Alleged ‘money mules’ arrested in the capital’s airport
The Portugal News reports that three million Euros in cash have been found hidden in luggage at Lisbon Airport by the Judiciary Police (PJ). The money was discovered inside suitcases by PJ’s National Unit for Combating Corruption (UNCC). The passengers responsible for the luggage, three women and four men, were stopped by the police forces when attempting to leave Europe.
According to the PJ, the suspect’s actions were consistent with those of ‘money mules’ who move currency across continents, a practice used for money laundering purposes. Large amounts will logically have to travel in luggage, although the mules may not have been aware that baggage handlers at Lisbon airport may have had something to say about it getting to its destination – at least in one piece. The purpose of this illegal practice, known as ‘circulation’, is to move the money as far away as possible from its source. The newspaper reports that, although not confirmed, the PJ is believed to suspect that the three million Euros originate from crimes relating to fiscal fraud.