$23,000 in Bulk Cash Hidden in Backpack Seized by Dulles CBP

Dulles Airport Customs Seizes $23k in Unreported Currency

Since the removal of travel restrictions international travel has increased; add to that, the US holiday of Thanksgiving, and we should expect to see a significant rise in CBP enforcement activities. In the story below, which (of course) takes place at Dulles Airport, we have a tale of a married couple traveling to Ghana who did not accurately report the currency, and who had their money seized by customs at the airport.

As always with the stories from Dulles, it seems, there is enough information to allege bulk cash smuggling, which leads to higher penalties. Here is the story:

STERLING, Virginia — The seizure of … $23,000 in unreported currency on Monday offer a glimpse into the breadth of enforcement responsibilities that Customs and Border Protection officers carry out daily at Washington Dulles International Airport.

CBP officers seized the unreported currency while conducting enforcement operations on a Ghana-bound flight. A married couple reported to CBP officers that they possessed a combined $10,500.

$23,000 in Bulk Cash Hidden in Backpack Seized by Dulles CBP
Officers found the concealed
currency inside the carry-on
bag’s zippered liner.

While inspecting the couple’s carry-on bag, officers discovered an envelope concealed behind the carry-on bag’s zippered liner. Officers verified the couple’s combined currency at $23,641. Officers seized the currency for violating U.S. currency reporting laws and then released the couple with $641as a humanitarian relief.

CBP is not releasing the travelers’ names because none were criminally charged.

“The seizures of . . . unreported currency may seem innocuous at first; however, they illustrate the resolve and commitment that Customs and Border Protection officers and specialists dte every day to enforce our nation’s laws, to enhance our nation’s economic vitality through lawful international trade and travel, and to help keep our citizens safe,” said Daniel Escobedo, CBP Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C.

CBP officers remind travelers that there is no limit to how much currency or other monetary instruments they may bring to or take out of the United States; however, federal law [31 USC 5316] requires travelers to report all currency $10,000 or greater to a CBP officer.

Read more about federal currency reporting requirements.

CBP officers have observed that smuggled bulk currency may be the proceeds of illicit activity, such as proceeds from the sales of dangerous drugs or revenue from financial crimes and work to disrupt currency smuggling. CBP seized an average of about $386,000 every day last year in unreported or illicit currency along our nation’s borders.

Has Dulles CBP seized your cash?

If Dulles CBP has seized your cash, we urge you to call us for a consultation before considering doing it yourself. You probably will not be happy with the outcome if you do, based on Dulles’ aggressive posture in most cases. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Piles of U.S. Currency seized by CBP in Baltimore

CBP Baltimore Seizes $42k Cash from Jamaicans

CBP in Baltimore seized some cash from travelers, in 2 incidents, who were traveling to Jamaica. The story from CBP in its original form is here:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly $41,933 in unreported currency recently from travelers heading to Jamaica at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). . . .

On Tuesday, CBP officers seized $15,433 from a Jamaican citizen who attempted to board a flight to Montego Bay. The man reported, both verbally and in writing, that he possessed $7,000. CBP officers discovered $11,566 in his carry-on bag and an additional $3,867 in his checked baggage.

CBP officers at BWI earlier seized $13,000 in unreported currency from a mother and daughter as they were boarding a flight to Montego Bay on May 31 and seized $13,500 in unreported currency from a Jamaican man boarding a Montego Bay-bound flight on May 29.

Piles of cash seized by CBP in Baltimore

The consequences for violating U.S. currency reporting laws are severe; penalties may include seizure of most or all of the traveler’s currency, and potential criminal charges. An individual may petition for the return of seized currency, but the petitioner must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.

Have you had cash seized from CBP at Baltimore Washington International Airport?

If CBP at Baltimore Washington International Airport has seized your cash, you need a lawyer. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Dulles CBP Seized $46K in Money from Airport Traveler

CBP at Dulles airport seized $46,000 from a man traveling to Cameroon. He reported having $30,000, but CBP found $16,628 more tucked away inside his carry-on bag (ahem, bulk cash smuggling). The full story is here, with my comments on the excerpt below:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $46,628 in unreported currency (ahem, failure to report) from a man traveling to Cameroon at Washington Dulles International Airport on Monday.

