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Disrupt Terrorist Financing

Since 9/11, DHS has significantly expanded its ability to track and disrupt terrorist and criminal financing through combating bulk cash smuggling, closing weaknesses in our financial, trade, and transportation sectors, combating mass-marketing fraud, attacking human smuggling and human trafficking organizations, and investigating organized retail crime rings.

National Bulk Cash Smuggling Center

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) National Bulk Cash Smuggling Center identifies, investigates and disrupts bulk cash smuggling activities around the world. The center is located at the ICE Law Enforcement Support Center in Williston, Vt. It operates 24 hours a day.

More stringent federal laws against money laundering, along with anti-money laundering measures adopted by traditional financial institutions, have forced criminal organizations to shift the movement of their illicit proceeds outside of the established financial industry. To avoid the scrutiny of law enforcement, these criminal organizations increasingly employ non-traditional methods to move funds, including the smuggling of bulk cash into, out of and through the United States.

The center assists federal, state, tribal, local and foreign law enforcement authorities in their efforts to restrict the flow of funding that supports criminal enterprises. It provides real-time tactical intelligence, investigative support and expertise in the transportation and smuggling of bulk cash. By contacting the National Bulk Cash Smuggling Center, law enforcement officers gain access to financial investigative expertise that will help them better follow the money trail, seize and forfeit criminal proceeds.


Cornerstone is ICE's initiative to detect and close down weaknesses within U.S. financial, trade and transportation sectors that can be exploited by criminal networks. Law enforcement entities share criminal typologies and methods with businesses and industries that manage the very systems that terrorists and criminal organizations seek to exploit. This sharing of information allows the financial and trade community to take precautions in order to protect themselves from exploitation. In return, ICE receives information to more thoroughly investigate these complex and sophisticated criminal schemes.

Mass-Marketing Fraud

Mass-marketing fraud has become more widespread in recent years, thanks in part to the spread of low-cost communication technology that makes it easier to defraud victims on a global scale. For example, telemarketing or identity theft scams are frequently coordinated from overseas locations.

As part of its commitment to combat mass-marketing fraud, ICE is a participant in the multi-agency International Mass-Marketing Fraud Working Group, which was established in 2007.

SEARCH Initiative

Through the SEARCH Initiative, HSI actively looks for and investigates leads related to organized retail crime rings that have an international scope. SEARCH Initiative investigations often target the way organized retail crime rings earn, move and store funds.

Examples include:

  • Money smuggled or wire transferred out of the United States in support of illegal activity.
  • Stolen property being unlawfully exported out of the country.
  • Unlawful noncitizens involved in organized, illicit activity in the United States.

Learn more about the SEARCH Initiative

Last Published Date: December 9, 2021

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