The US government regularly seizes cash, assets and drugs in its work to fight crime across the country. These seizures can range from a few thousand dollars to many millions. Most were seized by the DEA but others have been seized by Homeland Security, US Border Customs, Amtrak and more.
Some of the largest cash seizures in history include these:
#1 Meth Raid in Mexico Yields $205 Million Cash Seizure
In March 2007,. US and Mexican authorities seized over $200 million in US dollars from several methamphetamine in one of Mexico City’s most expensive areas.
US officials said that the massive size of this seizure showed the huge scope of the illegal narcotics trade that links Mexico, Asia and the US. Two of the people who were arrested in this cash seizure actually were from China. The raid happened after a long investigation that started in December 2006, when the police seized 20 tons of pseudoephedrine, which is a cold medicine used to make meth.
#2 $309 Million Worth of Cash and Drugs Seized in Australia
A huge ecstasy sting in Australia in 2009 seized an astounding 4.4 tons of ecstasy, which was more than 15 million pills that were worth more than $300 million, and a large sum of cash also was seized.
The Australian authorities took a year to conduct the operation, which netted many arrests, including bosses, freight haulers and dock workers. They had put the huge quantity of pill shipments into 3000 Italian tomato cans.
#3 $50 Million Cash Seizure One of the Biggest Ever in Columbia
Columbian police seized at least $50 million US in January 2007. It was at the time believed to be the most money that ever was seized by a law enforcement organization in the world.
The Columbian raids were done after a tip came in from a source who worked with the DEA. The DEA then gave that information to the Columbian National Police. In the first raid, at least $13 million was seized, which was hidden in a house inside a false cabinet.
#4 Australian Crime Commission Seizes Over $500 Million US in Cash and Drugs
In January 2014, the Australian Crime Commission claimed a big victory in its war on organized crime. Its covert drug task force seized over $500 million in drugs and cash in one year.
This task force carefully tracked the money laundering that was being used by criminal gans, including terrorists, biker gangs, drug cartels and human traffickers.
In just one week, more than $5.7 million in cash was seized in Sydney, and in 2013 the task force broke up one of the biggest drug labs in Victoria.
#5 Contra Costa Drug Task Force Seizes $18 Million in Drug Money in CA
It was hailed as one of the biggest cash and drug seizures in the history of the state, when the police seized more than $18 million in cash and drugs in January 2014. This was the result of a two year investigation that netted several arrests.
The result was the seizure of about 500 pounds of methamphetamine, 160 grams of cocaine, and several million in cash.
#6 Cash Seizure in Baldwin, AL the Largest Ever in the State
More than $1.5 million in cash was seized in September 2013, from a truck on I-65 in Baldwin, Alabama. It was the largest amount of drug money ever seized in the state.
A routine vehicle inspection on I-65 was conducted on a semi truck in the middle of the day. The driver gave the police permission to search the truck. That is when they found four bags full of the cash. The driver then claimed that he did not know about the money or how it was hidden in his cab.
#7 Millions in Cash Seized in Atlanta
Three men were apprehended and charged with federal crimes as $7 million in cash and drugs was seized in the largest heroin bust in the history of Atlanta.
The DEA seized at least 80 pounds of heroin, which is worth over $6 million. They also seized more than $2 million at another location, and federal officials stated that this seizure was related to $4 million seized near Atlanta a few weeks earlier.
#8 Drug Bust In Edmonton Nets Largest Cash Seizure in City History
In March 2014, 12 people were arrested in Edmonton as the result of several drug trafficking raids, and one of them resulted in the biggest seizure of cash in city history.
The biggest of the six busts occurred on March 21, and ended with over $800,000 being seized. Police noted that most of the money would be used to compensate crime victims.
#9 $5.7 Million Cash Seized in Dirty Money Raid
In 2013, a record amount totalling $5.7 million was seized in Australia in an international crime probe which has netted the police in that country more than $580 million in the last year.
The Australian Crime Commission and the federal police worked together in the 12 month operation, and targeted international money laundering groups and various drug crime gangs.
#10 More Than $2.6 Million US Seized in Drug Raid in Canada
In 2012, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police seized more than $2.6 million US in one of the biggest cash seizures in the history of Canada.
The police told the media that they had fished a suitcase full of the money out of the harbor near Vancouver Island. They also arrested a man from that island who was believed to have had the suitcase in his boat, and threw it in the water when he saw the police approach.