CBP officers conducted random outbound inspections of passengers boarding a flight to Brussels, Belgium and asked a U.S. citizen how much currency he possessed. The man reported verbally that he had $30,000 and completed a U.S. Treasury Department form (FINCEN 105). During a subsequent examination of the man’s carry-on bags, CBP officers discovered a total of $46,628 in U.S. dollars.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized $46,628 in unreported currency from a U.S. citizen traveling to Cameroon on September 27, 2021.

. . .

CBP seized the currency and returned $628 to the man as humanitarian relief and released the man to continue his travel. CBP is not releasing the traveler’s name because he was not criminally charged.

Bad things can happen to you if you do not report your currency, read all about that at Long Term Consequences of Cash Seizure (or if you prefer to watch me talk about it, go to my YouTube video on the topic)

Has Dulles CBP seized your cash?

If Dulles CBP has seized your cash, we urge you to call us for a consultation before considering doing it yourself. You probably will not be happy with the outcome if you do, based on Dulles’ aggressive posture in most cases. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Stacks of bills totaling $223,988 in unreported currency seized by CBP officers at Falcon Dam International Crossing.

Texas CBP Seizes $200K in Undeclared Currency

CBP officers in Roma, Texas, seized more than $200,000 in a single incident from three people traveling together (this southern border news releases always make it point to give the year and make of the vehicle, not sure why!). Here’s the story:

ROMA, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers intercepted over $200,000 in undeclared currency in one enforcement action at the Falcon Dam International Crossing.

[ . . . ]

The seizure occurred on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Falcon Dam International Crossing when a CBP officer referred a 2018 Mercedes Benz driven by a 43-year-old female U.S. citizen for a secondary inspection. The woman was accompanied by a 32-year-old male citizen of Venezuela who resides in the United States and a 19-year-old female U.S. citizen. Upon inspection of the occupants’ belongings, a total of $223,988 in undeclared currency were discovered.

The currency was seized by CBP. The three subjects were arrested, and the case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.

Has Texas CBP seized your cash?

If Texas CBP seized your cash, we urge you to call us for a consultation before considering doing it yourself. You probably will not be happy with the outcome if you do, based on their’ aggressive posture in most cases. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Section 301 Exclusion Extensions. Maybe?

The USTR is considering re-opening product exclusions for the 549 exclusions, which mostly expired by December 31, 2020. Comments are due by December 1, 2021.

Details are in the Federal Register notice. This is different from re-opening exclusion requests entirely, but there is some overlap. More information is available on the USTR website (Reinstatement of Certain Exclusions Previously Extended), including a form with the required information.

Have questions about Section 301 Exclusion Extensions?

If you have questions about the USTR’s renewed interest in exclusions and exclusion extensions for Section 30 one duties from China, contact Great Lakes Customs Law today!

Section 301 Exclusion Extensions. Maybe?

The USTR is considering re-opening product exclusions for the 549 exclusions, which mostly expired by December 31, 2020. Comments are due by December 1, 2021.

Details are in the Federal Register notice. This is different from re-opening exclusion requests entirely, but there is some overlap. More information is available on the USTR website (Reinstatement of Certain Exclusions Previously Extended), including a form with the required information.

Have questions about Section 301 Exclusion Extensions?

If you have questions about the USTR’s renewed interest in exclusions and exclusion extensions for Section 30 one duties from China, contact Great Lakes Customs Law today!

Section 301 China Tariff Exclusions (October 2021)

The current U.S. Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, is expected to publicly announce a new Section 301 exclusion process that would allow companies to request that certain products be exempt from Section 301 China tariffs. Details will be made available on our website once an official announcement and more details are made available. Here is Ambassador Tai’s presentation where she laid out her thinking on the status of U.S.-China trade:

 

$200,000 in Cash Seized by Customs Detroit at the Ambassador Bridge

Ambassador Bridge Site of $230k Customs Money Seizure

Detroit’s Ambassador Bridge was the site of recent money seizures of more nearly $230,000 by Customs for failure to declare cash over $10,000, in commercial vehicles traveling into Canada.

Bundles of undeclared seized cash seized by Detroit CBP The news releases, below, says the money was taken because the driver failed to report the cash at the Ambassador Bridge (but I have to imagine there is a bulk cash smuggling violation somewhere in this, too).

Here’s the Tweet from Detroit’s director of field operations announcing the seizures…

This is the biggest seizure of undeclared cash in Detroit to hit the news in a while. I’m sure the discovery of this amount of money has caused a lot of controversy and interest at the port the last few days. Here’s the full story from CBP, below:

DETROIT — Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Field Operations seized $200,000 in undeclared U.S. currency at the Canadian border early Tuesday morning.

