The National Court upheld a detention order against a man suspected of money laundering. The man was examined at Keflavík airport during the general inspection of air passengers upon leaving the country on February 12. Since a stamp in his passport revealed that he had been in Iceland for 89 days out of the last 180, it was decided to bring him in for further examination.
During a search of the man’s clothes and luggage, a total of 13,8871 euros was found, which is equivalent to around two million Icelandic kroner. The man said he had the money himself and brought it to the country at the end of November 2022. The purpose of his stay was to meet his uncle and explore the country with him. However, he could not give his uncle’s address. Police considered the man’s responses incredible and he was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.
The man refused to allow police to copy and examine his mobile phone and also refused to lift bank secrecy. With the decision of the Reykjaness District Court, banking secrecy was lifted for the man. A study of bank statements revealed that he bought euros a total of twelve times for a total of nearly 12,000 euros. In the detention order from Reykjaness District Court, which was upheld by the National Court, it goes on to say:
“The defendant was taken to the police for questioning last February 17. When asked, the defendant said he went to a bank in Iceland and bought euros, he said he did not remember how many times or when it was and claimed that his memory was not good The cases where he visited a Landsbanki branch between November 24, 2022 and February 7, 2023 and have bought euros, which he paid in Icelandic kroner in cash, were reported to him. The defendant said he brought the Icelandic kroner into the country, which he decided to exchange for euros before returning (.. The defense party said he bought the Icelandic krona on the black market in (…) before coming to Iceland, but said he could not remember how much he bought. previous defense testimony presented to him, which indicates that he only brought euros into the country, he said he did not we in this regard.”
Additionally, police investigated Landsbankinn security camera footage which shows the man came to Landsbankinn accompanied by another person to buy euros, but could not explain who was with him:
“Then, in order to investigate the case, the police examined the recordings of the Landsbanki security cameras during the arrival of the accused on November 24 and 29, 2022 and last February 7. During this inspection, he It was revealed that the defendant was accompanied by another person and that this person came forward to show identification.During the shooting on February 23, he was shown three photos of the person who accompanied him at the bank and he said he couldn’t explain who that person was because the pictures were blurry and it was a long time ago.Then the defendant didn’t want to add anything to his previous statement and said also continued to refuse to give the police the password to his mobile phone despite repeated requests.”
Police believe the investigation into the case is going well, but the man’s defense has opposed the police chief’s request for detention and points out that the amount the man had on him does not is not much higher than the maximum allowed under the currency law.
The detention order is valid until Friday, March 3 at 4 p.m.
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