Members of the Customs, recent newly launched, Anti-Money Laundering Team have once again found undeclared cash during routine operations at the MIA . This time, it was not on one passenger, but on two passengers leaving Malta on the same flight.
The two Egyptian nationals were carrying 21,570 euros in several envelopes concealed in their luggage. The passengers were leaving Malta, en route to Egypt via Istanbul, yesterday. and claimed that the money was the salaries of their colleagues. The two passengers were stopped from departing the island and placed under arrest by the Police Economic Crimes Unit pending investigation. Both passengers are expected to be arraigned in court today.
According to European law, a passenger carrying more than 10,000 euros in cash is obliged to declare them to Customs before travelling. Failure to do so will result in arrest, a hefty fine, and the seizure of the undeclared cash. This law aims at targeting money laundering, and similar laws have been adopted across the world not just the EU. The Customs Department has invested heavily in targeting undeclared cash during the past two years, and a sharp spike in positive cases has been recorded lately.