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11 May 2012, 15:31
Around 250,000 Euros has been seized by Border officials at the Port of Harwich in Suffolk.
Cash estimated at 250,000 euros has been seized by Border Force at the Port of Harwich.
Border Force officers intercepted a lorry shortly after 7pm on Friday last week (4 May) as it prepared to board a ferry bound for the Hook of Holland.
A detailed search of the vehicle’s trailer revealed three taped packages concealed within the load of flowers. The cash had been split between the packages in 200 euro and 500 euro notes.
The two Dutch men travelling with the lorry both denied any knowledge of the cash. The 53-year-old and the 56-year-old were arrested and have since been bailed until July pending further enquiries.
The cash was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Border Force officers have the power to seize cash in order to recover the proceeds of criminal activity without requiring a criminal conviction.
Individuals whose money is seized will only receive it back if they can provide proof to a court that the money came from a legitimate source.
This is to prevent the money made from criminality being hidden in bank accounts and other assets overseas.
On Wednesday (9 May) the Border Force was granted continued detention of the cash at a hearing at Ipswich Magistrates Court while investigations continue.
Brian Hill, Border Force Deputy Director, said:
“Where our officers suspect that cash may be linked with criminal activity, we have the power to seize it and it will only be handed back if it is later proved to be legitimate.
“We are working hard to prevent drugs, contraband, illegal immigrants or the proceeds of crime from crossing our borders.
“These seizures show the robust controls we have in place at our ports and airports.”