SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers seized over $500K in undeclared currency in two separate incidents at the Port of San Juan and the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.
On Mar. 30, during luggage inspections authorized by federal law, CBP officers found US currency concealed within the rails of nine suitcases.
Rudi Alfonso Hernandez-Simon, 52, a citizen of the Dominican Republic failed to declare accurately having in his possession a total of $353,372.
Mr. Hernandez-Simon, who also had a carry-on bag and one (1) backpack, declared to be transporting approximately $1,600.
On Apr. 1, CBP officers inspecting outbound vehicles to be transported onboard the ferry M/V KYDON, bound to Santo Domingo, selected a Ford E-350 cargo vehicle for further examination.
The driver, a legal permanent resident with citizenship from the Dominican Republic, declared being in possession of $4,000.
A CBP K-9 discovered thirteen (13) packages of US currency concealed under the carpet, between the driver and passenger seats, totaling $214,037.
“Travelers can 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,” indicated Edwin Cruz, San Juan Area Port Director. “Failure to report may result in seizure of the currency, penalties and/or arrest.”
In each incident, CBP seized the currency under failure to declare and bulk cash smuggling laws. U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents arrested Mr. Hernandez-Simon who appeared before the US District Court in San Juan. HSI will proceed with an investigation for both cases.
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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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.