An Ontario man told U.S. border patrol agents that he was coming into the United States with $700 cash. But a scanning device that can X-ray vehicles for hidden compartments and a vigilant patrol dog showed his declaration was more than $2 million short of reality.
Eskender Mafarani of Richmond Hill, Ontario, appeared for a detention hearing in federal court in Detroit in what border patrol agents are calling the largest bulk cash smuggling case ever in the eastern district of Michigan.
Mafarani, 52, was crossing the Ambassador Bridge into the United States in a blue Volvo truck Friday when a border patrol officer asked him if he had anything to declare, according to a U.S. District Court affidavit. Mafarani said he had nothing to declare and was traveling with $700, the affidavit states.
However, border patrol officers used X-ray images to find hidden compartments in the truck. A patrol dog also alerted the officers to two different areas near the side walls of the truck, authorities said.
Once they searched the truck, officers found more than $2 million in cash wrapped in 138 bundles in hidden compartments, along with six cell phones, a laptop computer and $1,220 in Canadian cash.
Oops! Spare change for the toll booth?