$1 million seized at U.S. border - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

$1 million seized at U.S. border

Associated Press - July 12, 2008 2:05 PM ET

BLAINE, Wash. (AP) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized more than $1 million in U.S. currency from a Canadian man attempting to enter the U.S. at the Pacific Highway border crossing. The man was arrested.

A Customs and Border Protection spokesman, Thomas Schreiber, says Thursday morning's seizure is the largest on record for Blaine area border crossings.

Charging documents say 31-year-old Navraj Bal, of Surrey, British Columbia, was arrested on suspicion of making false statements to officers. If convicted, Bal could face five years in prison and fines totaling $250,000.

Failing to declare more than $10,000 cash when entering the United States can result in arrest and fines. Bal was booked into Whatcom County Jail in Bellingham, then transferred to federal prison in Seattle.

The money was hidden in compartments inside a semi-truck that Bal told officers he was driving to Los Angeles. Schreiber says a drug-sniffing dog discovered the money.

Bal made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court on Friday and remains in custody.

Information from: The Bellingham Herald, http://www.bellinghamherald.com

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