Underwear smuggler in the dock

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iol pic wld Nawal Msaad AFP Nawal Msaad arrives at the Old Bailey in central London on July 7, 2014. Picture: CYRIL VILLEMAIN

London - A woman appeared in court in Britain on Tuesday accused of trying to smuggle a roll of cash hidden in her underwear to jihadists fighting in Syria.

Nawal Msaad, 27, was stopped at London's Heathrow airport and found to have 20 000 euros in notes wrapped in a condom which allegedly fell into her pants after being lodged inside her body.

At a trial at the Old Bailey court in London, she denies a charge of funding terrorism, along with her friend Amal El-Wahabi, also 27.

Prosecutors allege that Msaad acted as a “trusted courier” for El-Wahabi, whose husband Aine Davis left London to fight with jihadists in Syria last year.

Prosecutor Mark Dennis told the court that Msaad was stopped at Heathrow on January 16 and told police she was flying to Istanbul to buy gold for her mother.

“She was then taken to a private room where she pulled out a roll of banknotes from inside her underwear and handed it across to the officers. The banknotes were tightly rolled and were wrapped in cling film,” Dennis added.

“It would appear that it would have been further hidden inside her body, wrapped in a condom.”

Msaad, who was studying at a London university at the time, was allegedly offered 1 000 euros by El-Wahabi to act as a courier.

Prosecutors say the trip was arranged in a string of phone calls and WhatsApp messages between Msaad, El-Wahabi and Davis.

Dennis claimed the money “had been raised in this country and had been destined to support the jihadist cause which Davis was now pursuing with like-minded supporters”.


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