Police find £250,000 in back of lorry

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A LORRY driver was found with more than £250,000 in used banknotes after a raid at Portsmouth international ferry port.

Officials swooped on an articulated lorry where they discovered the cash stashed inside.

It's suspected the money may be linked to crime and was being taken abroad to be hidden in overseas bank accounts.

A 53-year-old man from Merseyside was arrested on suspicion of concealing criminal property. He was later released on bail pending further inquiries.

The money has been confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act and can only be released by a court if proof can be provided that the money was legitimate.

The UK Border Agency, which carried out the raid, said the lorry had been due to travel from Portsmouth to Santander in Spain when it was stopped.

A spokesman for the UK Border agency said: 'Officers stopped an outbound vehicle which was being driven by a British man.

'A search of the lorry revealed cash totalling in excess of 250,000.

'This was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

'The man was arrested, interviewed and later released on bail. Inquiries are ongoing.

'Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, anyone leaving the UK with more than 1,000 in cash must provide evidence for the source and intended use of the money or face having it detained.

'This is to prevent money made from criminality being hidden in bank accounts and other assets overseas.'

The raid took place at about 8.30am on January 14, but details have only just been released.

Anyone convicted of concealing criminal property faces a fine and up to 14 years in jail.