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CBP in Cincinnati Seizes More Than $600K in Cash Bound for Colombia

Release Date: 
August 15, 2011

Chicago - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Cincinnati, working in conjunction with shipping company DHL, made a shocking discovery early Saturday morning. While examining two separate shipments, manifested as tortilla roller machines, officers found more than $600,000 in U.S. currency hidden within.

A CBP officer in Cincinnati removes a roll of cash concealed in a tortilla rolling machine.

A CBP officer in Cincinnati removes a roll of cash concealed in a tortilla rolling machine.

On Aug. 13, CBP officers inspected two shipments containing a total of eight tortilla rollers from Mexico. During an x-ray examination, a CBP officer noticed an anomaly and upon drilling through the rollers of the press found a green and white substance that was consistent with paper money. Upon removal of a roller end cap, the officers were able to see rolls of currency wrapped in plastic. A total of $639,700 in U.S. currency was seized. The two shipments of eight tortilla presses originated from the same individual in Mexico and were headed to Bogotá, Colombia.

"This is the largest seizure of bulk currency smuggling in the history of CBP in Cincinnati," said David Murphy, CBP director of field operations in Chicago. "The interdiction further demonstrates the commitment of our CBP officers to disrupt the flow of illicit currency which could be used to finance criminal enterprises. This is yet another outstanding seizure by a group of CBP officers who work throughout the night protecting this country while the rest of the nation is asleep."

CBP officers and agriculture specialists are stationed at the express consignment facilities located throughout the country. CBP works very closely with DHL to support its mission without disrupting the company's express consignment operations. CBP constantly conducts enforcement operations on international parcels and is always on the lookout for any type of contraband or prohibited items being shipped into, out of or through the U.S.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017