Heroin and over $2 million in smuggled currency seized in Puerto Rico

News-1SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers discovered 1.15 kilograms (2.5 pounds) of heroin concealed within a vehicle arriving from the Dominican Republic on the ferry last Friday and, on evening Monday, CBP officers conducting ferry outbound operations at the San Juan Seaport seized more than $2 million in currency.

While performing inbound inspections of passenger vehicles that arrived from Dominican Republic onboard the M/V Caribbean Fantasy on Friday, CBP officers performed a thorough inspection of one of the vehicles and discovered, hidden within it, an object which subsequently field tested positive for the properties of heroin. The heroin weighed approximately 2.5 pounds, with an estimated value of $75,000.

CBP officers arrested the driver of the vehicle, a United States citizen and resident of Puerto Rico.

The seized money was found in hidden compartments inside a truck that was leaving Puerto Rico on Monday en route to the Dominican Republic onboard M/V Caribbean Fantasy ferry.

CBP personnel selected a truck with Puerto Rico license plates for an intensive examination after a preliminary non-intrusive inspection revealed certain anomalies. Subsequently a physical inspection revealed 22 bundles of hidden US currency for an amount of $2,044,375.

CBP officers seized the currency and took custody of the driver.

“CBP officers conduct outbound examinations of passengers and cargo leaving the country in an effort to stop guns, ammunition and unreported currency from being smuggled out of the country. Their diligence paid off in this enforcement action,” said Juan Hurtado, San Juan Area port director. “The unreported cash that we seize has an impact on the criminal organizations by making it more difficult for them to further their illicit activities.”

Individuals are permitted to carry any amount of currency or monetary instruments into or out of the US. However, if the quantity is $10,000 or higher, they must formally report the currency to CBP. Failure to report may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.

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