Customs Seizes $409,000 in Unreported Currency

Customs in Arizona seized a particularly large amount of unreported currency for what appears to be bulk cash smuggling offenses (that is, concealing cash so as to evade the reporting requirement) and failing to file a currency and monetary instrument report (CMIR) for amounts being transported over $10,000. Presumptively, since the individuals involved in the transportation of the money seized by Customs were involved, there is probable cause that these events were linked to some sort of illegal activity.

Every time currency is seized Customs asks the district attorney’s office if they want to prosecute. In this instance, the government is likely going to decide prosecute and the people are would face criminal charges. If it turns out the money was from legitimate source and she had a legitimate intended use, this situation was completely avoidable. But now, even if criminal charges are ultimately not filed or if they are ultimately not found guilty of a crime, they will still face civil forfeiture of the money and, if they wants it back, will have to fight for its return administratively, or in the courts.

(Tuesday, January 07, 2014) Tucson, Ariz. — Two women, a 36-year-old Mexican national and a 29-year-old U.S. citizen, were arrested Sunday in separate incidents for attempting to smuggle unreported U.S. currency into Mexico through ports in southern Arizona.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers conducting outbound inspections at the Port of Nogales selected a vehicle driven by a Nogales, Sonora, Mexico woman for further inspection and found $301,000 in unreported cash hidden in a wheel-well of her vehicle. The cash was seized.

Earlier in the day at the Port of Douglas, officers referred a Ford SUV for further inspection where they found $108,000 in unreported U.S. currency concealed in the center console.The vehicle and cash were processed for seizure.

Both women were arrested and referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Individuals arrested may be charged by complaint, the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you have had cash seized by customs and are contemplating what to do next, please make use of the other information available on this website or call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs around the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places, and not just locally in Detroit.

Please read these other articles:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
  2. Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
  3. Structuring currency imports and exports
  4. Is it $10,000 per person?  Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
  5. Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
  6. Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
  7. Responding to a Customs currency seizure
  8. How do I get my seized money back?
  9. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  10. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?