A Sydney man has been charged after he allegedly attempted to fly from Hobart to Sydney with about $150,000 cash hidden inside his luggage.
AFP and Tasmania Police (TasPol) officers conducted a routine baggage check at Hobart Airport on Thursday morning (9 November, 2023) and allegedly identified a large amount of cash concealed inside the man’s checked luggage.
It is alleged the cash, in excess of $150,000, was hidden inside a green supermarket shopping bag within the check-in luggage.
Police then discovered another bundle of cash concealed within the lining of the bag.
AFP officers located and arrested the man, 38, within the terminal after he was allegedly unable to provide sufficient information regarding why he was travelling with the significant amount of money.
Police seized the cash, believed to be the proceeds of crime.
AFP Detective Sergeant Aaron Hardcastle said the AFP worked closely with Tasmania Police and Hobart Airport to ensure domestic and international flights were not used as transit routes for criminal and illicit activities.
“The AFP, together with Tasmania Police and our law enforcement partners across Australia, will continue to keep a watchful eye across our airports and borders,” Det Sergeant Hardcastle said.
“We will continue to ensure all airports remain a hostile environment for criminal syndicates to prevent their illicit activities.
“This arrest should serve as a serious warning to anyone attempting to travel across our country with large and suspicious amounts of cash – the AFP will target and identify you, seizing your alleged illicit wealth and bring you to justice.”
Commander Ian Whish-Wilson from Tasmania Police’s Crime and Intelligence Command said police conduct ongoing screening at air and sea ports to make these entry and exit points as hostile as possible for any criminal activity.
Commander Whish-Wilson said:
“We’ll continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure criminals aren’t profiting from illegal activity in Tasmania.”
The Alexandria 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 is expected to face the Hobart Magistrates Court today (9 November, 2023).
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