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Michigan man says $252K in cash seized from luggage was for nonprofit

Posted at 11:14 AM, Dec 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-28 11:14:01-05

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A Michigan man who had about $252,000 seized from his carry-on bag at a Charlotte, North Carolina, airport says the money was for humanitarian purposes.

The Charlotte Observer reported Thursday that Robert Shumake has filed a claim to recover the cash, which authorities say was packaged in a way "consistent with drug trafficking." The money was seized in June when authorities found it stashed inside a shoe box.

Shumake says he works for the nonprofit International Human Rights Commission, and so has diplomatic immunity. He claimed the same protection when previously fighting authorities in court over cash seized at airports in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

But U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray says Shumake has a criminal history and isn't with the nonprofit.

Shumake and his lawyer couldn't be reached for comment.