A 51-year-old California man was arrested in June for attempting to smuggle $128,547 in his socks as he returned to the U.S. after a brief trip to Mexico.
Antonio Rakigjija and his son were driving through the San Ysidro, California port of entry when they were stopped by a U.S. Customs agent, who was “conducting roving pre-primary operations” with his “Narcotics/Human detection Dog.”
Rakigjija's son told the agent he and his father had been in Mexico for just a few hours “for his father's agriculture business.” The two men twice denied having anything to declare. The agent, perhaps with the help of his dog, then discovered a jar of weed in one of the men's jackets, apparently lying in the car's back seat.
As the agent patted the men down after the discovery, Rakigjija came clean about the $128,547 hidden in his socks, telling the agent “the money was for business expenses related to his bean export company.” The cash, according to Rakigjija, had been wired to a Tijuana currency exchange by a Mexican company with which he does business.
Rakigjija claims he had planned on declaring the cash, but the drug bust had “distracted” him before he had chance. Naturally, he wants the cash back, saying in a court filing last week that he needed the money for his import business as well as for his house payment and his child, who is about to get married and start college. Rakigjija was charged on Tuesday with bulk cash smuggling, a felony.