FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) — Two Venezuelan men remain behind bars after being charged with using a private plane to smuggle $5 million worth of gold into Florida.
A federal criminal complaint filed Monday charges Jean Carlos Sanchez Rojas and Victor Fossi Grieco with hiding the gold bars inside a metal panel of the aircraft’s nose. The plane landed last week at a small airport in Fort Lauderdale.READ MORE: NW Miami-Dade Hit & Run Crash, One Dead, Six Injured
Authorities say Sanchez Rojas told Homeland Security Investigations officials he had $24,000 in cash but did not declare the gold bars. Authorities later noticed loose rivets in the aircraft’s nose, and Sanchez Rojas and Fossi Grieco told authorities 230 pounds (104 kilograms) of the gold was there.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Will You Be Receiving A Plus-Up Payment?
It’s unclear whether the smuggling was directed by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose government is struggling economically.
Court records did not immediately list attorneys for the men.MORE NEWS: Florida Senate Moves Forward On Sales Tax 'Holidays'
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)