Man tried to smuggle £900k in illegal cash out of Scotland

Lukas Pokorny was caught with three suitcases full of money at Glasgow Airport.

Man tried to smuggle £900k in illegal cash out of Scotland Google MapsPolice Scotland

A man is facing jail after trying to smuggle almost £900,000 in illegal cash from Scotland to Dubai.

Lukas Pokorny was arrested at Glasgow Airport on November 8, 2020, shortly before he was due to board a flight.

The 41-year-old claimed he was flying out to help a friend run a jet ski school.

But, UK Border Force officers went on to uncover a total of £867,030 in mixed currencies stashed inside three suitcases.

On Monday, February 1, Pokorny pled guilty at the High Court in Glasgow to a charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act of attempting to remove the money from the country.

He was remanded in custody pending sentencing next month.

Czech-born Pokorny had originally flown into Edinburgh Airport from Prague on November 7.

He then caught a bus to Glasgow, stopped off at a flat in the city’s Shawlands before spending the night at a Marriott Hotel.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC said Pokorny had arrived in Scotland with only a tan-coloured holdall.

But, by the time, he checked out the hotel near Glasgow Airport, he also had three suitcases.

Around midday on November 8, Pokorny headed to catch an Emirates flight to Dubai.

He checked in the three cases, but was soon quizzed by suspicious Border Force officials at the airport.

Pokorny claimed he was going to Dubai for 14 days, but initially insisted he did not know how much was paid for the ticket.

One of the officers noted Pokorny had “a lot of bags” for the trip.

Mr Prentice told the hearing: “He was asked what was in them and he said ‘things for my friends…lots of jackets and gifts…’.”

Pokorny said an associate had a jet ski school in Dubai and that he was going out to work as an instructor.

He claimed only the tan holdall – with three mobile phones inside – was his.

The cases were opened and a “large quantity” of cash was discovered in each hidden in plastic bags under blue velvet cloth.

Pokorny was taken to a police station in Glasgow and questioned by officers from the National Crime Agency, but made no comment.

Mr Prentice added: “This was indicative of a large scale money laundering operation.

“Pokorny has no previous convictions and would not normally attract the attention of law enforcement authorities.

“As such, he is an ideal courier for criminal gangs.

“The various currencies and denominations indicate the money was being transported to be laundered.”

The court was told Pokorny had a “taxi business” in his homeland prior to his arrest.

No further background about the money was given.

But, Brian McConnachie QC, defending, said he had been “instructed to share” with prosecutors information Pokorny had.

He added: “Due his limited involvement, how far that takes the Crown, I do not know.”

Lady Stacey deferred sentencing for reports.

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