The cost of gas these days. Another creative smuggler, but not creative enough. CBP reports on a recent bulk cash smuggling attempt as follows:
Calexico, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a woman on Friday after they discovered $829,980 in unreported U.S. currency hidden in the gas tank of the vehicle she was driving.
The incident occurred at about 12:30 p.m. on August 9th, when CBP officers, together with members of the Imperial Valley Border Enforcement Security Task Force (IV-BEST), were
conducting southbound inspections of travelers heading to Mexico through the Calexico downtown port of entry. Officers targeted a 2007 Honda Accord and referred the driver for further examination.
During an intensive inspection that included an alert from a currency and firearms detector dog, officers discovered 39 vacuum sealed packages of U.S. currency concealed inside the vehicle’s gas tank.
CBP officers arrested the driver and seized the money and vehicle.
The driver, a 47-year-old Mexican citizen, was turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents with the Imperial Valley Border Enforcement Security Task Force who transported her to the Imperial County Jail.
CBP placed an immigration hold on the driver to initiate removal from the United States at the conclusion of her criminal proceedings.
It is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling more than $10,000 to a CBP officer upon entry or exit from the U.S. or to conceal it with intent to evade reporting requirements. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.
If you have money seized and receive a notice of seizure, do not decide how to respond to a CAFRA Notice without first consulting an attorney. Any mistake or error in judgment you make can cost you dearly.The Petition process is a legal process. The petition itself is and should always be a legal document, no different than in any other legal proceeding, that contains detailed factual narrative, what led to the seizure, a review of the relevant law, regulations and Custom’s own guidelines concerning the criteria for remission. When the facts allow for it, our Petition will always include a strong argument for return of the money in full, or even when there is a valid basis for the currency seizure, a strong argument for the money to be returned upon payment of a fine in the smallest amount of money possible, rather than forfeiture of all your money.
If you have had currency seized and are contemplating what to do next, please make use of the other information I make available on this website or call my office at (734) 855-4999 or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist with currency seizures around the country, including Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places, and not just locally in Detroit.