HIDALGO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers conducting outbound enforcement operations at the Hidalgo International Bridge seized $153,857 in unreported bulk U.S. currency.
On April 29, CBP officers working outbound enforcement operations at the Hidalgo International Bridge came in contact with a man driving a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee with two women and a 1-year-old as passengers as they attempted to exit the United States and enter Mexico. The two females, identified as 41-year-old and 21-year-old Mexican citizens from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, respectively, were selected for outbound inspection by CBP officers. During the examination CBP officers discovered packages hidden under the women's clothing. CBP officers removed a total of 18 packages from each woman with a combined total of $78,954 and 74,733 in bulk U.S. currency along with $170.00 in the second woman's purse.
CBP officers seized the U.S. currency and arrested the driver and two women. The case has been referred to U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation. The minor child was turned over to a family member.
"Our alert outbound enforcement CBP officers have stopped this significant load of undeclared currency from being exported without meeting proper reporting requirements. I applaud our team for an outstanding seizure and arrest in this alleged bulk currency smuggling case," said Efrain Solis, Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry
It is not a crime to carry more than $10,000, but it is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or more to a CBP officer upon entry or exit from the U.S. or to conceal it with intent to evade reporting requirements. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest. An individual may petition for the return of currency seized by CBP officers, but the petitioner must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.
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.