SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers stopped an illegal exportation of currency when officers searched an outbound container booked on the M/V Caribbean Fantasy Ferry destined to the Dominican Republic.
On January 27, CBP officers performed a physical inspection of all cargo inside a container destined to the Dominican Republic as part of outbound screening operations. Utilizing high tech equipment, CBP officers discovered a smuggling attempt of approximately $185,500 hidden in several items, including two refrigerators and a 32” Television set. They also found a Replica Pistol that fires blanks.
In the same container, a CBP canine alerted to the presence of narcotics on a box of personal effects and household goods. Physical inspection revealed several packages of currency wrapped in carbon paper, summing $139,980 US dollars.
In total, approximately $325,480 was seized. “This is a significant money seizure,” said San Juan Area Port Director Juan Hurtado. “The currency seized represents more than just money lost by drug trafficking organizations. These revenues are what supply the weapons and other means these organizations use for their illicit activities”.
CBP officers seized the hidden contraband and Homeland Security Investigation agents will continue the investigation. Local and federal law enforcement authorities in Puerto Rico will continue to work together to disrupt criminal activity in the island.
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.