Islamic State: £250K seized at Manchester Airport and other north-west ports

Security area at Manchester Airport Image copyright Other
Image caption Ninety per cent of the money was discovered in security checks at Manchester Airport

More than £250,000 of suspected Islamic State (IS) funds have been seized at Manchester Airport and other north-west ports in the past year, anti-terrorist officers said.

The NW Counter Terrorism Unit used civil powers under the Terrorism Act to confiscate cash found hidden in luggage or under clothing.

Most was seized from passengers flying from Manchester to Turkey, said police.

Officers believe it would have then been taken over the border into Syria.

Greater Manchester Police said the cash was confiscated between April 2013 and April this year.

The force said 90% of the money was discovered at Manchester Airport with the rest at other north-west sea and air ports.

Figures for the rest of the country were not available.

Det Ch Supt Tony Mole of Greater Manchester Police said officers were able to target funding for terror groups including Islamic State militants even when there was not enough evidence to press criminal charges.

He said: "Terrorists need money to fight.

"At the Turkish border with Syria there are shops where you can buy guns, boots, rations and if you are going out there to fight you need money and you want equipment."

"We take that cash away from people, not only stopping them from buying weapons and funding terror organisations which are a threat to the UK and an international threat but we also disrupt that person."

Police can hold the cash for up to 48 hours and if the passenger is unable to give a satisfactory explanation a court can order the money to be confiscated.

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