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Four Flight Attendants Caught Smuggling $22,000 in Cash

Four Flight Attendants Caught Smuggling $22,000 in Cash
Jackie Reddy

Four American Airlines staff members have been arrested on money laundering charges in Miami. Three crew members were arrested shortly after their arrival into Miami from Chile on Monday morning after they failed to declare a big sum of cash to customs officials. A fourth was then detained after being implicated.

As the Miami Herald reports, four American Airlines (AA) crew members have been arrested in the city on charges of money laundering after three of them failed to declare $22,671 in cash during a routine check by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials.

The three crew members – who were arriving into Miami International Airport (MIA) on Monday from Chile on American Airlines Flight 912 – have been named as Alberto Munoz-Moyano, Miaria Delpilar Roman-Strick and Maria Isabel Wilson-Ossandon.

Despite only declaring $100 in cash, Munoz-Moyano was found to be carrying $9,000. Further checks were carried out on Roman-Strick, who was carrying $7,300, and Wilson-Ossandon, who was carrying $6,371.

The three staff members then allegedly implicated Maria Beatriz Pasten-Cuzmar as the person who “directed them to transport U.S. currency into the United States and deliver it to a known person.”

In addition to money laundering charges, the outlet reports that the four have also been charged with “unauthorized money transmitting between $300 and $20,000.”

They are currently being held in jail in Miami-Dade County.

Offering comments to the outlet on the matter, AA said, “We take this matter seriously and are cooperating with law enforcement throughout their investigation.”

[Featured Image: Cash on Hand/Flickr]

View Comments (6)

6 Comments

  1. TMOliver

    October 24, 2019 at 6:55 am

    When one considers the vast amounts of “cash”, millions of dollars, which daily flow across the US’s Southern Border (and which is rarely and barely slowed by US and foreign law enforcement agencies), $22,000 split among 2 “smugglers” seems almost straining at gnats. Have they broken the law? Yes, apparently, and if found guilty, should be punished, but this is no front page story, elevated by the media to banner headlines and a flood of videos. Nothing but “Chump Change”, while the big money travels almost untrammeled,, examples like full ocean freight containers stuffed with bundled currency……

  2. rebadc

    October 24, 2019 at 11:30 am

    So I thought you only had to declare amounts over $10,000 per person or family.
    they could have said yes I’m carrying cash less than $10,000 and would have been fine right

  3. j2simpso

    October 24, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Not necessarily rebadc. Whilst it is below the threshold for confiscation, there would still be some scrutiny, especially for flight attendants. Perhaps I’m missing something here but is it common for FAs to carry thousands of dollars of cash with them when the airline covers everything for them? What are they going to do with that money, make change from duty free cash purchases? Never mind the fact that said FAs were leaving a country in crisis where capital flight is a real issue.

  4. dogcanyon

    October 24, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    “Whilst it is below the threshold for confiscation, there would still be some scrutiny, especially for flight attendants.” Whatever do you mean by “threshold for confiscation”? There is no legal limit to how much cash you can bring into or take out of the country, only a requirement that you declare it if more than $10,000.

  5. gavron

    October 26, 2019 at 6:42 am

    My understanding is that when going through US CBP any amounts over $10,000 and must be declared.
    HOWEVER, if “traveling together” and filling out ONE declaration form, that applies to all combined.
    See https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-195?language=en_US

    For FITs see also: http://customsandinternationaltradelaw.com/2012/01/10/can-i-bring-in-more-than-10000-to-the-united-states-when-travelling/

    I get the feeling we’re not being told that Company filed the 6059-B for the FAs…

    Ehud Gavron
    Tucson AZ
    FAA CPL-H

  6. N1120A

    November 4, 2019 at 2:32 am

    They were below their declaration limit, so this should have been a non-issue. My guess is someone had already fingered them and they were being targeted.

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