ORANJESTAD, Aruba – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Aruba Preclearance facility intercepted a cocaine courier traveling with nearly five pounds of cocaine valued at more than $30,000, on Mar. 8.
The courier, a U.S. permanent resident, was traveling to Florida when CBP officers referred her to a secondary examination. During the examination of her luggage, officers indicated an anomaly within the lining of the bag. After probing the liner, CBP officers discovered a white powdery substance concealed within the liner.
“Preclearance officers continue to take every opportunity to disrupt drug smugglers attempting to use the facility as a means to carry illegal narcotics to the U.S.,” said James Grimes, CBP Port Director at Aruba Preclearance. “Having preclearance officers at locations around the world coordinating with host nation customs officials and law enforcement continues to be successful.”
The traveler was arrested and turned over to Aruba Customs.
CBP Preclearance operations allow for advance inspection of passengers and special coordination with law enforcement upon arrival in the United States. Through preclearance, the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air passengers performed on arrival in the United States are instead completed before departure at foreign airports. Currently, preclearance operations exist at 15 foreign airports in six different countries, benefitting air passengers, airports, and air carriers, in the United States and abroad.
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.