Police seized £76,000 of suspected drugs profits in a raid a Birmingham hotel room after worried staff raised the alarm.
Officers stormed the room amid child exploitation fears after two men and a young woman checked into a double room.
There was no evidence she was being groomed but police instead found the used Scottish bank notes in a rucksack.
A man, aged 46 and from Kilmarnock, was arrested on suspicion of money laundering – and told police he inherited the cash from his father’s estate in Saudi Arabia.
He later claimed £30,000 was given to him by a Scottish restaurateur.
The man, who said he worked as a car dealer, was released without charge – but the cash was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
It will be now be used to fund anti-crime schemes across the Midlands.
Magistrates approved the seizure at a hearing on Monday, saying they were satisfied the money was “intended for use in unlawful conduct”.
The 46-year-old, who had links to Coventry and Dudley, failed to appear for the hearing and did not challenge the decision.
West Midlands Police financial investigator Becky Walburn, who works with the Force’s Payback Team, said: “He offered no evidence the money had been accrued legitimately.
“He said he worked in the car trade but couldn’t provide any paperwork relating to sales or profits and was not able to substantiate his inheritance claims.
“It’s suspected the money was either drug profits or for the purpose of buying drugs.
“The man was unable to prove how he’d come about the money − either earning, winning or inheriting the cash − and the court was happy it could be seized.
“I’d also like to thank the hotel staff who did exactly the right think in calling police over their concerns that the young girl was potentially the victim of child sex exploitation.
“It turned out she wasn’t, but did lead to the recovery of a large sum of money.”
Officers were called to the east Birmingham hotel, which was not named, on January 28 last year.
Police and crime commissioner David Jamieson, said: “This seizure is an excellent result by West Midlands Police and the money will help transform neighbourhoods.
“From after-school sports clubs to computer classes and more, this dirty money will be used to clean up communities through my Active Citizens Fund.
“There’s a real sense of justice with ill-[“Source-birminghammail”]