Between Fiscal Year 2003 to Fiscal Year 2010, authorities with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized over $500 Million in cash that was being illegally smuggled in the United States. Nearly 20 percent of that total ($100 Million) was seized in 2010. Authorities also arrested over 1,300 for cash smuggling during that time period.
The amount of cash smuggled from the United States into Mexico by drug traffickers is estimated to be between $6 Billion to $36 Billion a year.
Due to a crackdown on money laundering, drug cartels and other criminal organizations are turning to bulk cash smuggling in order to transport their proceeds. According to Insight Crime, the two main methods to do this is to smuggle cash in commercial vehicles and by breaking up the total funds in to smaller amounts and having many people smuggle in across the border.
Source: James Bargent, “Ecuador Bulk Cash Smuggling Reflects New Laundering Trend,” Insight Crime, April 11, 2013.