Mexican soldiers seize USD $2.7 million in cash in Tijuana

Mexican soldiers have seized an unprecedented amount of cash at an incoming border inspection checkpoint in Tijuana

Mexican soldiers seize USD $2.7 million in cash in Tijuana
This Jan. 22, 2020, file photo shows the likeness of Benjamin Franklin on $100 bills in Dallas - Photo: LM Otero/AP
English 02/07/2020 17:54 Newsroom & Agencies Mexico City Leonor Flores/EL UNIVERSAL & Newsroom/AP Actualizada 17:54

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Mexican soldiers have seized almost USD $2.7 million in cash stuffed into suitcases in the back of an SUV entering Mexico from the United States, the Defense Department said Wednesday.

The seizure took place last week at an incoming border inspection checkpoint in Tijuana, the city across from San Diego, California.

Authorities detected the cash with an X-ray inspection of the vehicle. The SUV had reportedly come from Los Angeles, though it was unclear where it was headed in Mexico. The vehicle’s occupants were detained for failing to declare the money.

Drug gangs in Mexico frequently smuggle the proceeds of drug sales in cash back into Mexico.

Read more: The 6 Mexican drug cartels fueling the U.S. drug and opioid crisis

The unprecedented seizure was also reported by Mexico’s Tax Administration Service (SAT) which added that staff at the checkpoint at “El Chaparral,” dependent on the Tijuana Customs Office, detected two women who pretended to enter Mexican territory with the money illegally.

As part of the acting protocols, staff from the Customs General Administration (AGA) warned Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (FGR) and the Ministerial Federal Police in order to open the corresponding investigation file.

“As President Andrés Manuel López Obrador mandated us, we have reinforced intelligence and surveillance works at the 49 customs offices of the country in order to fulfill our duty and give direct blows, in this case, millionaire, to the financial structures of criminal organizations,” said Horacio Duarte, head of the AGA.

He stressed this is an unprecedented seizure that responds to the redesign of the strategy to fight corruption and the close coordination with different organizations from Mexico’s government, such as the National Defense Ministry, the Navy, the National Guard, and the FGR.

Read more: Mexico seizes luxury cars including Lamborghinis and Ferraris

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