Border agents seize £45,000 pants stash

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The Independent Online

A man who was unable to explain why he had £45,000 of cash stuffed inside his pants as he tried to enter the UK was forced to give up his hidden stash, officials said today.

The 32-year-old German had the brief encounter with UK Border Agency (UKBA) officials after arriving at London's St Pancras International station on a train from Brussels last week.

He claimed his hoard, largely made up of 500 euro notes, was for business, but it was seized by officials until he can provide proof to a court that it was all legitimate, a UKBA spokesman said.

British bank wholesalers withdrew 500 euro notes from sale in May after evidence showed more than 90% of UK demand was linked to criminality.

Assistant director Peter Avery, of the UKBA's criminal and financial investigation directorate, said: "Officers are working round the clock at all our ports to prevent drugs, weapons and the proceeds of crime from entering or leaving the UK.

"Where we suspect that cash may be linked with criminal activity, we have the power to seize it and it will only be handed back if it is later proved to be legitimate."

A total of about 55,000 euros was seized from the man, who was not arrested, on August 18.