Remain silent and do not call Customs after currency seizure

You should remain silent when detained at the border or airport during the initial currency seizure process for traveling with more than $10,000 in money, or during subsequent international travels after you have currency seized. CBP is law enforcement and they take their job seriously, which includes skillful interrogation tricks; like asking you questions quickly or having more than one officer asking questions at once leaving you with insufficient time to fully and truthfully respond. You might be in a rush to catch your flight after the currency was seized at the airport, or tired from a long journey, and will be easily susceptible to making a false confession after hours of questioning.

You also might be misinterpreted, especially if your English is not good. You might admit you violated the law. You might make them jealous of your money. You might make them suspicious you are involved in something illegal. This is why you have the right to remain silent when questioned by CBP.

Even after detention and questioning, currency seizure victims are often told to call the Fines, Penalties & Forfeitures office by the seizing officers in the first few days after the currency seizure to verify their address, or to offer an explanation to get the money back. Other times people are tempted to call CBP on their own to find out why the delay in getting the CAFRA notice of seizure.

We always advise against calling Customs because it’s like offering to be interviewed by the police when you are suspected of a crime. It is a trap. Customs often this as a way to ask you more questions that may seem innocent, but can be used against you in denying return of the money seized by CBP, or even in charging you with a crime for failing to report, bulk cash smuggling, or structuring.