UK border police seize £500k from Nigerians' hand luggage
Be careful when opening the overhead lockers...
The UK's border police were patting themselves on the back today after seizing over half a million quid in cash from the hand luggage of two Nigerian men at Heathrow Airport.
Border Agency officers discovered the cash as the men tried to enter the UK through Heathrow last week, after flying in from Paris.
The men said the money - a mix of €500 and $100 bills - was simply to procure supplies for their business, which they said was a father and son trading concern specialising in wine, spirits and cosmetics.
Border agents were sceptical, it would seem, and seized the cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act until the men can prove it comes from a legitimate source.
Apparently anyone entering or leaving the UK with over £1,000 in cash can be asked to provide evidence of its bona fides, or face having it "detained". The UK has already banned the issue of €500 notes over the counter after concluding they had become the bill of choice for organised and not-so-organised criminals.
As for the two gents detained at Heathrow, we look forward to seeing whether they can prove the provenance of their cash.
In the meantime, any readers awaiting their portion of riches belonging to the late Sani Abacha are advised to be sceptical of claims their money has been detained at the airport. ®
Isn't it obvious?
The money belonged to the late Mr John Smith who had no relatives. The Nigerians arranged by e-mail for Mr David Smith to claim to be John's brother. They have sorted out all the paper work and have paid for modalities. Now all that remains is for them to meet up and split the cash 40/40/20. Come on - deals like this take place 100,000 (ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND) times each day.
"Border agents were sceptical, it would seem, and seized the cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act until the men can prove it comes from a legitimate source."
Nice to see that the old "innocent until proven guilty" is still alive and flourishing in British justice.
Maybe that's where the scammers get their ideas?
My wife is from Zimbabwe, a country that's fallen so far apart that the only currency is the US$. No ATMs, no cards, no credit etc - well at least not when there's no electricity which is >95% of the time. A two week vist there requires taking US$ 3000-4000+ ($10000 might be a better figure for a month) for car hire (including deposit), food, petrol and medical care for her family. Recently Zimbabwe customs (probably some of the most crooked on the planet) have started stealing vistors money claiming it must be from crime. This is of course a problem if you need food, water, transport etc. Sounds familiar.
So, the story of Nigerians bringing cash to the UK doesn't sound implausible. Africa is a cash based continent and >99% of the population (even those with successful and legitimate businesses) don't have bank accounts. Maybe that's why those 411 scams sound credible to the people that create them?
One thing's for certain, the more western governments carry on like tin pot dictatorships (ask yourself if you were in Zimbabwe, how you would prove the £100 in your pocket - a months wages - was earned legitimately, the same is true for an african businessman in the UK), the more opportunities ciminals will have with plasable reasons to handle other people's money.