North West Wales

Border agency staff seize 26,000 euros in woman's bra

Port officials have confiscated 26,000 euros, which they found inside a woman's bra as she arrived on a ferry from Dublin.

The Romanian woman claimed to UK Border Agency staff at Holyhead that the money was from the sale of a business in Ireland.

The money was in 500 euro notes.

"Where we suspect cash may be linked with criminal activity, we have the power to seize it," said the agency.

Officers had been carrying out checks at the ferry terminal on Anglesey.

'Working hard'

The agency said the woman could not prove she had earned the money from the sale of a business or give any reason why she was carrying a large sum of money inside her bra.

The cash - an equivalent of £22,600 - will only be returned if the woman can provide proof to a court that the money came from a legitimate source.

Earlier this month, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) announced the 500 euro note would no longer be available over the counter in the UK.

It followed evidence that more than 90% of UK demand for it was linked to criminality.

Bob Lyne, UK Border Agency assistant director for Wales, said: "UK Border Agency officers are working hard at all our ports to prevent drugs, contraband or the potential proceeds of crime from entering or leaving the UK."

The seizure was under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which allows the UK government to recover the proceeds of criminal activity without requiring a criminal conviction.

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