Male model stopped with €570k in luggage at Dublin Airport
A MALE model was stopped with €570,000 cash in a bag as he prepared to board a flight from Dublin Airport to Brussels.
Police at the airport swooped on the 36-year-old shortly after 7am yesterday in what they have described as "an intelligence-led operation".
Sources told the Herald that the man worked at Dublin Airport, but has since forged a career as a model and occasional television presenter who is well-known on the Dublin celebrity circuit.
He was under surveillance from the time he arrived at the airport yesterday morning for a flight to the Belgian capital.
"There has been suspicion around this individual's activities for some time. Customs officers searched his luggage and found the large stash of cash," a source said.
Revenue officials immediately made a court application to retain the cash while they investigate whether it is the proceeds of crime.
Judge John Coughlan granted a three-month detention order for the money.
The man was questioned at the airport for several hours by Revenue officials before being released.
A spokesperson for Revenue confirmed the cash seizure, describing it as "the largest seizure of cash to date this year".
A spokesperson for the Dublin Airport Authority said that it had no comment to make in relation to the matter.
A source said that the model was "well-liked and popular" when he worked at the airport, but had taken leave to pursue his modelling career.
"He was easily led and insecure, but nobody would have suspected him of something like this," said the source.
The cash was seized under the Proceeds of Crime legislation, according to Revenue Commissioners.
The largest seizure by Revenue of cash last year was €168,000 at Dublin Port. There have been a number of operations this year in which cash has been seized by Revenue officers.
Among them was a major cash seizure which occurred on July 9. Officers from Revenue's customs service seized cash in excess of €295,000 in Dublin Port.
It said that in one operation, approximately €288,000 was seized from an Irish man travelling to Holyhead. In a second operation, approximately €9,000 was seized from an Irish man travelling from Holyhead.
Ireland has no restriction on the amount of cash you can carry in or out of the country, or a requirement to declare it, when travelling within the EU.
However, under the Criminal Justice Act 1994, if you are carrying at least €6,348.69 in cash, a customs officer may seize and detain the cash.