During a check at the Dutch border crossing at Venlo, German customs seized 300,000 euros and 200,000 British pounds (approximately 217,000 euros) in cash.
The money had not been declared, a customs spokesman said. There was a suspicion of money laundering.
An arrest warrant had already been issued against the 44-year-old driver in another matter. He was therefore arrested on the spot. The man appeared to be getting more and more nervous during the inspection on Sept. 2, according to a statement from the main customs office in Krefeld.
The officers, therefore, searched his car and discovered a specially prepared metal box “with a secret lock” in the back.
Even within the EU, cash amounts in excess of 10,000 euros must be reported orally when officials request it when crossing the border, the spokesman said. The 44-year-old man did not. The fines in such cases are considerable; they can amount to a million euros.
As a rule, about a quarter of the unreported amount is fined and even more if the money was intentionally hidden.
The purpose of the notification requirement is to prevent illegal money transport across borders and to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and crime.