Suffolk

Man misses court appeal in Ipswich for money

A man found carrying £29,385 in cash as he was leaving the UK has lost his chance to claim the funds by failing to turn up to an appeal hearing.

Romanian Marian Clipea, 40, was stopped in February 2009 as he joined a flight from Stansted Airport to Bucharest.

Cash found hidden in hand luggage and clothing was seized by the UK Border Agency under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Magistrates granted a forfeiture order and he appealed but failed to attend the Ipswich Crown Court appeal hearing.

In his absence, Mr Clipea, from Dambovita, was also ordered to pay costs of £2,500.

A UK Border Agency official said in evidence that Mr Clipea claimed he had been loaned the money to buy a heavy goods vehicle but had been unable to do so when he was stopped on 12 February 2009.

Investigators linked the money with haulage companies in Romania suspected of being involved in cigarette smuggling, the court heard.

A judge and two magistrates at Ipswich Crown Court said they were satisfied the £29,385 was recoverable property and it was assigned to the public purse.

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