Feds find $60K hidden in traveler's baggage at Detroit Metro Airport

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A traveler at Detroit Metro Airport last week had an unusual array to carry on the plane, federal officials say: more than $60,000 in undeclared U.S. currency. Even odder: where she stuffed the stash.

Money was concealed in a sanitary napkins package, U.S. Customs officers said.

Customs and Border Protection officers encountered the woman, who was headed to Amsterdam, on Feb. 3, when she initially reported carrying only $1,000.

During an inspection of her baggage, officers with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's field operations office "found bundles of cash inside envelopes, concealed in packaging used to house sanitary napkins."

"Officers seized the money as a result of the passenger violating currency reporting requirements," representatives said in a statement.

Officials did not disclose her name, city of residence or citizenship, or whether she was held in custody by officials. 

A spokesman for Customs and Border Protection said Friday the agency is not releasing the woman's name. He said the 49-year-old woman is not facing any charges at this time and will be able to petition to get her money back. He also said the agency is not releasing any further details on the incident at the moment. 

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Transporting more than $10,000 of any currency or monetary instruments must be reported to a CBP officer upon arrival into or exiting the United States, the agency said Thursday. Travelers can use the FinCEN 105 currency reporting site or ask a CBP officer for a currency reporting form. 

Penalties for noncompliance can include civil fines, officials said.

“CBP enforces these regulations to combat money laundering or other criminal offenses,” said port director Robert Larkin. “I’m proud of our officers and the work they do to interrupt currency smuggling operations and illegal activities daily.”