Puerto Rico Police seize $3 million in 2011

Puerto Rico Police are reporting that they have seized $500,000 in cash during a routine traffic stop. Police said they stopped an erratic driver on Wednesday who told authorities he had a bag full of money inside the car.

This is the fifth seizure of cash in 2011. Federal agents in late July seized more than $200,000 in cash from the roof of a car bound for the Dominican Republic. In February, agents detained two men in a taxi with $580,000 in suitcases. Local police stopped a suspect in February with $670,000 stuffed inside beer boxes, a month after they had seized more than $1 million in cash from another driver.


All of this money was, without doubt, made from or destined for illegal trafficking. It could have been drugs, but since the black market is so robust in Puerto Rico, it could have been for nearly anything. Here's a list of the top five things the money might have been for, besides drugs:

  1. Guns or Ammunition
  2. Fireworks
  3. Clothes
  4. Shoes
  5. Technology Gadgets
Visit almost any flea market on the island and you'll find booth after booth of the last three items. Most well connected people know where to find illegal fireworks around New Year's Eve, and finally, where do you think the drug gangs get all of their weapons? The weapon of choice for most assissinations is still the AK-47, perhaps one of the most widely used urban assault weapons.

Two questions pop out at me in this news item. First, what happens to all that money? Second, if your carrying money for a gang, do you tell the police freely that you're carrying a bag of money?

Flickr Creative Commons Contributor: velo_city