Nogales, Ariz. - During less than a week, Customs and Border Protection officers conducting outbound enforcement operations at the Nogales, Ariz. port of entry stopped three currency smuggling attempts and seized more than $208,000 as a result.
The first incident occurred around 11:30 p.m. February 27, when officers encountered a 37-year-old Mexican woman who was a passenger on a commercial bus leaving the country through the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry.
While asking routine questions, the officers became suspicious of her answers and decided to conduct an examination of her baggage. During the inspection, they discovered bundles of currency hidden among her bags, in her clothing, and in a stuffed animal. The undeclared currency, $58,291, was seized and the woman was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents for further investigation into the smuggling attempt.
The second incident happened around noon March 3 when officers encountered a 48-year-old Mexican woman and a 47-year-old Mexican man leaving the country in a Nissan Sentra. During routine questioning, the officers became suspicious and decided to inspect the vehicle and people. During the inspection, they discovered $49,873 in undeclared currency and negotiable checks hidden on the people. The currency and checks were seized and the man and woman were turned over to ICE for further investigation.
The third incident happened a little after 2 p.m. March 3 when officers working at the Morley pedestrian entrance encountered a 32-year-old woman, a 40-year-old man, and a 28-year-old woman, all from Mexico, traveling together leaving the country on foot. During questioning, officers became suspicious of the behavior and answers to questions, so they decided to inspect their baggage. During the inspection, the officers found bundles of currency hidden inside blankets, inside bags and inside the boots of one of the women. A total of $100,740 in undeclared currency was seized and the man and women were turned over to ICE for further investigation.
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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.