$50,077 seized from Ronaldo's mother at Madrid airport

$50,077 seized from Ronaldo's mother at Madrid airport
Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo's mother Dolores Aveiro was stopped at Madrid airport recently and forced to hand over $50,077 to civil guard officers after police discovered the money in her hand luggage, according to Spanish media reports.

Police seized the amount from Ronaldo's mother after she tried to leave Spain without declaring the cash. The cash was confiscated after she was unable to prove its origin, but she was later allowed to fly to Portugal with the remaining $11,138 she was carrying. The incident reportedly happened in mid-May, reports Spanish daily El Mundo on Monday.

"This woman was stopped and money she was carrying taken and handed over to the Spanish tax authorities along with a report filed by the Civil Guard," a spokesman for the Civil Guard in Madrid said on Monday, when asked if it was true that officers had confiscated $50,077 from Ronaldo's mum.

"She will now have to answer to the tax authorities. My understanding is she will be asked to pay a fine and will have to justify the origin of the money if she wants it back. It's not a matter that we'll get involved in," the Civil Guard spokesman said.

A spokesman for the Agencia Tributaria, Spain's department responsible for the collection of taxes, said: "We can't comment on individual cases. We can confirm though that the limit on moving cash or cash equivalents to and from Spain is $11,138 and anything over that amount must be declared using the correct form."

Travellers entering or leaving Spain with more than $11,138 have to declare the money under a new anti-money laundering and tax evasion law introduced in 2007. The declaration has to be made in writing using a form.

Cash seized from those who breach the rules is held until they can prove its origin and pay a fine. Ronaldo's mother was not arrested and only retained for a few minutes before being allowed to continue her journey.

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