HomeNewsBriefU.S. Citizen Arrested With Nearly $4 Million at Mexico Border
BRIEF

U.S. Citizen Arrested With Nearly $4 Million at Mexico Border

MONEY LAUNDERING / 8 AUG 2011 BY RONAN GRAHAM EN

Mexican authorities have arrested a U.S. citizen and a Ukrainian traveling on a bus carrying over 3.7 million dollars in cash.

The pair were arrested by customs agents in the city of Sonoyta in the northern state of Sonora, while traveling en route to Tijuana.

The cash was discovered in their luggage. According to the Attorney General's Office, the pair said they were planning to "start a business" with the money. The suspects have been identified as American national Adam Gerardo Cazares Valenzuela and Ukrainian national Lesya Fergeyevma. 

A statement released by the Attorney General's Office stated that both detainees will be held for at least 40 days, while investigations begin to determine the origin of the money.

Mexico reportedly seized $260 million in cash from criminal organizations since President Felipe Calderon assumed office in 2006. This is just a fraction of the estimated $18 billion to $39 billion in drug cash thought to flow into Mexico every year, according to U.S. government numbers.

Cash shipments are notoriously difficult to spot and seize at the U.S.-Mexico border: American officials reportedly confiscated just $85 million in illicit funds at the border in 2009.

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