Maduro regime criminals were foiled in their attempts to evade U.S. sanctions by trying to import scores of cars, including luxury vehicles, into Venezuela for wealthy and politically connected people.

On July 8, Homeland Security Investigations announced the seizure of 81 vehicles — estimated to be worth over $3.2 million — in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. All were bound for Venezuela.

Seized vehicles reflected in dark glass (© Lynne Sladky/AP Images)
U.S. federal officials say this is just the first round of confiscated vehicles. (© Lynne Sladky/AP Images)

Many of the vehicles are linked to Venezuelans who face preexisting indictments in the U.S., according to media reports. One of these individuals, Raúl Gorrín Belisario, is wanted for laundering millions of dollars to benefit the Maduro regime.

Homeland Security Investigations is still looking into who is buying the rest of these vehicles inside of Venezuela.

“This is the portrait of a declining regime,” Juan Guaidó, the interim president of Venezuela, said on Twitter. “They protect their privileges, they buy luxury vehicles and not respirators.”

Top: CBP sign lying on hood of car with police lights (© Lynne Sladky/AP Images). Bottom left: Man wearing uniform and face mask leaning into vehicle (© Matias Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service/Getty Images). Bottom right: Hand holding control unit (© Matias Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service/Getty Images)
The Port Director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (bottom left) looks inside a car that CBP has labeled for seizure (top). The car includes a light and siren control unit (bottom right) that investigators believe was intended for regime officials’ use. Top photo (© Lynne Sladky/AP Images). Bottom photos (© Matias Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service/Getty Images).