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$1 Million in Fake Money Orders Seized at JFK

Counterfeit money orders seized by Customs officers on Aug. 8, 2012.
Counterfeit money orders seized by Customs officers on Aug. 8, 2012.
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection

NEW YORK CITY — Customs officers seized close to $1 million in fake money orders at JFK Airport earlier this month, officials said.

United States Customs and Border Protection officers found a bulky envelope on Aug. 8 during a routine inspection of the JFK mail facility. The package contained $955,473 in counterfeit money orders sent from Ghana, a customs official said on Monday.

"Every day CBP officers are protecting the American public from various dangers," Robert E. Perez, the director of Customs' New York field operations, said in a statement.

"This seizure is a testament to the dedication our officers demonstrate daily in support of CBP's mission."

According to a Customs spokesman, officials from the agency intercept some form of counterfeit money — including cash, checks or money orders — "two-to-three times a week." The packages are sent from all over the world, the spokesman said.

"It's no different than someone producing a counterfeit pair of Nike sneakers," the spokesman, Anthony L. Bucci, said.

"We're protecting the company that issues them and, most importantly, we're protecting the American public."

No arrests have yet been made, and a joint investigation with the United States Postal Inspection Service is ongoing, Bucci said.