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Man in court for stolen hotel Euros

SARS will not comment on what transpired during a meeting with Jordanian banker Dr Farid Alshabbar.

Jordanian banker Fareed Alshabbar.

JOHANNESBURG - Foreigners travelling in the country with large sums of cash raises questions about their motives and business practices, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) said on Wednesday.

Jordanian banker Dr Farid Alshabbar claimed R2 million in Euros was stolen from his safe in his room at the Holiday Inn Sandton on Saturday night. Eyewitness News understands it was confirmed he had failed to declare the money to customs when he arrived in the country.

This means he could be in violation of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) which raises suspicions of money laundering.

SARS would not comment on what transpired during Alshabbar's meeting with its officials.

The service's Adrian Lackay said foreigners should be cautious when travelling with large amounts of cash.

"It also raises questions about the business conduct or intentions for doing business in South Africa in a way where you rather select to do business with large amounts of cash and in a way that is not necessarily in line with FICA."

A hotel employee is due to appear in court in Alexandra again on Thursday in connection with the apparent theft, after he was found in possession of 5,000 Euro.

The banker said he was using the cash to buy gold and to gamble at casinos while in the country. He said he felt violated after the incident.

"It's not an issue of money. They can open your door and kill you at anytime they want. There is no safety," he told Eyewitness News on Tuesday.