Forfeiture order against man who tried to conceal money in tin foil to look like baguettes
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A man who tried to disguise £20,000 cash as baguettes wrapped in tin foil has forfeited the money following a court hearing.
Valentin Gjoni, 54, from Chessington in Greater London was in a car with two other people, stopped by Border Force officers in October 2020 travelling out of the UK through the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone.
He told officers they were travelling to Italy and then onto Albania and that there was no money in the vehicle but following a search, they found more than £20,000 wrapped inside tin foil made to look like baguettes, in a cool bag. More than £15,000 was also found hidden inside coat pockets and £5,000 located inside a handbag.
Kent Police was notified, and the money was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Mr Gjoni objected to the forfeiture but at a hearing at Maidstone Magistrates Court on 16 September 2022 the order was granted for a total of £40,440.
Detective Inspector Dave Godfrey of Kent Police’s Economic Crime Unit said: ‘Whilst Mr Gjoni was never charged with any criminal offences in relation to this incident, he was unable to provide any verifiable evidence as to why he was carrying such large sums of money across the border.
‘Our financial investigators regularly use the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure money potentially earned through illegal means cannot be used to fund further criminal activity, and to reinforce the important message that crime does not pay.’