The UK's border police were patting themselves on the back today after seizing over half a million quid in cash from the hand luggage of two Nigerian men at Heathrow Airport.
Border Agency officers discovered the cash as the men tried to enter the UK through Heathrow last week, after flying in from Paris.
The men said the money - a mix of €500 and $100 bills - was simply to procure supplies for their business, which they said was a father and son trading concern specialising in wine, spirits and cosmetics.
Border agents were sceptical, it would seem, and seized the cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act until the men can prove it comes from a legitimate source.
Apparently anyone entering or leaving the UK with over £1,000 in cash can be asked to provide evidence of its bona fides, or face having it "detained". The UK has already banned the issue of €500 notes over the counter after concluding they had become the bill of choice for organised and not-so-organised criminals.
As for the two gents detained at Heathrow, we look forward to seeing whether they can prove the provenance of their cash.
In the meantime, any readers awaiting their portion of riches belonging to the late Sani Abacha are advised to be sceptical of claims their money has been detained at the airport. ®