ROMULUS (WWJ) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have seized more than $270,000 dollars from a father and daughter landing at Metro Airport from Amman, Jordan.
Authorities say Hekmat and Bedeel Bahnam initially denied carrying $10,000 or more in U.S. currency or its equivalent in foreign currency upon landing in Romulus on Thursday. Agents searched their luggage and discovered $271,463 in U.S. and Iraqi currency.
The Bahnam’s were arrested and turned over to agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. They were charged Friday with bulk cash smuggling and conspiracy, and face federal prosecution.
Authorities say Hekmat Bahnam is a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., while his daughter is a U.S. citizen.
While it’s not illegal to carry large sums of cash when traveling into or out of the U.S., authorities say any amount of money over $10,000 must be reported. Violators may face criminal prosecution and forfeiture of the undisclosed funds.