A MOROCCAN national who attempted to remove over €45,000 from Ireland to avoid paying tax was stopped in his tracks as he transferred through the UK.
Lahoucine Bguiguir, 44, was stopped by officers as he transferred through London Stansted Airport in Essex, on his way to Morocco from Shannon on October 8 last year.
Mr Bguiguir, a take-away owner, initially had told officers the only cash he was carrying was in his wallet.
However, following a thorough search, five envelopes containing €45,500 were discovered.
The money was detained under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Mr Bguiguir claimed responsibility for €40,000 of this sum, with the remainder claimed by fellow Moroccan national Ali Souih, Mr Bguiguir’s business partner in the takeaway.
However, at a British Magistrates Court hearing in Chelmsford, Essex, last Wednesday, August 1, Mr Bguiguir claimed his money was cash earnings that he had saved over six years, but magistrates dismissed his account.
Border official Peter Avery told the court that: “It was clear that Mr Bguiguir was attempting to remove the money from Ireland in a bid to evade tax. If not for the vigilance of our officers at Stansted he would have successfully transferred the cash to Morocco, leaving the Irish authorities none the wiser.”