How much cash to carry while leaving the UK

Excess money will be detained, if you fail to provide proof

19th February 2010: Leaving the UK? Do not carry more than £1,000 in cash, if you do not have “evidence” for its source. The money will be taken away, if you fail to provide the proof.

Senior investigating officer, criminal and financial investigations team, UK Border Agency, John Chelchowski, has asserted: “Anyone leaving the UK with more than £1,000 in cash must provide evidence for the source of the money or face having it detained”.

Following court orders any money seized is held for three months while investigations are under way. It is then confiscated and returned to the public purse if shown to be associated with criminal activity.

The assertion came soon after an Essex woman was caught attempting to leave the UK with more than £10,000 in cash. The money has been confiscated.

The Border Agency said: On 5 February, Ipswich Magistrates’ Court granted a forfeiture order for £10,180 against Luul Abdulle of Grosvenor Road, Ilford. She was also ordered to pay costs of more than £4,000.

The case was brought against Abdulle after she was stopped by the officers at Stansted Airport on 18 March last year, when she was departing on a flight to Turkey.

She was found to be carrying £10,180 in her hand luggage and on her person which was detained under the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act.

Abdulle, whose only income is state benefits, claimed that the money was for her son, who had relocated to Turkey, but could not give officers a convincing explanation for where the funds had come from.

In granting the forfeiture, the magistrates stated that Abdulle could provide no adequate audit trail and that it was not possible to see how someone solely on benefits could have saved several thousand pounds.

John Chelchowski added: ‘This is a terrific result. It sends out a clear message that people who attempt to smuggle crime-related cash out of the UK will get caught and will have that money confiscated.’

As well as losing the money, an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs launched in light of the initial detection has resulted in Abdulle’s benefits being cut.

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