LAREDO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and agents at the Laredo Port of Entry this week pulled the plug on an alleged attempt to smuggle $309,220 in unreported currency hidden in a microwave oven in an outbound enforcement action.
“Our frontline officers effectively applied their observational and inspectional skills and seized a large quantity of unreported currency,” said Acting Port Director Alberto Flores, Laredo Port of Entry. “This is the second seizure of more than a quarter-million in unreported currency in two weeks and illustrates the need to maintain our vigilance.”
The interception occurred on Sunday, Sept. 27 while CBP officers and Border Patrol agents conducting outbound (southbound) inspections at the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge referred a 2013 Chevy Aveo driven by a 42-year-old male Mexican citizen with a 51-year-old female Mexican citizen passenger for a secondary inspection. CBP officers conducted an intensive secondary examination of the vehicle and discovered packages hidden in a microwave oven in the vehicle that contained $309,220 in unreported currency.
CBP officers seized the currency and the Chevy Aveo. CBP officers turned over the driver and passenger to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation.
Individuals are permitted to carry any amount of currency or monetary instruments into or out of the U.S., however, if the quantity is more than $10,000, they will need to report it to CBP. “Money” means monetary instruments and includes U.S. or foreign coins currently in circulation, currency, travelers’ checks in any form, money orders, and negotiable instruments or investment securities in bearer form. 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.