Spanish police have launched a money-laundering probe after a random roadside check uncovered a car boot “full of money”, totalling a dizzying €1 million.
The various bundles were found at the Caia frontier with Portugal in Badajoz, in a car that was en-route for Lisbon.
According to reports, one of the three occupants of the car – a Portuguese – “assumed ownership of the money” and said it was “the result of business that he had done in Madrid”.
Professing ignorance of any obligation to declare the stash, the man remains at liberty, but the money has all been “apprehended”, writes Correio da Manhã, and now its purported owner will have to produce provenance … and pay the necessary taxes.
The money, discovered last Tuesday, represents the largest cash apprehension at the frontier so far – though, of course, how much money may have been driven through unidentified is anybody’s guess.
For now, the million has been lodged in a bank in Badajoz, pending the outcome of police investigations.
At issue, says CM, is the possible crime of money-laundering.
The largest amount of ‘undeclared’ cash previously foiled from entering Portugal via Spain came in 2008 when two Chinese men were detained by GNR police in Elvas, in possession of €604,000. The men subsequently tried to bribe the guards into letting them continue on their way, and were promptly arrested.
In 2012, however, two more Chinese men were found in possession of a record €1.8 million in cash which they had driven all the way from Lisbon to Strasbourg.
The law obliges anyone carrying more than €10,000 to carry a declaration of movement of capitals.