Man carrying over €10,000 before boarding flight spared fine

The court said there were more serious crimes for the police to prosecuting

The man's excess cash was confiscated, but he was spared a fine (Stock photo)
The man's excess cash was confiscated, but he was spared a fine (Stock photo)

A man caught with a quantity of money above the legally permitted limit of €10,000 has had the excess confiscated, but was spared a fine.

56-year-old Andrey Pokopenko from St Petersburg, Russia, appeared before duty magistrate Franceso Depasquale on Wednesday after having been caught with cash amounting to €10,540 at Malta International Airport on Tuesday.

Pokopenko, who refused the assistance of a lawyer, admitted to the charges and informed the court that his intention had been to declare €10,000 with the authorities and to use the remaining money to purchase items from the airport’s duty-free shops.

However, he said that before getting a chance to do so, he was called to the gate to board his flight to Istanbul, Turkey.

The prosecution explained that Pokopenko was carrying dollars, and that the amount in excess of €10,000 was calculated to be €540, according to the exchange rate on Tuesday.  

Pokopenko was arrested immediately and had missed his flight as a result.

The law states that the amount a person is carrying in excess of €10,000 should be confiscated, with a fine amounting to 25% of the total amount they were carrying handed down.

The court found Pokopenko guilty of all the charges against him and ordered the confiscation of the €540-worth of US dollars and freed the man on the condition that he does not commit a similar offence within a year.

The magistrate told Pokopenko that he would be sparing him the fine.

“I know that in taking this decision that I will be shot down by the prosecution but I don’t care,” he said, adding that there were more serious cases that required the police’s attention.

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