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Woman bound for Philippines caught with $21,000 in girdle at airport

ROMULUS, Michigan — A 78-year-old Florida woman tried to fly on an international trip to the Philippines from Detroit Metropolitan Airport with almost $41,000 in cash hidden inside her girdle, bra and carry-on bag, federal authorities said.

A complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit said the Clearwater woman was trying to board a flight April 2 to the Philippines with her daughter. She initially said she had $200 in cash but submitted a form declaring she had $1,200, prompting questions.

During a search, Customs and Border Protection officers found $8,000 in wallets in her carry-on bag, $4,000 sewn into a cloth pouch and nearly $1,000 in envelopes, according to the complaint. She then told them she had $3,000 in her blouse and $2,000 sewn into the strap of her bra.

Officers continued to search and said they found about $21,000 in her girdle. The woman told authorities that she had recently sold her home for $120,000, wired some money to the Philippines and had planned to carry a portion of the money with her.

“She stated that she did not wire the proceeds to the Philippines this time because she thought it was safer to carry the money,” according to the complaint.

Federal law requires travelers to declare if they are carrying more than $10,000. The woman hasn’t been charged, but the government in the forfeiture complaint said it wants to keep the money. The Detroit News reported details of the request Friday.

Federal court records don’t list a lawyer for the woman. The Associated Press left a message Saturday seeking comment from her at a telephone listing in Florida.

  • Youdontknowthehalfofit

    Excuse me.. MAYBE? her story is plausible, but how stupid is she in thinking can outwit the American regime, and also the Philippines bureaucracy.

  • Geouy

    Minsan inaakala ng tao na tama ang kanyang ginagawa dahil alam niya na kanya naman ang pera, ang hindi nang tao na iisip ay he/she is doing a stupid decision dahil may mga laws na dapat i considers or other environment that would cause damage for her.

  • Ur Septim

    Sad but people in America are over-taxed. When you get your wages, it’s taxed! You spend it, you pay tax for the item you purchased. And when you die, what you own to be inherited by your family is also taxed! Even when you’re six feet under, there still tax involved!

  • Zstimman

    The US Government will not be denied it’s fair share of your money. All hail Obama.

  • anton lim

    Its hard earned money and she is just practical to carry it on than to use bank or money transfer because its easy n hassle free. Beside its just small compare to the actual amount her house was sold. Pls spare her..

  • Maria Noela Corrales Kertz

    I wish the government doesn’t take the money if it’s proven that it is really hers, but she’s committed a minor crime of not declaring it. She can be penalized but to take it all is too much. This is a hard earn money. On her part,she just want to save the fees of wiring the money to Philippines.