Singaporean men used T-bone steaks and lamb chops to mask the smell of more than $500,000 in cash that they were trying to illegally take out of Australia, a court has heard.
Ryan Marc Pereira and Edward Choi Gou Hang, both 34, were caught at Adelaide Airport in December when a sniffer dog detected some of the cash in one of their bags.
They pleaded guilty to dealing with the proceeds of crime and were sentenced in the District Court on Tuesday, with Pereira ordered to serve at least nine months in jail and Choi six months.
The two men initially told police they won the $519,900 by gambling despite spending just two days in Adelaide after flying in from Singapore on December 2.
They later dropped that story but refused to say how they came by the cash.
Judge Geraldine Davison said the pair must have known the money was the proceeds of criminal offending, with Pereira making similar short trips to Australia in the past.
His bag was found to contain more than $270,000 alongside T-bone steaks while Choi’s bag had almost $250,000 concealed beside a tray of lamb chops.
Based on time already served in custody, Pereira will be released on September 4 this year and Choi on June 4.
Judge Davison said it was not surprising the pair had pleaded guilty after being “caught red-handed” with the money in their bags and with trying to mask its smell from the dogs.
In addition to the jail terms, she also ordered them to forfeit the cash.