Custom officials find undeclared cash worth €130,000 during routine exercise

Representational image. Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

The Custom officials discovered nearly €130,000 in cash from a Libran national at the Malta International Airport. The passenger was carrying the undeclared cash in the hand luggage and was going to board the flight for Istanbul.

The cash worth €127,506 was found during a routine customs cash control exercise as the sleuths inspected the passenger personally in the departures lounge.

Anti-Money Laundering team found a false bottom in the Libran national’s hand luggage with cash stuffed inside it. In a statement, Customs said that this was the second-largest seizure of undeclared cash “making 2019 a record-breaking year in terms of undeclared cash seizures.”

Just two days before this incident, the Customs snigger dog, Sophie, had hinted at a Ukranian national who was also travelling to Istanbul. The passenger was found carrying €10,559 in undeclared cash.

According to new legislation, the persons found carrying undeclared cash by Customs can opt for an out-of-court settlement by agreeing to forfeit the money in excess of 10,000 euros.

The Ukranian national agreed to forfeit €559 to avoid appearing in the court or incurring a heavy fine. Similarly, in another case earlier this month, an Italian national agreed to forfeit 1,405 euros when found carrying undeclared cash worth €11,405.

However, the latest seizure involved a huge amount out of which 10,000 euros was returned to the passenger and the rest was withheld. The Libyan national has also been taken into custody pending investigation.