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Man stopped at SYD Airport had over $145,000 on him

October 31, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

How often do you carry over AUD 145,000 in cash? Just don’t drop the information casually in a pub – and most definitely don’t try to take the cash through an airport.

Australian Border Force (ABF) officers have seized AUD 145,200 in undeclared currency from a 40-year-old man departing Sydney International Airport bound for Dubai. He had the cash hidden in his luggage.

ABF officers selected the man for a baggage examination as he passed through Sydney Airport on 21 October 2018. They found AUD 45,000 in cash stashed in his carry-on bag. Perhaps he planned to splurge big-time on duty free… or perhaps not.

ABF currency detection dogs were also targeting the man’s flight. They gave a positive reaction to the man’s luggage, which was subsequently searched. During this examination a further AUD 100,200 was located, split between two checked bags.

ABF officers referred the man to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) who seized the cash pending proof of origin of the money, under the Commonwealth Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.

Acting ABF Regional Commander NSW, Tony McSweeney, said this should serve as a warning to those who think they can carry large quantities of cash across our borders without declaring it.

“Anyone carrying more than AUD 10,000 in cash in or out of Australia is required, by law, to declare it to an ABF officer or risk having it seized,” Commander McSweeney said.

“Large sums of money moving across borders unmonitored is unacceptable as it can be used to launder money and to fund serious criminal activity, including potential threats to national security.”

“Detecting, deterring, and disrupting financial border risks is an operational priority for the ABF and anyone thinking of engaging in this kind of activity should know, we have you in our sights.”

AFP Airport Police Commander, Detective Acting Superintendent Simone O’Mahony, reminded travellers that there are no fees charged once currency is reported.

“We urge all travellers at international airports to come forward and declare cash as there are no fees associated with the process – if you let a Border official know and fill out the correct form, you will be allowed to travel with the cash,” Detective acting Superintendent O’Mahony said.

“If you instead choose to run the risk and not report it, you may have the cash seized, be fined up to AUD 105,000, or could potentially face imprisonment up to a maximum of two years.”

The seizure. Australian Border Force officer places wads of $100 bills through a counting machine while traveller (face pixellated) looks on

People with information about the importation or exportation of excess currency should contact Border Watch at By reporting suspicious activities, you help protect Australia’s border. Information can be provided anonymously.

Further information about the reporting requirements when travelling with excess currency is available on the AUSTRAC website.

Edited by Peter Needham

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