Saik, Regina v: HL 3 May 2006

The defendant appealed aganst his conviction for conspiracy to engage in moneylaundering. At trial he pleaded guilty subject to a qualification that he had not known that the money was the proceeds of crime, though he may have suspected that it would be.
Held: (Baroness Hale of Richmond dissenting) The appeal succeeded: ‘the Crown’s principal argument is not that the appellant here knew that the property would be hot but rather that, whilst only suspecting it, he nevertheless intended it to be so.’ and ‘proof of the mental element needed for the commission of a substantive offence will not always suffice on a charge of conspiracy to commit that offence. In respect of a material fact or circumstance conspiracy has its own mental element. In conspiracy this mental element is set as high as ‘intend or know’. ‘ and ‘the appellant’s case is caught by section 1(2) of the 1977 Act. He cannot be said to be guilty of the conspiracy to commit the substantive offence under section 93C(2) because he did not know, and therefore did not intend, that the money which he agreed to convert would be the proceeds of crime when at some future date he came to perform his part of the agreement. ‘
Lord Brown said: ‘the reality here is that the Crown is using the offence of conspiracy purely as a device to circumvent the problems caused in England (although not, it appears, in Scotland) by the duplicity rule. To avoid the need for each substantive offence to be charged separately, thereby absurdly overloading the indictment, the Crown instead charge conspiracy which allows them to roll together into a single charge the events of a continuing course of conduct. There are other advantages too for prosecutors who rely on a conspiracy charge. Small wonder, therefore, that it is often called the ‘prosecutor’s darling’. But there are limits to these advantages and, given that the mere fact of agreement is sufficient to establish liability for this inchoate crime, it is important that these limits are recognised and not artificially stretched. To uphold this conviction would in my judgment be a bridge too far. I too would allow the appeal. ‘ and ‘To suspect something to be so is by no means to believe it to be so: it is to believe only that it may be so.’


Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood


[2006] UKHL 18, Times 05-May-2006, [2007] 1 AC 18, [2006] 4 All ER 866, [2006] Crim LR 998, [2006] 2 AC 18, [2006] 2 Cr App R 26, [2006] 2 WLR 993




Criminal Law Act 1977 1(1), Criminal Justice Act 1988 93C, Criminal Justice Act 1993 31


England and Wales


Appeal fromSaik v Regina CACD 24-Nov-2004
The defendant appealed his conviction for conspiracy to launder the proeeds of crime. He had tendered the plea on the basis that he had only suspected and not known that the funds were the proceeds of crime. Whether to allow a defendant to withdraw . .
CitedRegina v Churchill HL 2-Jan-1967
The defendant appealed against his conviction for the common law offence of conspiracy to commit a statutory offence. The statutory offence was an offence of strict liability.
Held: The conspirator was not guilty of the offence of conspiracy . .
CitedCrofter Hand Woven Harris Tweed Company Limited v Veitch HL 15-Dec-1941
The plaintiffs sought an interdict against the respondents, a dockers’ union, who sought to impose an embargo on their tweeds as they passed through the port of Stornoway.
Held: A trade embargo was not tortious because the predominant purpose . .
CitedAli, Hussain, Khan, Bhatti, Regina v CACD 7-Jun-2005
The defendants appealed against their convictions for conspiracy to launder money under section 49(2) of the 1994 Act. The appellants said that the effect of the decision in Montila, alongside sections 1(1) and 1(2) of the 1997 Act, was that a . .
CitedRegina v Montila and Others HL 25-Nov-2004
The defendants faced charges under the two Acts. They raised as a preliminary issue whether it is necessary for the Crown to prove that the property being converted was in fact the proceeds, in the case of the 1994 Act, of drug trafficking and, in . .
CitedRegina v Griffiths CACD 1974
It was perfectly correct to direct a jury that, in common sense and in law, they may find that the defendant knew or believed goods to have been stolen because he deliberately closed his eyes to the circumstances. . .
CitedO’Hara v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary HL 21-Nov-1996
Second Hand Knowledge Supports Resaobnable Belief
The plaintiff had been arrested on the basis of the 1984 Act. The officer had no particular knowledge of the plaintiff’s involvement, relying on a briefing which led to the arrest.
Held: A reasonable suspicion upon which an arrest was founded . .
CitedRegina v Gulbir Rana Singh CACD 18-Dec-2003
The defendant appealed conviction on three counts of conspiracy to launder money. The prosecution said that he and his co-accused engaged in money laundering between June 1999 and March 2000. Each count alleged that he and his co-conspirators . .
CitedHarmer v Regina CACD 21-Jan-2005
The appellant and a co-defendant were charged with conspiracy to launder property which they had reasonable grounds to suspect was the proceeds of drug trafficking or other criminal conduct. The prosecution accepted that they could not establish . .
CitedRegina v Sakavickas and Another CACD 3-Nov-2004
The defendants appealed a conviction for conspiracy to assist another to retain the benefit of criminal conduct. One set of defendants illegally imported cigarettes, and S was accused of operating a bank account to assist in the moving of the . .
CitedRegina v Kidd, Moore, and Haward CACD 3-Jul-1997
A person cannot be lawfully punished for offences for which he has not been indicted and which he has denied or declined to admit and have not been proved. . .
CitedRegina v Ardalan CACD 1972
The court considered the difficulty of dealing with ‘cartwheel’ or ‘chain’ conspiracies: ‘The essential point in dealing with this type of conspiracy charge, where the prosecution have brought one, and only one, charge against the alleged . .
CitedRegina v Reed CACD 1982
The defendant was convicted of conspiracy after visiting potential suicides, attempting to dissuade them but then when they could not be persuaded, giving them practical assistance to commit suicide. . .
CitedRegina v O’Hadhmaill CACD 1996
The defendants appealed conviction for conspiracy to cause explosions. During an IRA ceasefire, they had made bombs intending them to be used only if the ceasefire failed.
Held: The convictions were proper. . .
CitedRegina v Jackson CACD 1985
The three defendants were properly convicted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. They agreed that a fourth man, under trial for burglary, should be shot in the leg so as to provide him with mitigation in the event he was convicted. . .

Cited by:

CitedSuchedina v Regina; similar CACD 27-Oct-2006
Four defendants appealed convictions in money laundering cases. The first defendant operated a money exchange through which substantial volumes of cash were moved, but claimed that he believed the money to have been honestly acquired.
Held: . .
CitedHM Treasury v Ahmed and Others SC 27-Jan-2010
The claimants objected to orders made freezing their assets under the 2006 Order, after being included in the Consolidated List of suspected members of terrorist organisations.
Held: The orders could not stand. Such orders were made by the . .
CitedRamzan and Others, Regina v CACD 21-Jul-2006
The court considered its power on allowing an appeal after a plea of guilty to substitute a conviction for an appropriate lesser offence.
Held: Hughes LJ said that section 3A of the 1968 Act imposed a two stage test. The court considering . .
CitedABC and Others, Regina v CACD 26-Mar-2015
Several defendants sought to appeal against convictions. They were public officials accused of having committed misconduct in public office in the sale of information relating to their work to journalists. The journalists were convicted of . .
CitedLane and Another, Regina v SC 11-Jul-2018
The defendants were to be tried for allegedly sending funds abroad to support terrorism. The court now considered the meaning of the phrase ‘reasonable cause to suspect’ in the context of the anticipated use of the funds: ‘Does it mean that the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 23 July 2022; Ref: scu.241416