CBP recently seized more than $125k from an individual heading to Mexico. The vehicles were found using “non-intrusive inspection” equipment (think x-rays) to locate 12 bundles of currency hidden within the vehicle. This then is a “bulk cash smuggling” seizure so more than just your average “I-swear-officer-that-I-have-$9,900 but-really-I-have-$11,000”-type airport reporting incident, which makes up a large volume of the cases nationally.
These kinds of cases are usually drug related, but the story does not say that the individual was arrested. You would expect an arrest if he was courier. Perhaps the story doesn’t go into that detail, or perhaps the person is somehow innocent (stranger things have happened). Here’s the whole cash seizure tale:
HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge intercepted $126,000 in undeclared currency.
“CBP officers conduct outbound enforcement operations to protect against unreported exportations of bulk U.S. currency, which often can be proceeds from alleged illicit activity, or currency that funds transnational criminal organizations,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry.
On March 22, 2023, CBP officers conducting outbound enforcement operations at the Hidalgo International Bridge encountered a green Nissan sedan driving southbound to Mexico. A CBP officer referred the vehicle for further inspection which included the use of utilizing non-intrusive inspection (NII) equipment. After physically inspecting the vehicle, officers discovered twelve bundles of currency totaling $126,000 in various denominations concealed within the vehicle.
CBP OFO seized the currency and vehicle, and the case remains under investigation by special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).