Last updated: 11:07 AM ET, Thu February 18 2016

Couple Caught at Airport with Almost $5 Million in Counterfeit Money

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | February 18, 2016

Couple Caught at Airport with Almost $5 Million in Counterfeit Money

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A couple arriving in Detroit from South Korea Friday was arrested after allegedly trying to smuggle in nearly $5 million worth of counterfeit money.

According to Ali Gostanian of, two passengers who arrived at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after their flight from Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea, were found to be carrying counterfeit money when they went through customs.

United States Customs and Border Protection reported that its officers found 93 bundles of counterfeit $100 bills from the U.S. and 32 bundles of counterfeit Vietnamese dong in the couple’s bags.

READ MORE: As A Reminder, Don't Try to Smuggle 59 Pounds of Gold Through Customs

In total, officers discovered $4.65 million worth of counterfeit money that they called “Hell Money”, which is a counterfeit currency printed on joss paper and burnt as an offering to those who have died.

Customs and Border Protection director told, “Attempting to import any amount of counterfeit currency, regardless of the intended purpose, can have serious implications for arriving travelers.”

After the discovery of the counterfeit bills, the money was seized by officers from Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Secret Service.


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