Fajardo, P.R. - What seemed in a simple glance to be a group of sport fishermen in a 23-foot vessel was actually a group illegally transporting $350,000 in U.S. currency.
Thursday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection marine interdiction agents stopped a 23-foot center console Contender vessel, three nautical miles north of Luquillo.
On board the vessel were three individuals, two who claimed to be U.S. citizens and one who claimed to be a citizen of the Dominican Republic with legal permanent status.
During the interview, two of the subjects provided identification documents, which appeared to be fraudulent, prompting the CBP marine agents to escort the vessel to the Ceiba Station to perform a physical inspection.
At the station, CBP Field Operations and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations agents arrived on location to assist in the search of the vessel.
During the search of a compartment on the boat, in addition to four life jackets, two black plastic bags were found. The plastic bags contained seven packages that contained a large amount of undeclared currency.
The custody of the three individuals and the currency was handed over to ICE HSI for further examination and processing.
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.