A Co Antrim couple stopped in a car with more than £110,000 in cash allegedly hidden inside the spare wheel are to be released from custody, a High Court judge ruled today.
Martin Murphy (49) and his partner, Helen Duff (45), were granted bail on charges of possessing criminal property.
The pair, from Castlemara Drive in Carrickfergus, were stopped by police while travelling in a Vauxhall car near Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, on July 21.
Officers discovered just over £102,000 and 14,000 euros inside a spare tyre located in the boot. Mobile phones were also seized.
Police and prosecutors claim the cash may be connected to organised drugs activity.
During interviews, Duff denied knowing anything about the money and said they had been out for a drive. Her partner made no comment.
Seeking bail for the couple, defence counsel argued that there was no risk of any further offences.
Barrister Michael Ward told the court searches carried out at their home revealed "no trappings of wealth".
A prosecution lawyer opposed their release, claiming there could be interference with the ongoing investigation.
Ruling on the applications, Mr Justice Humphreys acknowledged the police view that the cash is likely to be linked to organised crime.
However, he went on: "It's quite a remarkable position for the Crown to adopt, that a 45-year-old lady in full-time employment, a mother of two who has never been before a court in her life, would set about intimidating witnesses or interfere with the course of justice."
He confirmed that both accused are to be bailed, but must provide details of any mobile phone and allow police to carry out inspections.
Murphy was also barred from travelling in any motor vehicles other than public transport.