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Bus passenger found with €1m in suitcase

The Local · 3 Feb 2014, 18:48

Published: 03 Feb 2014 18:48 GMT+01:00

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The Polish national was travelling by bus across France with his two red suitcases on his way back home from Spain.
Suspicious French customs officers pulled him off his bus on the A36 motorway at  Chalampé in the department of Haut-Rhin, on the German border on January 22nd.
When they asked him to open his suitcases, they may have been expecting some contraband, but what was inside would have left even the most experienced of customs official stunned.
Packed neatly into his two suitcases was a cool €1 million in €50 notes.
“This man who presented himself as a businessman maintained that the money came from the sale of merchandise in Spain,” senior customs managers told TF1. 
But in his statements, “the man remained very evasive. As a result, the authorities decided to open an official inquiry,” the official explained. 
Investigators are examining whether this is a possible case of money laundering or simply a commercial transaction in cash, as the suspect claimed, France's TF1 reported.
An inquiry has been opened and officials from Mulhouse customs said that a sample of banknotes was currently undergoing laboratory analysis.
The money is being checked for traces of narcotic substances to try to determine where the notes may have come from. 
Story continues below…
The case has been taken charge of by the French national judicial customs department (SNDJ). The money will be held until the affair is resolved.
French law states that anyone transporting sums of money totalling over €10 000 in cash or cheques must declare it to customs officials.
In 2012, French customs confiscated around €55 million in undeclared money. Half of this was taken from people in transit, travelling through France.
by Isy Orange
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