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Billionaire Tries To Board Plane with $1 Million Cash

Most airline passengers hate being told to check their carry-on luggage for various reasons, mostly because people would rather have valuables such as laptops and iPads with them on the plane instead of being tossed around by baggage handlers below.

South African billionaire Christo Wiese had a much bigger problem, as he now faces a legal fight to regain $1 million confiscated by customs officials in London because of his method of transporting the cash.

According to Forbes, Wiese, South Africa’s third-richest person, was traveling from England to Luxembourg in 2009 with the cash bundled up in rubber bands in his luggage. The billionaire tried to board the aircraft with one of his suitcases stuffed with the cash he says was the result of diamond deals in South Africa in the late 80’s and 90’s.

The UK justice system seized the money under suspicion that it was the booty from  a crime, given the secretive mode of transportation.

Wiese’s lawyer scoffed at any notion of foul play, saying, “The amount of money was consistent with Dr. Wiese’s stated wealth, representing less than two weeks’ income and a minute fraction of his assets.”

What people are saying

7 thoughts on “Billionaire Tries To Board Plane with $1 Million Cash

  1. I think that most Customs Offciers are ready to stop anyone that looks suspcious!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Were they the famous blood diamonds? Why do rich people make it so easy for the rest of us to hate them?

  3. Woody Deck says:

    I don't see why we should hate this guy for carrying some cash when travelling.

    In many places in the world it is very difficult to get large amounts of cash quickly, the bank has to order it etc… Wire transfers also can take time and are subject to delays. Travelling with this much cash can make sense for a lot of reasons, like if you need to have cash on hand immediately when arriving, you are going to be gambling, or it would be cheaper to transport for a day than let the banks float the note on you for a few days.

    The article doesn't say what currency the money was in only that it was $1 million worth. It might have been a lot cheaper to do a deal with cash and let the other party deal with costs in exchanging it. There are just so many reasons.

    Finally, in the UK they may seize amounts under £10,000 if they suspect it is from illegal activity. They have a very broad and scary authority at the border. Unfortunately we live in the age where there is no freedom and you are automatically assumed to be a criminal because you have a bunch of money on you. Someone who has never seen that kind of money has the authority to make decisions on things they can't possibly comprehend.

  4. Woody Deck says:

    Yes, and they have the right to search anything without needing any suspicion including your computer files. A lot of people do not know this.

    The law seizure varies from place to place however.

  5. Proof that everyone loves Boottee, Wooooooooo!

  6. Eoj Mihkiel says:

    He must be Thurston Howell the 4Th!

  7. Guido Bisogno says:

    Dumb cheapskate should have chartered. Now the legal fees to get it back form the greedy Brits will out spend the cost of a charter….

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