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Sniffing Out Billions In US Currency Smuggled Across the Border To Mexico

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the don't-steal-the-government-hates-competition dept.

The Almighty Buck 158

An anonymous reader writes "Criminals smuggle an estimated $30 billion in U.S. currency into Mexico each year from the United States, most of it laundered drug money. But researchers say help is on the way for border guards in the form of a portable device that identifies specific vapors given off by U.S. paper money. "We're developing a device that mimics the function of trained dogs 'sniffing' out concealed money, but without the drawbacks, such as expensive training, sophisticated operators, down time and communication limitations," says Suiqiong Li, Ph.D., a member of the research team behind the technology. When developing the device, the researchers first had to figure out which gases money emits and how fast that happens. It turned out that the gases are a set of trace chemicals, including aldehydes, furans and organic acids." What do bitcoins smell like?

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Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore (2)

alphatel (1450715) | about 3 months ago | (#47656035)

Smells like... Victory

Grandma (3, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | about 3 months ago | (#47656941)

The can sniff out $41,000 [detroitnews.com] in grandma's bra but they can't find pallets of cash going across the border.

What would Ray Bradbury say? (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 3 months ago | (#47656041)

They smell like burned fuel.

Bitcoins? (5, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47656057)

What do bitcoins smell like?

Despair, irony, and a touch of vermouth.

Re:Bitcoins? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656093)

They smell like ass

Re:Bitcoins? (1)

Adriax (746043) | about 3 months ago | (#47656343)

I was going to go with shame and regret.

Re:Bitcoins? (1)

Amtrak (2430376) | about 3 months ago | (#47656361)

No that one's called Dogecoin

Re:Bitcoins? (1)

powerlord (28156) | about 3 months ago | (#47656529)

No, those smell like money sniffing dogs.

Re:Bitcoins? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656359)

Manboob sweat, tears

Re:Bitcoins? (2)

Richard Dick Head (803293) | about 3 months ago | (#47656405)

They smell like Magic Smoke [wikipedia.org] , of course!

Just like Red Hat Linux 6.1 [archive.org] bitcoin is incompatible with magic smokeless CPUs.

Re:Bitcoins? (1)

pr0t0 (216378) | about 3 months ago | (#47657021)

I was thinking they smelled like a lost opportunity.

Re:Bitcoins? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47657229)

What do bitcoins smell like?

Despair, irony, and a touch of vermouth.

With a dash of bitters...

What about the CIA? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656069)

We already know the CIA is very much involved in the Mexican drug trade, and I don't mean in the trying-to-stop-it department. Are those billions still going to be allowed to pass through?

Ah, who am I kidding. Of course they are. Because corrupt government has decided that it can do as it pleases.

Re:What about the CIA? (1)

mbone (558574) | about 3 months ago | (#47656441)

The CIA doesn't do borders. They use Andrews Air Force Base for that sort of thing. (Or, at least that's the persistent rumor here in DC.)

Bitcoins smell like... (1)

klek (1237566) | about 3 months ago | (#47656081)

...a powerful mycotoxin.

Re: Bitcoins smell like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656801)

Amanita Phalloides?

Sniffs out.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656085)

... the traces of cocaine that can be found on every single U.S. treasury note.

Re:Sniffs out.. (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 3 months ago | (#47656157)

... the traces of cocaine that can be found on every single U.S. treasury note.

Presumably the cocaine traces are thanks to this exact smuggling operation; someone gets clean money from their bank, buys some coke, the bill gets handed up and up and up the drug hierarchy and ends up in Mexico to be used mostly to pay gun runners for premium US goods, which then ends up back in circulation in the US. I wonder if they could not only find the money but deduce what kind of drug ring is behind it...

Re:Sniffs out.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656249)

I wonder if they could not only find the money but deduce what kind of drug ring is behind it...

Now do you see why TSA "randomly" swabs people? Collect a chemical signature, extract later and compare to "metadata" of personal details to determine who to watch in the US.

