U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly $91,819 during five recent violations of federal reporting laws at Washington Dulles International Airport.Consequences for violating U.S. currency laws are severe: from loss of all unreported currency to potential criminal charges, as illustrated by the following three [five!] cases:CBP officers seized $18,171 in U.S. dollars and foreign currency from a family boarding a flight to Germany Thursday. The family reported $9,500. Officers discovered the additional currency during an examination. Officers released 700 Euros ($819 USD conversion) and 3,170 Shekels ($871 USD conversion) to the family for humanitarian purposes and released the family.
- CBP officers seized $22,449 in U.S. dollars and foreign currency from a man boarding a flight to Austria Wednesday. The man reported 15,000 Euros. Officers discovered an additional $4,957 in U.S. dollars on the man’s body and in a carry-on bag. Officers released 500 Euros to the man for humanitarian purposes and released him.
- CBP officers seized $15,650 in U.S. dollars from a woman boarding a flight to Austria Tuesday. The woman reported $9,000. Officers discovered additional currency within a purse and a carry-on bag. Officers released $650 to the woman for humanitarian purposes and released her.
- CBP officers seized $13,164 in U.S. dollars from two women boarding a flight to United Arab Emirates Sunday. The women reported $9,500. Officers discovered additional currency in a purse and a carry-on bag. Officers released $964 to the women for humanitarian purposes and released the women.
- CBP officers seized $22,385 in U.S. dollars from a family boarding a flight to Ghana June 19. The family – husband, wife and wife’s sister – reported $5,000 and $7,000. Officers discovered additional currency in envelopes on all three persons that the man claimed to be his. Officers released $385 to the family for humanitarian purposes and released the family.
In each case, CBP officers read the federal reporting requirements to the travelers and solicited their understanding of the law. Officers afforded the travelers multiple opportunities to truthfully report all currency they possessed, verbally and by writing their currency declaration on the form describing currency reporting laws.
Travelers in these cases were either citizens of the U.S., Jordan, Pakistan, or Ghana. None was arrested.
Reporting $9,500 to CBP when you’re leaving is no different from asking, “Can you please search me to find out how much more cash I have that I’m not telling you about?” In this story, that happened in three of the five cases.
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