Philly customs officers seize more than $ 6.5 million in counterfeit money from Russia
Millions of dollars of counterfeit US dollars and euros have been intercepted in Philadelphia by customs officials who claim the counterfeit currency arrived in the country via international air cargo from Russia.
The currency was seized on Tuesday and was intended for Chicago before customs and border protection officers in Philadelphia found the money in a series of five packages over a period of several weeks, officials said.
The last package checked Tuesday contained 3,011,000 euros in denominations of 10, 50, 100 and 500 euros. This converts to approximately $ 3,485,794 in US dollars.
Another package that arrived on September 14 contained $ 20,500 in counterfeit $ 1 bills. Two days later, CBP officials seized two more packages, one containing $ 2 million in counterfeit $ 100 bills and the other with $ 15,000 in counterfeit $ 1 bills. The next day, authorities recovered an additional $ 990,000 in counterfeit $ 100 bills.
CBP officials contacted the U.S. Secret Service, who confirmed the currency was counterfeit. Counterfeit money will be handed over to secret service agents.
Investigators said the packages were similar to a September 7 shipment in which Philadelphia CBP officers seized a package containing nearly $ 100,000 in counterfeit euros and dollars.
Each of the seized shipments contained a manifesto that read “Fictitious Monopoly Money” and the notes were marked as ancillary money, officials said. Federal law considers such currency to be counterfeit when it resembles real currency as closely as the banknotes seized in such mailings. Invoices can still be presented as fictitious legal tender in the wrong hands.
“This is an exceptional interception by customs and border officials of an alarming amount of restricted currency that can be altered to appear genuine and potentially used to harm our country’s most vulnerable citizens.” , said Edward Moriarty, acting port director of CBP in Philadelphia. “CBP remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners in our collective efforts to end financial scams and protect the economic security of our country.”