Now replace the war on drugs with the war on revolutio^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H terrorists

Re:Sniffs out.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656389)

No.

The cocaine traces on bills are because of two things:

Dollar bills have long been used as a makeshift straw to snort cocaine.
Dollars bills used in this way then spread the traces of cocaine to other bills when they go through a money counting machine used at banks. The machine then becomes contaminated with cocaine, and spread it to all the other bills.

http://www.snopes.com/business/money/cocaine.asp

How to seriously stop drug money laundering (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656115)

https://www.google.com/search?&q=banks+helping+drug+cartels

Banks Launder Billions of Illegal Cartel Money While ...
        www.huffingtonpost.com/.../banks-cartel-money-lau...
        The Huffington Post
        Jan 17, 2014 - The hypocrisy of the role that banks play in the drug trade is ... power is that well-known and popular banks are supporting their finances.

        Awash In Cash, Drug Cartels Rely On Big Banks To ... - NPR
        www.npr.org/.../awash-in-cash-drug-cartels-rely-on-big-banks-to-la...
        NPR
        Mar 20, 2014 - The multi-national bank was heavily penalized several years ago for permitting huge transfers of drug cartel money between Mexico and the ...

        How Bankers Help Drug Traffickers and Terrorists ...
        www.nytimes.com/.../how-bankers-help-drug-traffi...
        The New York Times
        Jan 2, 2013 - The bank also admitted to using various schemes to move hundreds of ... the collaboration between Mexican and Colombian drug cartels and ...

        How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's ...
        www.theguardian.com News World news Drugs trade
        The Guardian
        Apr 2, 2011 - As the violence spread, billions of dollars of cartel cash began to seep ... How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs ..... is prepared to offer significant help to stabilise a new Iraqi government.

        Big Banks Launder Hundreds of Billions of Illegal Drug ...
        www.washingtonsblog.com Politics / World News
        Jan 14, 2014 - After all, they support some ruthless, criminal drug cartels. On the .... not to mention that the medicinal chemicals in MJ greatly help people with ...

        HSBC Judge Approves $1.9B Drug-Money Laundering Accord
        www.bloomberg.com/.../hsbc-judge-approves-1-9b-drug...
        Bloomberg L.P.
        Jul 3, 2013 - The bank, Europe's largest, agreed to pay a $1.25 billion forfeiture and ... Lack of proper controls allowed the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico and ...

        Banks Financing Mexico Gangs Admitted in Wells Fargo Deal
        www.bloomberg.com/.../banks-financing-mexico-s-drug...
        Bloomberg L.P.
        Jun 29, 2010 - Drug traffickers used accounts at Bank of America in Oklahoma City to .... letter his efforts had helped the U.S. build its case against Wachovia.

        The Ugly Truth Behind Major Banks Financing Mexico's ...
        elitedaily.com/.../shadowy-role-banks-play-financing-mexicos-drug-cart...
        by Aaron Kaufman - Feb 21, 2014 - Last December, the British bank HSBC agreed to a settlement with the US ... Prosecutors claimed that on some days, drug traffickers would ... Meet The 14-Year-Old Boy Who Helped Legalize Medical Marijuana In New York.

        HSBC accused by Senate of allowing billions in Mexican ...
        www.cbsnews.com/.../hsbc-accused-by-senate-of-allowing-bill...
        CBS News
        And HSBC's U.S. division provided money and banking services to some banks in Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh believed to have helped fund al Qaeda and ... The report says the drug cartels laundered money through the bank's U.S. division ...

It's simple: Bust the banks

Re:How to seriously stop drug money laundering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656169)

You have been added to all of the lists due to rising up against your overlords.

Sincerely,

The United Corporations of America

HEY YOU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656611)

Stop exposing that the CIA runs the entire drug trade to fund deep black underground projects.

Re:How to seriously stop drug money laundering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656661)

Putting the bankers in jail is a much better use of my tax dollars that putting pot smokers in jail.

Added value (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656119)

Armed with better detectors, border guards will demand a bigger cut from money launderers.

