You’ve probably heard about the Great Tornbridge Robbery, in which £50 million (about US$85 million) was heisted from a bank in the United Kingdom last Tuesday. That’s a large sum of cash to have around; in fact, it’s so large, it might as well be Monopoly money. While the story has sparked discussions of what one might do with a vast pile like what was stolen, the robbers may not be able to do much.
According to a money laundering expert cited by CNN, the robbers have three options: stash it, try to spend it, or launder it. Spending it would be difficult. You can’t just go to a car dealer with tens of thousands in cash and expect to buy a car. There are rules put in place to protect the seller from money laundering.
The money would have to be broken into smaller sums and distributed in order to be more likely to evade detectives. Even so, getting away with the job is going to be extremely difficult. Last week, a woman tried to open an account
in southeast London with just a few thousands of pounds in cash. Whether or not she has anything to do with the heist, she has now been taken into custody as a suspect.
While £50 million is a lot of money to have, when you can’t use the money for anything, it has no value.
Updated July 16, 2010 and originally published February 25, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.