There is a direct link between Matthew Frankland and the massive changes underway in Customs and Excise – in particular, the separation of its prosecution and investigation arms.
These changes formed part of the recommendations in the Butterfield Report, which followed the collapse of several Customs cases into duty fraud at East London bonded warehouses. Many of these cases were handled by Frankland, who was instrumental in demonstrating that Customs’ disclosure regime had been flawed. As a result, even defendants who had pleaded guilty were released.
But Frankland’s accomplishments go even deeper than this. Ever since Butterfield, he continued to expose flaws in Customs’ disclosure regimes during a series of Court of Appeal hearings in 2004. With further large-scale Customs frauds to be heard this year, it is a sure bet we will be hearing a lot more of Frankland in the near future.