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Puerto Rico authorities seize $86,130 hidden in karaoke system

Late Friday, CBP officers were conducting routine outbound inspections on an American Eagle flight destined to Santiago, Dominican Republic. Currency reporting requirements were explained to passengers as they boarded their flight to the Dominican Republic. 

During the inspection, passenger Joel Santos-Castillo, a 25-year-old lawful permanent resident and citizen of the Dominican Republic, declared to be transporting $100. 

CBP officers conducted a secondary examination of the passenger and his luggage. Santos-Castillo claimed ownership of the luggage and all its contents. During the examination, a CBP canine alerted positive to the odour of narcotics on the bag. Inside officers found a karaoke system that when opened revealed ten bundles wrapped in plastic bags hidden within the lid. 

The bundles contained a total of US$86,300. The currency was seized and Santos-Castillo was placed under arrest.

“The hard work and expertise of our officers continues to add to the safety of our community by disrupting the illegal contraband of money and drugs,” said San Juan Area Port Director Maria Palmer.

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