San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry along the California border with Mexico have seized a total of over $1 million in currency during outbound inspections so far this fiscal year.
From October 1, 2009, through Thursday, February 11, 2010, CBP officers confiscated currency totaling $1.1 million en route to Mexico that was either undeclared or in the possession of an individual attempting to evade reporting requirements. The money was seized from U.S. and Mexican travelers who were entering Mexico on foot, by bus, or in a vehicle.
In Fiscal Year 2009, the San Diego Field Office seized over $1.4 million during outbound inspections.
"This achievement represents a significant milestone in our work to disrupt the drug cartels by intercepting their ill-gotten gains," said Paul Morris, director of field operations for San Diego and Imperial Counties. "Our success would have not been possible without the tireless efforts of the men and women of the San Diego Field Office and the support and cooperation of our federal, state and local partners."
CBP's increased focus on outbound inspections since March 2009 has significantly increased the cost of doing business for violent criminal organizations and will continue to serve as a valuable tool in CBP's efforts to enforce smart, effective, and strategic border operations, Morris said.
It is legal to transport currency or monetary instruments totaling more than $10,000 upon entry or exit from the U.S., however, it is illegal to fail to declare it to CBP or to conceal it with intent to evade reporting requirements. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.
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.