Easier option (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about 3 months ago | (#47656145)

There are many published references to the fact that most US $20 bills have traces of cocaine on them... http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH... [cnn.com] So why don't they just use cocaine sniffing dogs (of which, I am sure, they have plenty)?

Re:Easier option (2)

Minwee (522556) | about 3 months ago | (#47656171)

They could also skip the dogs and just use out of work A&R execs.

Re:Easier option (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47656191)

Which, you would think, would solve the problem of import of the cocaine and export of the money.

Of course, the problem becomes when you suddenly start finding CEOs and politicians jetting off to the Caymans with suitcases full of money they haven't declared.

Re:Easier option (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 3 months ago | (#47656209)

It would be easier to sniff for a trace amount of something on the thing you're looking for, than to just sniff for the thing itself? Better alert the authorities right away!

Re:Easier option (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 3 months ago | (#47656835)

When bills are put through high speed money sorter/counters, one bill used to snort cocaine can put tiny amounts of cocaine on thousands of other bills.

Due to the chemical nature of cocaine, it can be detected in immensely small concentrations- far smaller than even the best dog can detect.

Re:Easier option (1)

turning in circles (2882659) | about 3 months ago | (#47656925)

It's as easy to teach a dog to sniff money chemicals as cocaine - they are trying to make the system much cheaper by using solid phase microextraction to collect chemicals in the air or on clothing near the suspected subjects and then run gas chromatography/mass spec. Instruments are cheaper to maintain than dogs. Presumably while there may be trace amounts of cocaine in the bills, there will be lost of other chemicals in higher abundance so the Instruments will be able to find them with higher sensitivity.

I think if you wrap the cash in plastic and then take a shower and wash your clothes, you can outwit this - so if you know there is a cash-sniffing instrument, you just take a few extra steps and bypass this whole process. The only one happy is the engineers who got paid to develop the (soon to be out of date) cash-sniffing instruments.

Bitcoins smell like (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656175)

Neck beard and a superiority complex

Ah, damn it! (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#47656179)

I only switched to carrying sacks of bills across the border in the dead of night because dealing with those assholes at HSBC when I needed money laundered was too much trouble. I'll be seriously upset if enhanced security means I have to re-open my account with them. They wouldn't even upgrade me to Narcoterrorist Platinum Checking unless I provided proof of having ordered at least 50 grisly killings personally, or qualified for MegaMule Rewards by transporting more than a metric ton of high quality cocaine per quarter...

Wrong problem to focus on (-1)

bhlowe (1803290) | about 3 months ago | (#47656195)

I vote we focus on stopping illegal immigration going into the US and less about US currency going across the border. There is not a lot of problems associated with drug money going to the Mexico. On the other hand, waves of unskilled, poor, desperate people and who can't legally work here is a recipe for social problems that will last generations.

Re:Wrong problem to focus on (5, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 3 months ago | (#47656339)

There is not a lot of problems associated with drug money going to the Mexico.

30 billion a year going into the hands of violent drug cartels isn't a problem? I disagree.

On the other hand, waves of unskilled, poor, desperate people and who can't legally work here is a recipe for social problems that will last generations.

Are you American Indian? If not, from which wave of poor desperate immigrants did your family arrive?

Re:Wrong problem to focus on (2)

liquid_schwartz (530085) | about 3 months ago | (#47656461)

Perhaps he learned from the Indian experience and doesn't want to repeat that. Immigration can be a net win (skilled labor) or a net loss (unskilled labor), it's all in how you play the game. Unfortunately as the US tries its level best to self destruct we have chosen the worst of all worlds by allowing in *huge* amounts of unskilled while only keeping the skilled labor long enough to train them and send them back.

Re:Wrong problem to focus on (4, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 months ago | (#47656853)

Why do you think that unskilled labor is a net loss? America was largely built on the cheap labor of immigrants who eventually became part of the culture.

Re: Wrong problem to focus on (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47657207)

Exactly: the outcome speaks for itself.

