Tight security for pope in Portugal nets cash-heavy Chinese

Pope Francis salutes at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter square at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — The tighter checks at Portuguese borders ahead of Pope Francis’s visit have bagged an unexpected catch: two Chinese men carrying 480,000 euros ($521,000) in cash.

Local police said in a statement Thursday that the men aged 35 and 36 were arrested on suspicion of money-laundering. Police said the money was in 50, 100 and 500-euro bills.

The men were arrested on the border with Spain near Badajoz, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) east of Lisbon. They were due to be brought before a magistrate later Thursday.

Pope Francis is due to arrive in Portugal on Friday for a 24-hour visit.

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