CBP seizes more than $32,000 for currency reporting violations at Dulles and BWI airport last week. The news release reveal the travelers were a U.S. citizen and a Nigerian citizen, and were involved in two separate currency reporting incidents.
Before getting into the details, the news release explains:
“Federal currency reporting requirements are simple. International travelers can carry as much currency as they wish into and out of the United States, but they must report all U.S. and foreign monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or greater on a U.S. Treasury Department financial form. None of the currency is taxed.”
All true, except the reporting requirement applies to “more than $10,000” not “$10,000 or greater.” The story gives some good details on each of the seizures cases:
On Friday, CBP officers seized $13,821 from a Nigerian citizen at BWI. He reported to CBP officers that he possessed $9,000. During a secondary examination, CBP officers discovered British pounds concealed inside a carry-on bag. The traveler then tossed a wad of rolled up currency on the examining table. The currency, which consisted of dollars, pounds and Euros equaled $13,821. CBP officers seized the currency and returned $500 to the traveler for humanitarian purposes.
“The traveler then tossed a wad of rolled up currency on the examining table” after reporting he had $9,000. The wad totaled $13,821. If this traveler had read our article about a case in Miami, he would have known that throwing money at CBP is not the same as reporting it.
The other incident reveals how unhelpful CBP can be at times.
On Thursday, CBP officers seized $18,578 from a U.S. citizen who arrived to Dulles on a flight from Dubai. She initially reported that she possessed $10,000. CBP officers found additional currency and checks during a secondary examination. CBP officers released $322 and two checks totaling $56 for humanitarian purposes.
$322 in humanitarian relief is pretty good. But $56 in two checks? I’ve had clients left with nothing after a seizure. Not even enough change to pay for a baggage cart. I can imagine how grateful this person was to receive two checks that totaled $56. The real reason they returned the checks was because they weren’t worth much, and CBP did not want to go through the trouble of depositing them and including them as part of the seizure