Shoprite chairperson Wiese forfeits seized UK money

Moneyweb reported on Friday that Shoprite chairperson Christo Wiese — who was intercepted by United Kingdom (UK) Customs with £675 000 in UK bank notes at Heathrow Airport last April — was on Thursday forced to give up the money by Westminster Magistrates.

The website stated that anyone entering or leaving the UK with more than £1 000 in cash may be asked to provide evidence for the source and intended use of the money or face having it detained.

According to a statement on Thursday from the UK Border Agency, the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court decided that the cash was associated with criminality and made an order for forfeiture of the cash — £674 920 in total.

Moneyweb asked Wiese — one of South Africa’s richest men — about the criminal activities, to which he replied that he had no response as he had not seen the judgement, “but understand there have been no criminal charges laid”, he said.

Wiese was asked in July why he was moving around with such a large sum of cash in his luggage, he said, “For tax and other reasons, I wanted to move the money from my bank in London to Luxembourg.

“It was a straightforward transfer from one European Union (EU) country to another, so there was no reason to declare it. Had I been moving to a non-EU country, I would have had to fill in a form but that was not the case. There will be a hearing in a special court about the recovery of the money. My lawyers are very confident,” Moneyweb reported him saying.

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