A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent was performing a routine check at Miami International Airport on Monday when he came across one of the flight attendants, identified as Carlos Alberto Munoz-Moyano.
According to an arrest report obtained by The Associated Press, Munoz-Moyano, 40, had arrived on a flight from Chile when he told the agent he only had $100 cash on him but the agent found $9,000. It was not immediately clear if the money was on him or in his luggage.
Three other women traveling with Munoz-Moyano were also arrested after reportedly telling federal agents they were smuggling the cash on behalf of someone else. It is unclear if the suspects were working on the flight when it arrived in Miami.
The arrest report stated that 55-year-old Maria Del Pilar Roman-Strick had $7,300 and 48-year-old Maria Wilson-Ossandon had $6,371.
Maria Pasten-Cuzmar also was arrested with no cash on her, but agents say the other three named her as the director of the illicit operation, the Miami Herald reported.
A spokesperson for American Airlines told Fox News on Wednesday: “We take this matter seriously and are cooperating with law enforcement throughout their investigation.”
He also confirmed that they were all Chilean citizens and that the state would be handling the case after the U.S. attorney declined the case.
Each suspect faces charges of money laundering and transmitting unauthorized money.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.