The Herald reports:
Police seized more than $1 million after three men were stopped at Auckland International Airport with bundles of cash strapped to their bodies.
Customs’ officers noticed the three Japanese were walking unusually when they arrived at the airport and found each had around US$150,000 taped to his stomach and legs.
If $100 bills, then that is 1,500 bills each.
The cash was seized and charges of failing to declare cash and importing a prohibited good were laid against Yoshiaki Tanaka, his son Yusuke Tanaka and the unrelated Minoru Tanaka. All three were bailed to a hotel in downtown Auckland and will appear in the Manukau District Court next month.
The police also investigated New Zealand bank accounts in the names of three men and have frozen another $484,700.
Of that, $441,232 was from a US foreign currency account. The Herald understands the men flew to Hawaii and deposited cash in a bank, which was then transferred to an ASB account in New Zealand, shortly before they arriving in Auckland last month.
Interesting. Some money being transferred in legitimately, and some smuggled in.
The restraining order application by the police alleges there are “reasonable grounds to believe the property is tainted property” and that the defendants “have unlawfully benefited from significant criminal activity”.
On behalf of the three men, David Jones, QC, has filed an opposition to the forfeiture application, saying the $1,081,196 was not “tainted property” but was acquired legitimately and is the property of a third party.
If it was legitimate, why was it strapped to their bodies? Good try.No tag for this post.