By Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.
A man has been charged after crashing his car in the south west of New South Wales which directed police to the discovery of him allegedly possessing more than $90,000.
According to a statement released by NSW Police, just before 10am on 7 May 2020, a Ford Ranger utility was travelling south towards Wagga Wagga on Goldfields Way, approximately 20km south of Temora.
The ute then suddenly left the road and rolled several times, resulting in a single vehicle crash.
The driver was assisted by a motorist who happened to pass by.
The man managed to get out of the vehicle and only suffered minor injuries.
He then hitched a ride with the onlooker to Temora.
Riverina Police Commence Search for Missing Man Leading to Discovery of $90,000
Officers from Riverina Police District were soon informed of the incident and began inquiries into the circumstances of the crash.
A short time later, police managed to locate the driver – a 48-year-old man – who was on Hoskins Street in Temora.
When they approached the man, they uncovered an enormous amount of cash on him, which was concealed within a small bag he was carrying.
The money was to the amount of more than $90,000.
Officers seized the wad of cash and arrested the man, who was taken to Temora Police Station.
He was charged with deal with proceeds of crime and negligent driving.
The man was granted conditional bail and is expected to appear in Temora Local Court later in June.
News of Man’s Arrest Over Seized Cash Sparks Debate on Social Media
As news of the man’s arrest circled on social media, members of the public were swift in expressing their views that the police had exceeded their authority and the man should have had a right to his money.
In one post shared by NSW Police Force, one user remarked that money should not be permitted to be seized without a warrant in place.
“They shouldn’t just be allowed to take it off you without a warrant. Sounds like the police are overstepping their authority again. Confiscation without evidence of wrong-doing is assumption of guilty and contrary to the principles of our democracy,” he wrote.
“A lot of older people don’t have a credit card, I know my father didn’t and at first I was surprised when he made an expensive purchase in cash while I was with him, after asking him, he explained he had to go to the bank and withdraw the money as he didn’t have a credit card,” another related.
One member reflected a similar point of view, saying, “So it’s illegal to have money on you now, regardless of what the amount is…”, while another jested, “Boys in blue going to have a nice bonus this month”.
On the other side of the debate, social media users reflected the place of the law.
“INCORRECT, if the money has come from the proceeds of a crime they do NOT deserve to keep it. Also, the guy likely couldn’t explain how he came about the cash, therefore he loses it,” one user asserted.
This was backed by comments such as, “You can have that much cash if you can prove it was legally obtained. My guess the guy’s tax returns don’t reflect having that cash,” and “proceeds of crime is illegal to keep”.
Making light of the situation, one user simply joked, “He was only doing a Maccas run”.
Proceeds of crime is property that’s substantially realised or derived, either directly or indirectly by a person from a serious offence.
Dealing with property includes engaging in transaction(s). These transactions can include receiving or making gifts.
Charges of dealing with property suspected of being proceed of crime in NSW carries serious criminal consequences.
The maximum prescribed sentences vary from $2,200 fine and/or 2-years jail to $11,000 fine and/or 5-years jail, according to section 193C Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
Property here includes every description of real and personal property; money, valuable securities, debts, and legacies; and all deeds and instruments relating to, or evidencing the title or right to any property, or giving a right to recover or receive any money or goods; and includes not only property originally in the possession or under the control of any person, but also any property into or for which the same may have been converted or exchanged, and everything acquired by such conversion or exchange, whether immediately or otherwise.
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