Re:Wrong problem to focus on (1)

bhlowe (1803290) | about 3 months ago | (#47656721)

I haven't been impacted by illegal drug lords in Mexico, either here in the states or while traveling in Mexico. I have been impacted by getting stopped by the border patrol and their sniffing dogs. Sounds like money going to Mexican drug lords is a Mexican problem.

On the other hand, millions of American's are impacted by illegal immigration. From honest business owners who compete with businesses that hire illegal labor, to underfunded schools and social services, and of course the victims of crimes committed by the undocumented -- from hit and run, drunk driving accidents, to rape and strong armed robbery and petty thievery.

We have laws on the books that were not here when my ancestors came to America. America still has more legal immigration than all other countries combined.

A country without laws, borders, or a common language is doomed to fail.

Re:Wrong problem to focus on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656535)

I think that 30 billion could be funneled into anything more appropriate.. like our debt..instead of funding criminals

What do bitcoins smell like? (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 3 months ago | (#47656201)

Ozone.

Re:What do bitcoins smell like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656233)

I always assumed ass, cause that's where its value is pulled from.

Re:What do bitcoins smell like? (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 3 months ago | (#47656437)

Perhaps the same could be said of all currencies

Re:What do bitcoins smell like? (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 3 months ago | (#47657133)

I thought BTC was unique... Can you name other currencies with which you can't pay your taxes?

Good job getting bitcoin mentioned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656225)

Bravo, the daily bitcoin quota met at /.

So they'll just shrink-wrap it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656253)

Seems an easy thing to avoid, if it depends on trace gases.

Wont matter (5, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 3 months ago | (#47656261)

Problem here is they are not looking for anything that is evidence of a crime. It is legal to carry money over the border up to a certain amount so, the smell of money doesn't actually indicate any crime, and isn't evidence of any crime.

Sounds like a bunch of bullshit to justify expenditures on cool new technology which will be quickly mothballed after its found to be useless or ruled by the courts to not be justification for extra scrutiny.

Re:Wont matter (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 3 months ago | (#47656289)

Think harder. Large pile of bills will have gasses in higher concentration. hundreds or thousands of bills are not normal, they can check out individual cases of those.

Re:Wont matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656385)

I await Scent of Money cologne for those times one needs a little personal attention.

Re:Wont matter (3, Funny)

iggymanz (596061) | about 3 months ago | (#47656403)

rub it on your crotch for a really good time when travelling

Re:Wont matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656511)

Bunny, ball ball.

Re:Wont matter (1)

GNious (953874) | about 3 months ago | (#47656837)

Crossing US borders, you don't want any extra attention - it is the one place you can be sure it'll be properly uncomfortable.

Like that 1 time we ended up having to hear 1 border-guard's story of how he married his wife in Germany (no idea why), and then later divorced her - very uncomfortable.

Re:Wont matter (2)

TheCarp (96830) | about 3 months ago | (#47656591)

If it can't tell the difference between $9999 and $10,000 then its not good enough in my book. Then again, I can't think of any good reason to limit the cash people can travel with. However, protecting people from unreasonable search is more important by far than anything they are otherwise triying to do...it is supposed to be, one of their highest priorities!

Re:Wont matter (3, Informative)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 3 months ago | (#47656763)

There's no limit on how much cash you can carry across the border - you just need to declare it if you have over $10k.

Re:Wont matter (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 3 months ago | (#47656971)

Seems the point still remains, if it can't tell the difference between 1 unit less than 10k and 10k or more, then its a useless test; and certainly not specific enough to expose someone to the very real dangers of extra scrutiny.

Re:Wont matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656737)

hundreds or thousands of bills are not normal

So? The abnormality of an act should never be justification for a violation of our rights.

Re:Wont matter (2)

Typical Slashdotter (2848579) | about 3 months ago | (#47656341)

They don't need a reason to do a search or give extra scrutiny at a border crossing. Furthermore, carrying more than $10,000 in cash across the border without reporting it is illegal [cbp.gov] .

