July 06--Customs officers seized nearly $700,000 worth of jewelry at O'Hare Thursday from a 65-year old man who claimed he had nothing to declare on his return from Paris.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers searched the man's baggage and discovered 29 "high value" jewelry pieces, worth about $691,000, according to a Customs and Border Protection news release. Loose jewelry was discovered tucked into clothing pockets inside the luggage, which also contained receipts and invoices, officials said.
The man, who flew into O'Hare from London after traveling to Paris, told CBP officers that he works as a jewelry distributer. Computer records showed that the man had previously imported jewelry, officials said.
Had the man made a proper declaration, officials said, he would have paid $30,043 in import taxes. He was selected for examination by officers as he arrived.
"CBP is committed to enforcing trade laws at our ports of entry, protect our nation's revenue and identifying individuals who brazenly ignore declaration requirements of merchandise," said William Ferrara, director of Field Operations for CBP in Chicago, in the news release.
The name of the man whose jewelry was confiscated was not released, as he is not being charged with a crime, a CBP spokesman said.
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