CBP seized almost $75,000 in cash during 3 separate incidents at the port in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Twoof the incidents described below state that the money was “hidden” — first “within a suitcase” and “hidden in separate places on his belongings,” and the story says all currency was seized for “bulk cash smuggling“. As explained in that link, bulk cash smuggling essentially occurs when the money is hidden with the intent to evade the reporting requirement.
Money is often “hidden” because no one in the right mind would transport more than $10,000 out in the open, and so that is why the intent is so important. The salient portion of the story is quoted below (full story is here):
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized over $74,500 in unreported currency in three separate incidents last weekend.
In the first incident, after arrival at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport from St. Thomas on October 2, a canine alerted to a passenger’s belongings. CBP officers interviewed him and his traveling companion. An inspection revealed over $15,000 of unreported currency, on their person and hidden within a suitcase. The currency was seized.
That same day, CBP officers were conducting outbound inspection on a flight destined to the Dominican Republic and interviewed three passengers after a canine alerted to their luggage. During inspection, $29,700 of unreported currency was discovered, which they later claimed someone paid them to transport to the Dominican Republic. The money was seized.
On another incident, a passenger arriving at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport from Bogota, Colombia on October 4 was selected for CBP inspection. Currency reporting requirements were explained multiple times and the passenger gave conflicting amounts, finally claiming he was carrying $20,000. Currency verification revealed a total of $29,280 hidden in separate places on his belongings. The currency was seized.
The currency was seized under bulk cash smuggling laws. Failure to report may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.
“Transportation of currency is not illegal. However, if carrying more than $10,000 through our borders, the currency must be reported to CBP,” said Juan Hurtado, San Juan Area Port Director. “Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of having their currency seized, and may potentially face criminal charges.”
If you have had currency seized from Customs do not try to respond yourself but hire our firm, because we know what we are doing and have successfully handled many cases like yours. If you have questions, please give us a call at (734) 855-4999. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs around the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places, and not just locally in Detroit. Please read these other articles:
- Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
- Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
- Structuring currency imports and exports
- Is it $10,000 per person? Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
- Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
- Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
- Responding to a Customs currency seizure
- How do I get my seized money back?
- Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
- How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
- Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations
- Filing a Petition for Seized Currency (with Sample and Tips) with CBP
- Don’t Talk About Your Customs Currency Seizure Case