Re:Wont matter (2)

TheCarp (96830) | about 3 months ago | (#47656521)

But less than 10k is not illegal and even quite common, as in, you can pretty much expect everyone is carrying some amount. As such, everyone should be expected to be putting off these gasses. So basically....this is just a prop that can be used to justify a search on anyone they want to search but don't want to give the real reason.

Re:Wont matter (2)

Typical Slashdotter (2848579) | about 3 months ago | (#47656593)

I assume this can distinguish between someone with cash in their wallet and a suitcase full of $100s...

Re:Wont matter (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 months ago | (#47656865)

I assume this is merely a pretense for searching anybody at will, just like the dogs this is replacing.

Re:Wont matter (1)

Typical Slashdotter (2848579) | about 3 months ago | (#47656899)

Have you ever crossed a border? They don't need a pretense. They can search anyone they want, without reason.

Re:Wont matter (5, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | about 3 months ago | (#47656413)

Problem here is they are not looking for anything that is evidence of a crime. It is legal to carry money over the border up to a certain amount so, the smell of money doesn't actually indicate any crime, and isn't evidence of any crime.

Won't stop them from seizing it anyway.

Re:Wont matter (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 3 months ago | (#47656725)

Government claims it is drug money. They get to take items used in crime (e.g. a knife in someone's back) even if they never catch, arrest, try, or much less convict someone.

Don't like it? Contact your congressman and mandate it be returned absent real, solid evidence of a crime. If they can't arrest (much less convict) the person carrying it, there is no crime.

I recall a case 10 years ago where a cop on Cops or a similar show, pulled over a Mexican family and found $8000 in cash in a tire in the trunk. They took it as drug money and let them go. (Remember they come from a vorrupt country where something like that is normal corruption.)

Some in Congress stamped their little foots and wondered why no one arrested the cop for theft. Not much happened, I'm guessing.

Re:Wont matter (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 months ago | (#47656483)

Or, we could make it not illegal to, you know, carry large wads of cash, deposit huge amounts of money in your bank account, etc.

Or we could vacuum pack the bills, and fold that up into the money belt or suitcase.

Re:Wont matter (1)

Typical Slashdotter (2848579) | about 3 months ago | (#47657123)

It's not illegal to do those things. You just need to do some paperwork.

Re:Wont matter (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 3 months ago | (#47657213)

I fully support making it legal to not do the paperwork. In fact, I fully support making it a felony for a border agent to even ask how much money you have on you.

Re:Wont matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47657313)

It is legal to carry money over the border up to a certain amount so, the smell of money doesn't actually indicate any crime, and isn't evidence of any crime.

It used to be that to own an etching press, you had to register it with the government. These days it's just a handful of artists who still use these old school techniques. I guess it will be okay to search them at the boarder looking for drug money.

Decriminalize Drugs to defund terrorists and gangs (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656267)

The result of the puritanical and hypocritical war on drugs has been countless lives lost, Billions and Billions spent on fruitless efforts and a strengthening of criminal gangs and terrorist groups which aren't shy about using thuggery and corrupting law enforcement and the government in order to make money. People suffer and as long as nobody is committing fraud in what they are selling, then people should be able to buy whatever rat poison they want and do with it what they want. People have a right to their own bodies. When drug use gets out of hand then civil commitment and medical care are what is needed, not police, courts and jails.

I agree (4, Insightful)

Zeorge (1954266) | about 3 months ago | (#47656705)

But, I don't think this will happen as a billions of dollars of industry, on both sides of the law, has been built. You have the drug cartels used to the market price and then you have the DEA, etc. who are used to the funding provided by the USG. You legalize the drugs and *POOF* goes the market value of the drugs and the funding to the DEA and all the companies that are fed off via contracts. The majority of the money is now going to the local and state governments in the form of taxes like with cigarettes and alcohol.

Re:Decriminalize Drugs to defund terrorists and ga (2)

redeIm (3779401) | about 3 months ago | (#47657251)

Decriminalization isn't good enough; legalize them.

Laundry Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656333)

I guess they will have to start using a different detergent in their money laundry.

