R v Lister - Value of Drugs for Purposes of Benefit, Faisal Osman for the Crown

The Court of Appeal have confirmed the case of Elsayed [2014] EWCA Crim. 333: the value ascribed to illegal drugs is essentially a fact driven exercise.

Faisal Osman appeared for the Prosecution. The appellant's appeal was refused.

R v Lister (Joe) [2014] EWCA Crim 2290 (para. 12):

"In the written submissions, prepared by the previous advocate reliance was placed on the decision of the House of Lords in Islam [2009] UKHL 30 as supporting the argument that the judge should not have assessed the value of the drugs at Elmhurst Close in the way that he did. The market value, it is suggested, is the illicit market value of the plants upon seizure. We disagree. This submission, with respect, confuses the valuation of benefit with the assessment of the available amount. Islam, as this court observed in Elsayed, involved an early interception by customs officers of imported drugs. The case was concerned with the question of whether drugs could have a market value, not for the purposes of deciding benefit but for the purposes of deciding the available amount, which is not the issue here. On a proper analysis it does not support the appellant's written submissions. As the Judicial Committee observed, and as was underlined by this court in Elsayed, (see in particular paragraph 25), while the market that has to be contemplated in assessing the available amount under section 9 of the 2002 Act must be taken as one to which the defendant can resort legally, when it comes to calculating the amount of his benefit the judge has to look to the market where such goods are ordinarily bought and sold. In the case of illegal drugs, as here, that market must be the market where the defendant will be expected to dispose of the drugs for profit and his benefit must be valued accordingly." 

Faisal Osman Succeeds in Disciplinary Proceedings Against Former CIOT Fellow

Faisal regularly appears on behalf of the Taxation Disciplinary Board, the regulatory body for the CIOT and ATT. In its most complex regulatory case to date, former CIOT fellow Deborah Annells (Hong Kong) was found guilty of multiple counts of dishonesty and expelled from the institute.

The press release reads:

The Disciplinary Tribunal, following its hearing from 10 to 17 June 2013, determined that Ms Deborah Annells, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), had committed six separate breaches of the fundamental principle of integrity as set out in the Professional Rules and Practice Guidelines of the CIOT (PRPG, 2011 edition). These breaches arose from complaints made by one client, one former colleague and a former joint venture partner in Singapore. Upon allegations of dishonesty being proved, two further charges were not pursued.

The case was also featured in the South China Morning Post. Click here:

Mark Rainsford QC and Faisal Osman Deliver Expert Assistance, Abuja, Nigeria

The programme was hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Nigeria.

It set out to enhance the capacity of investigators and prosecutors to effectively investigate and prosecute terrorism related cases as well as money laundering and financing of terrorism and assets recovery. The programme comprised procedural and cross cutting issues such as international cooperation and witness protection in the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes.

Mark Rainsford QC and Faisal Osman presided over a moot trial, based on a case scenario spanning from investigation stages to the application of asset freezing order using powers contained in the Nigerian Proceeds of Crime Bill.

The workshop followed the Commonwealth Secretariat's and UNODC counter-terrorism workshop for Judges of Nigeria Federal High Court on 9-12 October 2012 in London. Following which the Secretariat remarked:

Please permit me to express, on behalf of the Commonwealth Secretariat, our heartfelt appreciation for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your experience with the visiting Judges on some salient issues in criminal justice practice. There was a huge acknowledgement of the impact of your contribution by all the participating judges.

To us in the Secretariat and our partner, the UNODC, your presentation contributed in no small measure to the success of the whole programme and in fact formed one of the most valuable and important outcomes of the workshop.