El Paso, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents performing southbound inspections at the El Paso port of entry seized $83,900 Thursday. The money was hidden in a car that was leaving the United States.
“CBP outbound inspections are intended to stop the flow of unreported currency, weapons, ammunition and other export violations,” said CBP El Paso Port Director Hector Mancha. “Currency is the life blood for criminal organizations so anytime CBP can seize any amount it makes it harder for those groups to continue their illegal enterprise.”
The seizure was made just before 10 a.m. at the Bridge of the Americas when a 2002 Buick LeSabre attempted to leave the U.S. for Mexico. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents selected the vehicle for an exam. While CBP personnel interviewed the driver a CBP currency detector dog searched the vehicle and alerted to the vents. CBP continued their exam and located four plastic-wrapped bundles concealed in the heater core. The contents of the packages contained $83,900 in unreported currency. The money was seized. The driver was released and the investigation continues.
There is no limit to how much currency travelers can import or export; however, federal law requires travelers to report amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.
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.