Hidalgo, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and Border Patrol agents working outbound enforcement operations at the Hidalgo International Bridge seized $277,556 in bulk U.S. currency Tuesday afternoon.
On Mar. 1, CBP officers and Border Patrol agents working outbound enforcement operations at the Hidalgo/Reynosa International Bridge came in contact with a commercial bus that was traveling south headed into Mexico. A CBP officer referred the bus, passengers and driver to secondary for further inspection.
While in secondary, officers seized $277,556 in undeclared bulk U.S. currency that was discovered within the baggage allegedly belonging to a 33-year-old Mexican citizen from Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, México.
The female traveler was transferred to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.
"In less than one week, this is the second significant amount of bulk U.S. currency seized during an outbound enforcement operation," said Hector A. Mancha, CBP port director, Hidalgo/Pharr. "I commend our frontline officers for their work and roles in intercepting and seizing this huge amount of undeclared money that was headed into Mexico."
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.