US Customs Seizes US$500k In Vessel Headed To Bahamas

(CMC) — The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency said Tuesday that agents from its Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and US federal partners seized about US$500,000 in undeclared currency after stopping a vessel, heading to the Bahamas, for an outbound inspection near Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

CBP said the Fort Lauderdale Marine Unit, Miami Marine Unit and Miami Air and Marine Branch Multi-Role Enforcement Aircraft crew stopped the vessel and coordinated with US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) during the vessel inspection.

A K-9 alerted to the centre console during a search of the vessel, CBP said, where agents discovered the currency in the lining of a cooler and laundry detergent boxes.

“Air and Marine Operations works closely with law enforcement partners to provide unparalleled domain awareness in the air and maritime environments,” said Tony Arevalo, Director, Air and Marine Operation, Miami Air and Marine Branch. “Nefarious actors often seek to conceal and move currency from their activities.”

CBP said Air and Marine Operations “safeguards our nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond”.

“With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft, and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands, AMO conducts its mission in the air and maritime environments at and beyond the border, and within the nation’s interior,” it added.

In 2020, CBP said AMO enforcement actions resulted in the seizure or disruption of 194,220 pounds of cocaine, 278,492 pounds of marijuana, 15,985 pounds of methamphetamine, 952 weapons and US$51.5 million, 1,066 arrests, 47,872 apprehensions of illegal migrants.