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San Juan CBP Seizes Over $2M in Smuggled Currency

Release Date: 
October 1, 2014

Currency found in vehicle departing to the Dominican Republic on board ferry

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers conducting ferry outbound operations at the San Juan Seaport seized more than $2 million Monday evening.

The money was found in hidden compartments inside a truck that was leaving Puerto Rico en route to the Dominican Republic onboard M/V Caribbean Fantasy ferry.

CBP personnel selected a truck with Puerto Rico license plates for an intensive examination after a preliminary non-intrusive inspection revealed certain anomalies. Subsequently a physical inspection revealed 22 bundles of hidden US Currency for an amount of $2,044,375.

CBP officers seized the currency and took custody of the driver. He was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE- HSI) special agents in connection with the failed smuggling attempt and the US Attorney’s Office accepted the case for federal prosecution.

“CBP Officers conduct outbound examinations of passengers and cargo leaving the country in an effort to stop guns, ammunition and unreported currency from being smuggled out of the country. Their diligence paid off in this enforcement action,” said Juan Hurtado, San Juan Area port director. “The unreported cash that we seize has an impact on the criminal organizations by making it more difficult for them to further their illicit activities.”

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 report may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.

While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017