Woman, 78, nabbed with $51,000 in underwear

An elderly woman in Florida was caught carrying a large sum of money past US Customs.

Most of the money was hidden in her underwear.

Victoria Faren, 78, and her daughter were stopped on April 2 while trying to board a flight to the Philippines out of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, federal court records indicated.

The court records recounted the strange incident, during which customs agents discovered the elderly woman allegedly attempting to smuggle the cash through airport security, reported ABC News.

When Faren and her daughter were first asked by officers how much money they were carrying, Faren reportedly said she was carrying US$200 (S$250). Her daughter reported carrying US$1,200.

Records indicated that Faren later, on a written declaration, reported carrying US$1,200.

The figure change made officials suspicious.

US federal law requires travellers to declare to customs authorities if they are carrying more than US$10,000 in cash.

Faren allegedly first denied carrying anything other than the US$1,200 she had written down, but an initial inspection of her bag reportedly yielded US$8,000 stashed in various wallets.

Officers again asked the woman if she was carrying any more cash.

"No, this is all the money," said Faren, according to court records.


After a closer examination, officers allegedly found an additional US$4,000 sewn into a cloth pouch and US$977 hidden in sealed envelopes.

A total of US$12,977 was reportedly found in her carry-on bag alone, according to the court documents.

Records indicated that Faren admitted to officers that she was carrying US$3,000 in her blouse and US$2,000 sewn into her bra strap. When Faren reportedly told officers she had no more cash on her, they conducted a pat-down search and "detected a bulge near her buttocks", court records indicated.

Faren reportedly removed US$5,000 from the back of her girdle and told officers that she was not carrying any more, reported legal website The Smoking Gun.

But an officer noticed another bulge in the front of Faren's girdle, which was when the woman began to cry and admitted to carrying more cash. Another US$21,000 was hidden in the girdle.

It was reported that Faren had been carrying a total of US$40,977, which she allegedly said she had received after selling her home to her son for US$120,000.

No charges were placed, but officers seized the $40,977 as "currency forfeitable to the United States".

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