Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations (CBP) seized more than $ 20 million in designer jewelry in the Detroit Windsor Tunnel on Monday.
The jewelry was destined for a New York auction house, where it would be appraised and eventually sold on behalf of the owner, a Canadian citizen.
According to Customs, the undeclared and undisclosed merchandise was discovered after an investigation revealed that a courier service was hired to transport the package to a Detroit-based contact, who would then make final delivery.
The driver of the vehicle claimed to have no knowledge of the contents of the package and it was subsequently returned to Canada.
The jewelry owner was informed that the pieces would be confiscated for importation contrary to the law and for not declaring the merchandise upon entering the United States.
“For the traveling public, this example underscores the importance of knowing what is in their possession when they attempt to enter the United States and declaring it accordingly,” said Port Director Devin Chamberlain. “Detroit Customs officers did an excellent job discovering and securing this high-value, undeclared merchandise.”
Officers have legal authority to search all travelers, baggage, and means of transportation entering the United States. Some merchandise may be subject to import duties or requirements, or may be prohibited.