AFP seize more than $370k hidden cash at Melbourne Airport

The maximum penalty for this offence is three years’ imprisonment.

A Korean national has been charged after he allegedly attempted to fly from Melbourne to Sydney with about $370,000 cash hidden inside his carry-on luggage.

AFP officers were called to a security screening point at Melbourne Airport on Thursday (16 March, 2023), after security members allegedly identified a large amount of cash in the man’s bag.

AFP officers arrested the man, 29 after he was unable to provide sufficient information regarding the significant amount of money found in his luggage. Police seized the total currency and his iPhone for further examination.

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The man was charged with one count of dealing with property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime, contrary to section 400.9(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is three years imprisonment.

The man faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday (17 March, 2023) and was granted strict bail conditions, which included the requirement to surrender his passport to police. He is next expected to appear in court on 9 June, 2023.

Detective Acting Superintendent Amanda Glover said the AFP worked closely with security providers across Australia’s major airports to ensure domestic and international flights were not being used as transit routes for criminal activities.

“Unexplained sources of cash are often a sign of underlying criminal activity and the AFP has the ability to put people before court to justify that wealth,” Det A-Supt Glover said.

The AFP encourages the public to call Airport Watch on 131 237 if they see or hear something unusual while working or travelling through one of the nation’s major airports.