Italian police say a cash-smuggling operation was thwarted when a police dog in a bus station in a small town near Florence sniffed out a stash of millions of euros in two suitcases uncovered Wednesday, the agency shared on social media.
Authorities in the Guardia di Finanza — an Italian police agency focused on financial crimes —seized €1,075,600 in currency, or approximately $1.18 million.
Elio, a black Labrador, led police officers to the stash during a routine bus inspection in Scandicci, a small town in northern Italy. The luggage belonged to an unnamed Chinese national living in Italy.
The resident was unable to provide an account for where the funds came from, so law enforcement officials temporarily detained the individual due to monetary regulations, BBC reported.
A formal investigation into the incident was launched Wednesday.
In May, another Italian police dog in Gioia Tauro sniffed out three tons of cocaine in 70 banana-shipping containers traveling from Ecuador.
Recently, Italy has seen a growing trend of so-called unlicensed Chinese shadow bankers working for Italian drug syndicates, Reuters reported in April. These interactions often involve trafficking in suitcases filled with cash.