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Press Release

Turkish National Charged With Bulk Cash Smuggling

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Ahmet Sakarya (30, Istanbul, Turkey) with bulk cash smuggling. If convicted, Sakarya faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Sakarya that the United States intends to forfeit any assets that are traceable to the offense.

According to the indictment, on August 13, 2019, Sakarya attempted to board a flight from Tampa International Airport to Frankfort, Germany after falsely declaring that he was only carrying $14,000 in U.S. Currency. Upon further investigation, U.S. Custom and Border Patrol officers discovered that Sakarya was transporting $55,000 in cash that was hidden in his luggage.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael C. Baggé-Hernández.

Updated August 30, 2019

Financial Fraud