AMO seizes $372K on a beach in St. Thomas
ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agents, seized Tuesday $372,000 in undeclared currency found inside a duffle bag on the beach near a vessel found in Bordeaux Bay.
“Transnational criminal organizations seek to conceal and move currency from their activities,” stated Johnny Morales, Director, Air and Marine Operations for the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch. “Our agents continue to use advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities to detect and interdict them throughout our coastal borders.”
On July 9, Air and Marine Operations (AMO) Marine Interdiction agents (MIAs) received a call a concerned citizen about a suspicious boat, making landfall in Bordeaux Bay, St. Thomas. The caller stated that three men were onboard and intentionally beached a 20ft Boston Whaler.
The MIAs responded by vehicle to the area and noticed a single duffel bag still sitting in the sand near the boat with a Puerto Rico registration. Agents conducted a sweep of the area but were unable to locate any of the suspects.
Inside the duffel bag, agents found an undetermined amount of cash in vacuum-sealed packages. The undeclared currency totaled $372,000. U.S. Homeland Security Investigations assumed custody of the seized currency and investigation.
On July 7, AMO seized $3.7 million in undeclared currency found inside five duffle bags on board an abandoned vessel near the coast of Fajardo.
AMO is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people through advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities. With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft, and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO conducts its mission in the air and maritime environments at and beyond the border, and within the nation's interior.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.