€125 million enters Portugal in people’s luggage every year

An average of €125 million arrives in Portugal in hard cash in people’s baggage every year, reports tabloid Correio da Manhã, most of it from Cabo Verde, Angola, South Africa and Venezuela. More than €60 million is ‘declared’ at customs, the paper adds – stressing money going out is just a fraction of that coming in: “a little more than a million”, according to data supplied by the Finance ministry.

The fact that the data comes from an entity that many people are known to try and avoid suggests the ‘fraction’ of money going out may in fact be a great deal larger.

During the closing of Portugal’s borders for the Pope’s visit earlier this month, for instance, two Chinese men were discovered in the possession of almost €500,000 which they were attempting to drive into Spain, while another was found transporting €225,000.

On any other occasion, the men would almost certainly have accomplished their missions. It was only due to the papal clampdown that their hauls were uncovered.

Meantime – and concentrating on the more positive aspects of money transported in bags – CM explains that since 2012, Cabo Verde has ‘led the entrance of money declared at national airports”, with the minimum amount being €97 million (brought in during 2012), and the maximum being €107.9 million (2016).

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