Holloway student denies smuggling money inside her to fund terrorism
PUBLISHED: 12:33 01 August 2014 | UPDATED: 12:33 01 August 2014
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Nawal Msaad, 23, stashed money in a condom to keep it “secure”
A student accused of trying to smuggle €20,000 in her underwear to terrorists in Syria has said she put the cash in a condom to keep it “secure”.
Police suspect that Nawal Msaad, 27, of Centurian Close, Holloway, had tried to hide the money inside her, after they came across the condom whilst conducting a strip search on January 15 this year.
But yesterday Miss Msaad told the jury at the Old Bailey that she had taken the money out of the condom, which she then tried to conceal inside her vagina, to avoid embarrassment.
She was arrested trying to board a plane to Turkey at Heathrow Airport with the money – which was allegedly meant for Aine Davis, her friend and co-defendant Amal El-Wahabi’s husband – who is linked to terrorist activity in Syria.
Miss Msaad denies taking the money to fund terrorists and says she believed it was to help Davis secure a property.
She told the court that she put the money in the condom as the cling film and rubber band it had been wrapped in had broken.
“I just found the condom and thought it would work,” she said. “I thought it was a really good way of sealing the money, I didn’t have to worry about it coming out.”
“I wanted to make sure the money was secure on me.”
“She [El-Wahabi] had asked me to keep the money actually on me, and even if she hadn’t I would have because it was a lot of money.”
Miss Msaad then told the jury that she put the money inside her leggings which were under her jeans as she felt it was the safest place for it.
When asked by her defence barrister Naeem Mian if she ever had the money inside her she said “no”.
She was stopped by police later that morning when she tried to board the plane to Istanbul.
Miss Msaad said: “I was asked how much money I had on me and I said: ‘I’ve got quite a lot’.
“I was asked again and I said €20,000.”
She told the police she had thought she might use the money to buy some gold for her mother before they took her in to a room to search her.
She was then asked to hand over the money.
“When they asked me to hand the money over I was a bit embarrassed about the fact that I had it in a condom,” Miss Msaad told the court.
“So I took it out of the condom to hand it to them.
Miss Msaad kept the condom in her leggings but then was told that she would have to be strip searched.
“I started removing my clothes bit by bit and obviously I couldn’t hide the condom in my pocket or throw it on the floor so I had to put it where they wouldn’t know where it was. I wasn’t thinking rationally.”
Mr Mian then asked “It was partially inserted within you wasn’t it?”
Miss Msaad replied: “yes”.
The trial continues.