Chicago, Illinois - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Chicago’s International Mail Facility (IMF) recently seized 281 shipments containing various counterfeit coins and $100 bills with 95% of the shipments arriving from China.
Officers at the IMF intercepted the first two shipments on April 16. The first package had 1,492 $100 bills ($149,200) and was destined for a residence in Georgia. The second parcel contained 97 $100 bills ($9,700) and was destined for a residence in Texas. Both shipments were declared as bar props, however, counterfeiting Federal Reserve notes is a federal crime.
On April 21, CBP officers seized 279 parcels all containing various denominations in coin currency. The first seizure of the night consisted of 88 parcels containing 2,020 coins. The next seizure was comprised of 93 parcels containing 2,548 coins. The third seizure of the night was 52 parcels containing 908 counterfeit coins. The final seizure was 46 parcels containing 1,191 coins. In total officers seized 39 .50 cent coins, 6,345 $1.00 coins, and 283 $2.50 coins. Most of the coins had a buffalo, a bald eagle or native Americans embossed on the coins; collector items which are sold for profit.
The face value of this bogus currency was $165,972, but all of it is worthless. The counterfeit currency is seized under Counterfeit U.S. Currency, Coins or Government Securities.
“Counterfeiting is a lucrative business which is often used to finance illegal activities such as trafficking in human beings, drugs, and even terrorism.” said Mike Pfeiffer, Assistant Area Port Director-Chicago. “These are significant seizures made by officers which prevents criminal groups from targeting our citizens, businesses and the security of the United States.”
According to the Secret Service, special agents and investigative analysts from around the country continue to work closely with state and local law enforcement partners to minimize risks by informing the public and apprehending those responsible for passing counterfeit currency. Visit the United States Secret Service’s website for detailed information. Both consumers and retailers can protect themselves from inadvertently receiving counterfeit currency by quickly glancing at the note.
CBP conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the United States, and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the Nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.