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Man stopped at Glasgow Airport with £45,000 in cash

27.05.06

Customs officials seized £45,000 from a man who tried to flee the country from Glasgow airport late last year.

Michael Wayne Absalom, from Paisley, was accused of trying to launder the money when he attempted to leave for South Africa. The jobless 36-year-old had obtained the cash by 'maxing out' his credit cards and fraudulently obtaining bank loans, a spokesman for HM Revenue and Customs said.

Officers at Glasgow airport became suspicious of Absalom who was carrying the £45,000 in cash and travellers cheques. When they stopped him he claimed the money was to be invested in South Africa - and he was going to join the French Foreign Legion!

The money was found to be obtained illegally, and has been seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act. It will now go to a Scottish Executive fund, which puts cash back into communities affected by crime.

Absalom, who was booked on a flight to Johannesburg via Dubai, did not face criminal charges following the incident on October 26. The Crown Office's Civil Recovery Unit reached an agreement for an out of court settlement. A HMRC spokesman added: 'As far as we are concerned, that is the end of the matter.'

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