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Big load of money in carry-on bag raises many questions

July 9, 2015 Airport, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A photo of a large stash of cash stuffed into a passenger’s carry-on bag has raised a fair few questions. It started when an airline passenger chucked so many wads of bills into his carry-on that the bag raised an alert at an airport security checkpoint.

Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), posted a photo of the huge wad of cash (USD 75,o00) on social media, along with the question, “Is this how you’d transport it?”

Bag of US dollars

Bag of US dollars

Most people wouldn’t carry such sums in such a way. But many people have pointed out there’s nothing illegal about checking in a bag containing USD 75,000, or carrying it with you on the plane. Some social media users complained that the picture violated the privacy of the money’s owner.

The load of money was sighted at Virginia’s Richmond Airport.

When the Washington Post asked Farbstein about the incident via e-mail, Farbstein said that the passenger’s carry-on bag had triggered an alarm because of “large unknown bulk” it contained. “When TSA officers opened the bag to determine what had caused the alarm, the money was sitting inside. Quite unusual. TSA alerted the airport police, who were investigating.”

Sometimes a TSA officer may ask a passenger carrying a large sum of cash to account for the money, the Washington Post noted. Whether a passenger is required to answer is a moot point.

In Australia, passengers have to declare amounts over AUD 10,000 when leaving the country, but can carry any amount on domestic flights, though AUD 75,000 might possibly exceed the carry-on weight limit, depending on the denomination of the notes.

Would a person carrying AUD 75,000 travel in economy class? That’s the question.

Written by Peter Needham

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