(WJBK) - The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport says it has seized $4,650,000 in counterfeit U.S. currency from a Vietnamese couple.
The CBP says the couple attempted to import the counterfeit U.S. $100 bills and counterfeit bills in the national currency of Vietnam into the United States. The CBP says the bills were going to be offered as burnt-offerings to the deceased, which they say is often practiced in certain Asian cultures.
The couple arrived in Detroit from a flight from Seoul Korea on Friday, Feb. 12. The CBP says they examined their bags after they made conflicting statements about carrying in excess of $10,000. During the search, bundles of the "hell money" were found. Authorities found 93 bundles of counterfeit U.S. $100 bills and 32 bundles of counterfeit Vietnamese Dong.
Hell money is a form of joss paper printed to resemble legal tender bank notes. The notes are not an officially recognized currency nor are they legal tender.
Federal authorities have taken custody of the currency.