LAREDO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and agents at the Laredo Port of Entry seized $460,060 in unreported currency from a vehicle driven by a Chicago man in a routine examination.
The currency seizure occurred on Feb. 1, at Lincoln-Juarez Bridge. CBP officers and agents were conducting outbound examinations when a CBP officer referred a 2002 Dodge Ram pickup driven by a 31-year-old male U.S. citizen from Chicago for a secondary examination. CBP officers and agents conducted an intensive examination and discovered 20 bundles containing a total of $460,060 in unreported currency hidden within the vehicle.
CBP officers seized the currency, vehicle and turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.
"This is a large amount of currency seized in the outbound environment and it underscores the effectiveness and resolve of CBP officers and Border Patrol agents working as a team to shut down a major bulk cash smuggling attempt," said Sidney Aki, CBP port director, Laredo.
Individuals are permitted to carry any amount of currency or monetary instruments into or out of the U.S. However, if the quantity is $10,000 or higher, they must formally report the currency to CBP. 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.