Published On: Fri, Feb 20th, 2015

US preclearance in Aruba intercepts cocaine hidden in lining of suitcase

cocaineORANJESTAD, Aruba -- US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Oranjestad-Aruba preclearance facility intercepted 7.25 pounds of cocaine concealed in the lining of a traveler’s suitcases. The subject and narcotics were turned over to Aruba Customs for further investigation and prosecution.

On February 11, a 34-year-old US citizen utilized an automated passport control kiosk to apply for entry into the United States. CBP officers referred the traveler for secondary inspection, where ten packages were found hidden in the lining of both the traveler’s suitcases. The packages contained a white powdery substance that field tested positive for cocaine.

"With the implementation of the automated passport control kiosks, our CBP officers are able to enhance their enforcement mentality to truly focus on the traveler,” said Ian Bow, acting Aruba port director. “This seizure is a great example of the primary officer remaining vigilant and applying previous training and past experience to refer the traveler to secondary."

The street value for 7.25 pounds of cocaine in Miami, the traveler’s final destination, is approximately $100,000.

CBP preclearance operations allow for advance inspection of passengers and special coordination with law enforcement upon arrival in the United States. Through preclearance, the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air passengers performed on arrival in the United States are instead completed before departure at foreign airports. Currently, preclearance operations exist at 15 foreign airports in six different countries, benefitting air passengers, airports, and air carriers, in the United States and abroad.

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