the UK’s response against serious and organised crime, including modern slavery, and is the lead authority for investigating offences of money laundering and proceeds of crime matters with a high level of harm.

The Appellant challenged the Respondents’ refusal to commence an investigation into potential breaches of either s.1 of the Foreign Prison Made Goods Act 1897 (“FPMGA”) and/or offences and/or recoverable property under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”) in respect of cotton produced in the XUAR. The Appellant contends that there are money laundering offences linked to slavery in the XUAR. The Respondents’ position was that in the absence of specifically identified criminal property and criminal conduct, POCA is of no application.

The judicial review was dismissed, the judge concluding that none of the grounds were made out.

View hearing:

Day 1

Part 1

Part 2

Day 2

Part 1