SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers conducting outbound cargo operations at the San Juan Seaport seized approximately $415,000 US dollars on Wednesday. The money was found in hidden compartments of an appliance transported inside a cargo container. The cargo was leaving Puerto Rico en route to the Dominican Republic onboard M/V Auto Baltic.
CBP personnel selected the container and its contents for an intensive examination after a preliminary non-intrusive inspection revealed certain anomalies. Subsequently a physical inspection revealed sixty three (63) bundles of hidden US Currency for an amount of $414,980.00 dollars.
CBP officers seized the currency and contacted Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents who took custody of the evidence.
“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 Keith McFarquhar, San Juan Acting 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.