CHICAGO–At Chicago’s International Mail Facility (IMF) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers process 57 million packages a year. Nightly, CBP officers usually seize 40 to 50 packages containing unapproved medications, narcotics, counterfeit jewelry, electronics and many other illegitimate goods. Other prohibited items officers often intercept is counterfeit currency. During a three day stretch, Saturday, May 15, to Monday, May 17, CBP stopped 24 packages all containing counterfeit currency totaling $685,000.
All of the shipments were coming from China and was heading to various cities throughout the U.S., to include cities in Illinois and Indiana. All of the shipments were manifested as bar prop. Even though these counterfeits were going to be used as prop money, it is a violation of federal law to reproduce currency. Violators can be arrested.
The currency was in the form of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 bills. One shipment that was heading to Bronx, New York contained 976 $100 bills, while another package heading to Louisville contained 101 $20 bills and 103 $50 bills. The counterfeit currency was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Secret Service for further investigation.
“Our CBP officers are always on the alert watching for any type of prohibited shipments that come through the IMF, “said Shane Campbell, Area Port Director-Chicago. “By stopping these shipments we are protecting our financial institutions, businesses and the public.”
According to the Secret Service, special agents and investigative analysts from around the country continue to work closely with state and local law enforcement partners to minimize risks by informing the public and apprehending those responsible for passing counterfeit currency. Both consumers and retailers can protect themselves from inadvertently receiving counterfeit currency by quickly glancing at the note.
CBP conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the United States, and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the Nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.