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US Customs seizes US$145k from smugglers near St. Thomas

US Customs seizes US$145k from smugglers near St. Thomas

NEW YORK: The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says its Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents seized US$145,000 from a vessel operated by three US citizens near St. Thomas.
According to the CBP, “all subjects were released pending further investigation.”
The officials report that during a maritime patrol, a St. Thomas-based marine crew located a vessel with three men traversing around the waters of the US Virgin Islands.
“The vessel heaved and was escorted for inspection into a local marina, where one of the vessel occupants attempted to flee and was subsequently detained,” CBP said.
“He had a brown bag which contained a significant amount of US currency.”
The bag contained US$145,000, which was seized for a civil forfeiture under title 18 USC Section 981.
US federal statute allows CBP officers and agents to inspect and search all persons, baggage and other merchandise arriving in or leaving the United States.
As part of the inspection process, it said officers and agents must verify the identity of persons, determine the admissibility of travelers, and look for possible terrorist weapons, controlled substances and a variety of other prohibited items.