A day without clean clothes and fragrances was the least of Ledio Llshaj's concerns after his Samsonite suitcase went missing on a flight from Perth to Melbourne on March 21 this year.
He could live without the perfume, mobile phones, jeans and business cards, but not the $123,002 cash packed in shrink-wrapped bundles.
Llshaj, 21, hadn't helped his criminal cause by checking the case in without a name tag, which caused the Qantas baggage handlers to open it and call the Australian Federal Police.
Melbourne Magistrates Court heard on Monday that when Albanian-born Llshaj - posing as Giuseppe Manelli with fake Italian identity documents - and another man attended Melbourne airport on March 22, he listed all the contents except the money.
Prosecutor Hwai Loh said after both were detained, police found more cash in a nearby car and at an Oakleigh East house with hundreds of false identity documents and seven new suitcases, including one brushed with a toothpaste-like paste investigators suspected was to suppress the ''odour of money''.
Ms Loh told magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg both men had regularly flown across Australia on short-term trips to engage in money laundering and overseas cash transfers.
Defence barrister Phil Dunn, QC, described Llshaj as a ''bungling Albanian'' whose only Italian was ''cappuccino and spaghetti'' and who was ''plainly just a mule'' for money that was not his.
Llshaj, who pleaded guilty to 21 charges, including possessing property suspected of being proceeds of crime, will reappear on October 3.