What do bitcoins smell like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656357)

Bitcoin non olet.

Trace chemicals (1)

mbone (558574) | about 3 months ago | (#47656387)

It turned out that the gases are a set of trace chemicals, including aldehydes, furans and organic acids.

No! Gases are chemicals! Who knew!

Citizen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656449)

Citizen! You set of the money detector. I need to see your papers. And your money.

Exclusive interview with Lassie in bread-line... (1)

RLU486983 (1792220) | about 3 months ago | (#47656501)

News at 11.

What does MY money smell like? (3, Informative)

mi (197448) | about 3 months ago | (#47656507)

most of it laundered drug money ... What do bitcoins smell like?

I'm far more concerned, whether the smell of my honestly-earned money is any different from that of the laundered drug proceeds. I suspect, the smell is exactly the same and, should I ever choose to cross the border with substantial cash, these devices will point me out. A major loophole in American (and English) legal system, allows seizure of "suspect" assets [wzzm13.com] even if the person himself can not be arrested.

Now, why would an honest citizen need to carry his cash with him?.. Oh, well...

Re:What does MY money smell like? (2)

TheCarp (96830) | about 3 months ago | (#47656733)

> Now, why would an honest citizen need to carry his cash with him?.. Oh, well...

That certainly seems to be the attitude of the aristocracy here. Maybe they should ask the 78 year old German woman who was caught traveling with $40k on her person.

Thank god these thugs are out there...protecting us from old women who don't trust banks! Just think what might have happened if she hadn't been caught. I, for one, am glad our jack booted border enforcers have no fear of the geriatric maffia. Kudos to them for standing up to a dangerous old woman!

Re:What does MY money smell like? (1)

Typical Slashdotter (2848579) | about 3 months ago | (#47657163)

Or she could have obeyed the law and filled out the one page form [fincen.gov] .

Re:What does MY money smell like? (3, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | about 3 months ago | (#47657389)

Actually she did fill out the form. Its just that the number she gave verbally didn't match. I don't know about you, but I consider it unreasonable to expect people to be able to randomly come up with and remember numbers like that since... well I know a lot of humans and evidence shows its something most of us are terrible at....and many people at the age of 78 have particular trouble with.

And...well...fuck the law. There is no reason for this law, I personally judge it unjust and personally hold that against every person who chooses to continue doing a job that involves enforcing such a law. In my eyes they are the criminals and she is innocent.

Re:What does MY money smell like? (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 3 months ago | (#47656883)

If you're traveling with more than $10k, you just have to fill out one form declaring it.

Re:What does MY money smell like? (1)

mi (197448) | about 3 months ago | (#47657383)

If you're traveling with more than $10k, you just have to fill out one form declaring it.

I believe, that requirement — whatever its Constitutionality — applies only to people arriving into the US, not leaving. Indeed, you aren't declaring anything upon leaving — neither the Customs nor Border Patrol have anything to do with passengers departing.

Also, it was introduced, when $10k meant a lot more money, than it does today. I don't know, when, exactly, but I do remember seeing it on the Custom form in the early 90ies. The $10k even then was $17.5k in today's dollars [bls.gov] . But, I think, the requirement is much older...

Defeated by Food Saver (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 months ago | (#47656509)

Hook up the Food Saver or VacuVita to a bag full of stacked, tied bills. Then put the whole vacuum-packed, heat-sealed bag into your suitcase lining, hidden compartment, or money belt.

Another way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656519)

Since most American paper currency has trace amounts of Cocaine on it anyways, wouldn't it be easier to just devise a cocaine detector to track the money that way?

Pikers (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 3 months ago | (#47656537)

I bet these rank amateurs don't shrink-wrap bales of hundreds onto pallets that then disappear as morning fog, like Bush / Cheney did.

smell like a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656581)

Everyone knows that Bitcoins were invented by the government to get people to spend their computing power decoding the 8th chevron on the stargate.

buy stock (1)

Triv (181010) | about 3 months ago | (#47656597)

I'm predicting a run on vacuum sealers.

