Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) generate significant proceeds from several criminal activities, to include narcotics smuggling, human smuggling/trafficking, fraud, intellectual property right violations and other financial crimes. These profits are often represented in the form of currency or cash, and are smuggled by TCOs throughout the United States and across U.S. borders to keep their proceeds and associated activities away from the scrutiny of financial regulators and law enforcement agencies. Criminal actors avoid traditional financial institutions by repatriating their illicit proceeds through conveyances such as commercial and private aircraft, passenger and commercial vehicles, maritime vessels and via pedestrian crossings at our land borders.
The National Bulk Cash Smuggling Center (BCSC) was established in 2009 to combat bulk cash smuggling from a domestic and international perspective. The BCSC provides real-time operational support to federal, state, local and international agencies involved in the enforcement and interdiction of bulk value and illicit proceeds moved throughout the country and across international borders through various methods and transportation networks. As TCOs have evolved and embraced technological advances and emerging financial sectors to diversify their laundering methods, the BCSC has also adapted to expand the breadth of illicit value transfer to include stored value, pre-paid cards, access devices, and digital currency or virtual assets.
Bulk cash smuggling will long continue to be the preferred method used by TCOs to move and launder illicit proceeds. In response, HSI and the BCSC remain committed to combatting currency smuggling, illicit value transfer and cross-border crimes that seek to undermine our financial systems.
If you have information that an individual, business or organization is engaged in the illicit transportation or smuggling of currency or monetary instruments, please submit an anonymous tip or call the ICE Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.