BROWNSVILLE, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Veterans International Bridge seized $57,691 in bulk, unreported U.S. currency.
“Travelers must declare currency in excess of $10,000 and are offered an opportunity to truthfully report the amount of currency they are transporting,” said Port Director Petra Horne, “I congratulate our officers for their dedication and commitment to the CBP mission.”
The seizure took place on Wednesday, Sept. 21, when CBP officers working outbound inspections at the Veterans International Bridge came in contact with a bronze 2003 Chevy Trail Blazer as it attempted to exit the United States into Mexico. The driver, a 52-year-old female Mexican citizen from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and a passenger, a 35-year-old male Mexican citizen also from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, were selected for a routine inspection and were referred to secondary for further inspection. In secondary, with the aid of a K9 unit, CBP officers discovered two packages containing a total of $57,691 in bulk, unreported U.S. currency hidden within the vehicle.
CBP officers seized the currency along with the vehicle, arrested the driver and passenger and turned them over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation.
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.