If only .. (1)

Han-Wen Nienhuys (3500727) | about 3 months ago | (#47656637)

... the drugs themselves would have chemical smells, you could also stop drug trafficking!

Oh, wait.

smuggled across the border? (1)

tekrat (242117) | about 3 months ago | (#47656653)

Just put those sniffers in every HSBC branch. Or better yet, put those sniffers in the HSBC corporate boardroom. The "money laundering" they want to stop is happening at the upper levels of management, and yet, not a single banker will *ever* go to jail for laundering.

Instead, the bank will pay some measly fine which won't even be 10% of what they made doing the crime. Crime absolutely pays and pays big, assuming you're already a multi-billion-dollar corporation that can buy politicians, buy law enforcement, and has "closely held religious beliefs" about flagrantly ignoring law and morals.

How much taxpayer money is wasted going after clueless individuals? All they are going to stop are the mules. The real criminals sit in luxurious office suites and shuffle billions of dollars around with a few keystrokes.

As effective as the Iraqi bomb detector? (1)

fsagx (1936954) | about 3 months ago | (#47656683)

The ADE 651 is a fake bomb detector[1] produced by ATSC (UK), which claimed that the device could effectively and accurately, from long range, detect the presence and location of various types of explosives, drugs, ivory, and other substances. The device has been sold to 20 countries in the Middle East and Far East, including Iraq and Afghanistan, for as much as $60,000 per unit. The Iraqi government is said to have spent £52 million ($85 million) on the devices.

ADE_651 [wikipedia.org]

Re:As effective as the Iraqi bomb detector? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47656873)

Of course not. These things are only useful for parallel construction [wikipedia.org] of probable cause to search. The real investigative work needs to be done up front. Like identifying members of competing cartels that didn't make the proper payoff to CBP officials for the privilege of doing business in the USA.

Clearly... (1)

xednieht (1117791) | about 3 months ago | (#47656689)

This initiative is sponsored by large US banks. They don't want the competition from foreign banks to have billions in drug money deposits. I wish US companies would repatriate their profits the way drug cartels do. Even though no taxes are paid, at least the money would be spent here.

Re:Clearly... (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 3 months ago | (#47656789)

Um, HSBC _is_ a foreign bank.

Real Solution (3, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#47656767)

The real solution, of course, is to legalize marijuana nationally, thus drying up demand for the cartels main cash crop.

But oh, we can't do that, because it would put so many DEA agents and overpaid government contractors out of work!

So, they come up with not-even-half-assed solutions that sound good in a press release, and end up being nothing more than yet another tool of citizen subjugation over the long run.

Re:Real Solution (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 3 months ago | (#47657145)

But oh, we can't do that, because it would put so many DEA agents and overpaid government contractors out of work!

At this point they can be re-tasked to nicotine prohibition.

Re:Real Solution (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#47657397)

But oh, we can't do that, because it would put so many DEA agents and overpaid government contractors out of work!

At this point they can be re-tasked to nicotine prohibition.

OR, and I know this is a stretch, they could be re-tasked to actual, important work, like border security, or laid off because their jobs are unnecessary. But then, I'm one of those "crazy Libertarian types" who believes what substances a person chooses to put into their bodies is their choice, not the governments.

Bitcoins smell like a scam (1)

neo-mkrey (948389) | about 3 months ago | (#47656791)

but maybe it's just me.

Bitcoins smell like ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 3 months ago | (#47656829)

... napalm in the morning.

Business Opportunity? (1)

bbsguru (586178) | about 3 months ago | (#47657029)

Step 1. Buy Money Sniffer and position near highway.

Step 2. Advertise free "crossing guaranteed" inspections.

Step 3. Distract driver with free WiFi and coffee while source of odor is removed.

Step 4. Profit!

Remittance (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 3 months ago | (#47657095)

Is that in addition to the 20+ billion in remittance sent over from the US to Mexico??

http://www.thesocialcontract.c... [thesocialcontract.com]

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