A Brazilian man has been caught trying to sneak into the US – by hiding in the gasoline tank of an SUV, pictured above.
Stunned officials discovered the the 38-year-old inside the modified tank of a 2001 Toyota Sequoia on Tuesday at about 3.15am at a crossing in Calexico, California.
An imaging device had spotted anomalies in the SUV’s gas tank and under the back seats. The officers continued searching the area before discovering the man hidden inside the partially modified gas tank.
A criminal complaint said the driver of the vehicle — a 40-year-old U.S. citizen — told authorities that he smuggled the man to pay off a $5,000 debt. He was arrested and transported to the Imperial County Jail, authorities said. He will face federal charges in connection to the incident.
The complaint said the Brazilian man told authorities he paid $5,800 to get to the border from Brazil and was to pay another $4,000 in Los Angeles.
Customs and Border Protection placed an immigration hold on the Brazilian man to begin his removal from the US, and the vehicle was also seized.