The driver said he knew nothing about the money or items of jewellery in the vehicle. / sur

‘Spare’ cash: nearly 140,000 euros found in tyre of stolen car in Mijas

The amount of money that anyone is allowed to carry in Spain is regulated by law, to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism

JUAN CANO MALAGA.

The Guardia Civil are used to the procedure: a driver acts strangely when they spot the patrol car, so they decide to investigate. However, this time the result was unexpected: when they searched the vehicle, which turned out to have been stolen, they found nearly 140,000 euros in cash, much of which was hidden in the spare tyre.

This incident occurred around 4pm on Saturday 19 November. The officers, who are based in Mijas, were patrolling in the Calipso residential development area when they saw the driver of a white BMW X6 take evasive action when he noticed them. They followed the vehicle, and intercepted it at a nearby filling station. The driver was a 23-year-old man of Moroccan origin, but with French nationality

The Guardia Civil officers decided to search the vehicle and when they opened the boot they found a small jewellery box, a cash box and a bag containing items of jewellery. When they asked the driver about them, he said he didn’t know where they had come from. Nothing in the car was his, he said.

The officers decided to take a closer look. They searched all the compartments in the car and the area below the floor of the boot, and started to find bundles of money. More than 2,300 banknotes, totalling 140,000 euros, and many of them in the spare tyre.

They asked the driver for proof of where the money had come from, such as a bank withdrawal slip, but he said it wasn’t his either. Then they discovered that even the car was not his. It had been stolen in France in March 2021.

The young man was detained on suspicion of the robbery and use of a motor vehicle and money laundering, but the investigation is continuing.

Money laundering and terrorism law in Spain

The amount of money that anyone is allowed to carry in Spain is regulated by law, to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism. The limit is 100,000 euros. When leaving or entering the country, no more than 10,000 euros in cash is permitted.

If someone is found to be carrying more than that sum, they must provide evidence of where it came from and if it is incomplete or false, the person can be fined anything from 600 euros to 50% of the value of the means of payment (cash, cheques made out to the bearer or cash cards).

They can also be detained and the money confiscated until they can provide proof of its origin.