Police have confiscated a large sum of cash after finding a part-time taxi driver with £22,000 stuffed in a carrier bag under his seat.
According to the News and Star, Cumbrian Police officers stopped the VW car near to Crooklands in south Cumbria for originally driving ‘too fast’ on the M6. However, officers then noticed the smell of cannabis when they approached the driver Afthab Nawaz Khan.
Gail Heard, Cumbria Police, said at Carlisle’s Rickergate court: "On April 20, Mr Khan was stopped by officers in his VW car because he was driving too fast for the conditions but as soon as they spoke to him they noticed a strong smell of cannabis."
Khan, a part-time taxi driver, had a small amount of cannabis tucked into one of his socks. Officers found three mobile phones, another small amount of cannabis and the carrier bag containing the cash whilst conducting a search on the vehicle.
“He told the officers that he had sold a BMW car and that he had just collected the funds from that,” said Miss Heard.
“But he was unable to answer any further questions about that. He was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.”
Cumbria Police later decided to take no further action against the part-time cabbie but they did apply to the court for the permanent seizure of cash under Proceeds of Crime Law. This was on the basis that the police believed the cash was either the proceeds of criminality or intended for use in crime.
According to the News & Star, the Magistrates heard that Khan had decided not to challenge the police application and had signed a document disclaiming ownership of the seized cash. The disclaimer did not however include £850 that was found in his wallet.
Magistrates approved the forfeiture of the £22,180 made up entirely of Scottish banknotes found in the carrier bag. They also ruled that the £850 found in Khan’s wallet, which was not made of up only Scottish banknotes, should be returned to him.