US woman caught smuggling US$41,000 to Philippines
Associated Press in Detroit
An elderly Florida woman tried to fly to the Philippines from Detroit with almost US$41,000 in cash hidden inside her girdle, bra and carry-on bag, federal authorities said.
A complaint laid in US District Court in Detroit said the woman, 78, was trying to board a flight on April 2 to the Philippines with her daughter.
She initially said she had US$200 in cash but submitted a form declaring she had US$1,200, which prompted questions and a subsequent search.
During the search, officials found US$8,000 in wallets in her carry-on bag, US$4,000 sewn into a cloth pouch and nearly US$1,000 in envelopes, according to the complaint. She then told them she had secreted US$3,000 in her blouse and a further US$2,000 sewn into the strap of her bra.
Officers continued to search and said they found about US$21,000 in her girdle.
The woman told authorities that she had recently sold her home for US$120,000, transferred some money to the Philippines and had planned to carry a portion of the money with her.
"She stated that she did not transfer the proceeds to the Philippines because she thought it was safer to carry the money," according to prosecutors.
US law requires travellers to declare more than US$10,000. The woman has not been charged, but officials have laid claimed to the money.