An anti-terrorism probe is under way today after border officials seized a large amount of cash from two women when they arrived at the port of Harwich.

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A total of 27,000 Euros was confiscated after the women arrived from Holland on Sunday.

One of the females is said to have links to Somalia and while the other has links to Holland.

However, according to South East Suffolk Magistrates Court records at least one of them gave an address of a flat in Camden, north-west London.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) made an application before Ipswich magistrates to detain the cash for three months under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. They asked for the extra time in order to conduct further enquiries relating to where the money came from and what it was intended for.

Standing in the witness box a member of staff from the NCA said enquiries will be made into various companies and people who were known to have provided the cash.

The NCA had to make the application within 48 hours of the cash seizure. The application could have been for a six-month detention, although the NCA said it would only ask for three months in this case.

A solicitor for the women told the court: “Two women were stopped at Harwich International Port. A substantial amount of money was seized and the explanation provided by them has provoked some suspicion by the police.

“It should be pointed out that one of those women doesn’t speak English.”

Other factors involved in the ongoing inquiry will include looking at what police intelligence police there may be on the women or their associates, whether they are working, and whether they are known in the UK or in Somalia.

At the end of the hearing the chairman of the bench approved further detention of the money for a further three months while the investigation continues.

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