The same provisions apply for bank accounts as for the cash regime. An officer investigating a bank account, perhaps because of a Suspicious Activity Report, may make an application, without notice to the account holder, for an AFO. The test under s303Z3 is whether the Court finds it is “satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting” that the money in the account is either Recoverable Property or intended for use in unlawful conduct.
In most cases the first limb will apply; i.e. ‘Recoverable Property’ (‘RP’). By s304 RP is property obtained through unlawful conduct.
By virtue of s242(2)(b) in deciding whether any property was obtained through unlawful conduct — it is not necessary to show that the conduct was of a particular kind, if it is shown that the property was obtained through conduct of one of a number of kinds, each of which would have been unlawful conduct. Where the allegation is that the money is recoverable property, it is not enough for the police to simply suggest it is the proceeds of crime – they must go further and say what kind of crime is involved; drug-dealing, prostitution etc. Once the police have nailed their colours to the mast on the allegation, they must then prove it to the civil standard of proof; see Angus v UKBA  EWHC 461 (Admin).
The maximum period for detention is 2 years. In practice the initial period will be for something like 6 months. At that point, the police have to seek an extension. It is often worthwhile resisting the detention application at this stage as even though the hurdle is low for the police, the argument can be had that the police suspicion now, 6 months on, is no longer objectively reasonable given the results of the investigation thus far (or lack of). Tactical decisions have to be made about revealing to the police the origins of the money, evidence in support, accountancy reports etc so that the Financial Investigator (FI) may be forced to concede areas where credits are clearly legitimate, or making the FI focus on an increasingly narrow area making.