22 November 2018

Drozdova & Partners Law Firm helped immigrant to recover currency seized by customs office

Seizing currency carried over the border in violation of the customs rules represents an excessive penalty being disproportionate to legitimate purposes.

This is a conclusion the European Court of Human Rights came to in one of their recent judgments. Drozdova & Partners Law Firm director Ms Olena Drozdova participated in the preparation of defence case and the complaint.

A foreign national, who decided to immigrate to Ukraine, sold his property and exchanged the receipts for US Dollars. The inspection in the airport revealed that he was carrying foreign currency in the amount exceeding ten times the permitted limit. In reliance on the national law, following the hearing of the case the courts ordered to seize the currency.

‘Citing Article 1 of Protocol 1 (Protection of Property) to the  Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, we succeeded in proving that the seizure was excessive and disproportionate to legitimate purposes, given that the money was legally earned by the person,’ Ms Drozdova comments on the case. ‘The penalty imposed thus was disproportionate to the offence committed.’

The court in Strasbourg upheld the arguments of the complaint, acknowledged the violation of Article 1 of the Protocol, and ordered that the offending state compensate for financial and moral damage incurred by the client.