CBP seizes in excesses of $170,000 in undeclared currency



PRESIDIO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers conducting southbound operations at the Presidio port of entry yesterday afternoon, stopped a 22-year-old male U.S. citizen who was attempting to leave the country with $175,935 in unreported U.S. currency.

The seizure was made at approximately 2:37 p.m. while CBP officers were conducting joint southbound operations with U.S. Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Presidio Police Department. A CBP officer selected a compact car for an intensive exam following an interview with the driver.

A CBP currency detector dog alerted to the front quarter panels of the vehicle. Twelve bundles were removed from non-factory compartments found on the driver and passenger side quarter panels of the vehicle.

CBP officers arrested the man. He was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations special agents and is facing federal currency smuggling charges.

“The combined efforts of our CBP officers working together with U.S. Border Patrol agents, Homeland Security Investigations agents and Presidio Police officers in the outbound area creates a force multiplier effect that results in significant seizures,” said CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Mancha. “Every single dollar we stop from being smuggled out of the country makes it harder for criminal organizations to further their illegal activity.”

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 declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest. An individual may petition for the return of currency seized by CBP officers, but the petitioner must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.

In addition to the large currency seizure at Presidio CBP officers working in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico on Thursday made an additional smaller currency seizure, four drug seizures, three fugitive apprehensions, assessed three agriculture related penalties, and applied penalties in two illegal export cases.

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