The cash was discovered by officers during a series of outbound commercial vehicle inspections near the Ambassador Bridge port of entry.

The cache of currency was seized due to failure to report, and the driver was released without further incident.

Homeland Security Investigations continues to investigate the matter. Less than 24 hours earlier, $28,000 in undeclared currency was seized at the same site.

Update 11-12-21:

This week, notice was published of the intent to forfeit the above seized cash. Anyone with an interest in it has until January 11, 2021, to file a claim (unless they received personal notice in the mail, then other deadlines apply):

2021380100131801-0001-0000, Seized on 09/28/2021; At the port of DETROIT; U.S. Currency; 2000; EA; Valued at $200,000.00; For violation of 31 USC 5317(c)(2), 31 USC 5316(a)(1)(A), 31 USC 5332(c), 31 USC 5332(a)

Those legal references mean it was seized for bulk cash smuggling and a failure to report. This is a case I would have liked. The fact that notice has been posted publicly means that the time for filing a petition has past, or the interested person probably decided to file a claim or an offer in compromise (that would probably be a bad idea).

Has Detroit CBP seized your cash?

If CBP in Detroit seized your cash, you need a lawyer. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

 

CBP officers seized $80,388 from five travelers who violated U.S. currency reporting laws.

Baltimore CBP Seizes Cash (and Marijuana)

CBP seizes cash from traveler’s all around the country. Although it does not seem to happen too frequently from my own experience, money seizures at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) are on the rise.

Here is a recent story from CBP, where CBP seized cash from 5 travelers valued at about $80,000:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) continue to seize unreported currency and marijuana from travelers who deliberately ignore our nation’s laws.

During the past five weeks, CBP officers have seized a combined $80,388 in unreported currency from five travelers and assessed a combined $4,000 in Zero Tolerance penalties to eight travelers for marijuana possession. Officers seized marijuana from two additional couples but did not assess civil penalties in those cases.

Customs and Border Protection officers have seized $80,388 in unreported currency and assessed $4,000 in civil penalties in 15 incidents during the past five weeks at BWI Airport. Officers continue to see an alarming trend in passengers traveling with marijuana and underreporting their currency.

* * *

Additionally, U.S. federal law [31 U.S.C. 5316] requires travelers to truthfully report all currency that they possess to a CBP officer, and that they complete a U.S. Treasury Department form (FINCEN 105) for all currency and other monetary instruments that exceed $10,000. Read more about currency reporting requirements.

“We want travelers to be assured that they may carry as much currency as they wish into and out of the United States, and Customs and Border Protection officers will help them to complete the necessary Treasury form if required, but travelers should also know any actions less than truthful could result in them missing their departure flight,” Rottman said.

Customs and Border Protection officers have seized $80,388 in unreported currency and assessed $4,000 in civil penalties in 15 incidents during the past five weeks at BWI Airport.

Have you had cash seized by Baltimore CBP?

If CBP Baltimore seized your cash, you need a lawyer. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Almost $60,000 in cash stacked up and seized by Philadelphia Customs

Philly CBP Seizes $99K Smuggled Cash To Doha, Qatar

Customs at Philadelphia seized nearly $100,000 cash that was hidden inside the traveler’s personal effects on his way to Doha, Qatar. Here’s the story, below:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than $99,000 from a Palestine-bound U.S. family on Saturday at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

CBP officers conducted outbound enforcement operations on a Doha, Qatar-bound flight and encountered a man who verbally reported that he possessed $65,000. Officers provided a CBP form 503 to the traveler that explains federal currency reporting requirements, asked if he understood the law, and asked him to write down his currency amount on the form. The traveler wrote $65,000 and signed the form.

Officers then provided the traveler with an U.S. Treasury Department form (FINCEN 105) and the traveler documented that he possessed $65,000.

Officers initiated a baggage examination and discovered a total of $99,549 in the traveler’s pockets, in his jacket, and in two carry-on backpacks. Officers seized the currency, returned $5,000 for humanitarian purposes, and released the family.

CBP is not releasing the travelers’ names because none were criminally charged.

Has Philadelphia CBP seized your cash?

If Philadelphia CBP seized your cash, read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and contact our customs lawyer for a free cash seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.