United Stated Border Agents in Detroit were shocked when they opened a carry-on bag by a traveler from Canada and discovered a jewelry pouch containing more than $20 million dollars in Harry Winston diamond pieces!
On Monday November 16th, Agents stopped a car crossing the US Canada Border at the Windsor, Ontario/Detroit, Michigan tunnel.
The agents searched the contents of the car and discovered a bag containing an unbelievable collection of jewels including large diamond rings and serious diamond pieces, all by world-renown designer Harry Winston.
The car and bag belonged to a courier that was hired by a Canadian Citizen to transport the rocks to New York. In a strange claim, the courier declared that he no knowledge of the contents of the package or the value inside.
For decades, the diamond and jewelry industry has regularly used trusted and insured couriers to transport large value diamonds or packages all over the world, person to person. Some couriers offer services to the trade where diamonds are essentially smuggled from country to country undetected, evading tax laws and import declarations.
But with new technology to combat terrorist threats, monitors now detect metals, timepieces and gemstones easily, making them subject to search and seizure if not declared.
“We serve the American people with vigilance, integrity, and professionalism,” said US Border Patrol Director of Field Operations, Officer Christopher Perry, who’s team made the high value bust. “When traveling in or out of the United States with more than $10,000 in currency/monetary instruments, you’re required to report it. Failure to report can result in seizure/penalties,” he added.
“This is a hard, painful and expensive lesson for everyone to learn what NOT to do!” said a Security Agent that was on the scene monitoring the x-ray machine. “We have signs everywhere and require everyone entering the United States to comply with our declaration laws. Failure to declare penalties are clearly written, this person took the ultimate risk to save a few percent in duty fees, and lost over $20 Million Dollars in the process.”
CBP discovered the merchandise after an investigation revealed a courier service was hired to transport the package to a contact in Detroit, authorities said. The Detroit contact was responsible for delivering it to a New York auction house where the Harry Winston jewelry was to be appraised and sold on behalf of the owner, a Canadian citizen.
The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is the only underwater international vehicular (automobile) tunnel in the world. Completed in 1930, the tunnel is a major border crossing and a vital socio-economic pipeline between the United States and Canada.