Counterfeit money bust at JFK airport

May 11, 2011 6:44:33 PM PDT
Customs officers at JFK Airport arrested a Peruvian citizen for attempting to smuggle more than $190,000 in counterfeit money.

On Saturday, May 7th, CBP officers selected arriving passenger Mr. Jonathan Reyes for an enforcement exam.

During a baggage exam several purses and wallets were found with an unusually thick lining.

A more thorough exam of these items revealed more than 1,900 counterfeit U.S. $100 notes concealed within the lining.

More than $190,000 was seized and Mr. Reyes was placed under arrest.

This marks the second seizure of counterfeit money in less than a month.

On April 14th, Customs and Border Protection Officers at JFK International Airport arrested Mr. Marco Chavez who attempted to smuggle nearly $600,000 in counterfeit U.S. $100 notes.

In one of the largest seizures of counterfeit currency in JFK history, the notes were found concealed in the lining of various household items and notebooks.

The joint investigations with the United States Secret Service into both of these cases are ongoing.

"The unlawful trade of counterfeit monetary instruments has adverse effects on our economy," stated Robert E. Perez, Director, Field Operations, New York Field Office. "Teams of CBP officers in the greater New York area are dedicated to protecting the U.S. economy while facilitating legitimate travel and trade."

"Partnerships, as we have with the JFK U.S. Customs and Border Protection office, are essential in preventing counterfeit currency from entering the United States," said John McQuade, Resident Agent in Charge of the Secret Service's JFK office. ""Cooperation among agencies at JFK, and throughout New York, has allowed us to focus our resources and respond quickly to uncover and prevent counterfeiting and other criminal activity."