Money in envelope seized by Dulles CBP

Dulles CBP Seize $340K in Cash from 6 Travelers

It was a busy week for customs officers at Dulles airport, seizing money from travelers for violating the currency reporting requirements. The press release from CBP, below, highlights a total of six seizures made in a single week totaling more than $339,000, which all violated the currency reporting requirements in one way or another (i.e., failure to report, structuring, and/or bulk cash smuggling).

Dulles airport is a hub for traveler’s heading to Africa. Around DC, there are large communities of people from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Cameroon. They make good money in the United States, and then try to take some of that money back home. Often times for building projects or investment opportunities in their native countries.

Here’s the rest of the cash seizure stories frrom CBP:

STERLING, Va. – Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly $340,000 during six outbound seizures of unreported currency in one week at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $340,000 in unreported currency at Washington Dulles International Airport during September 9-17, 2020.

Although there is no limit to the amount of money that travelers may carry when crossing U.S. borders, federal law [31 U.S.C. 5316] requires that travelers report currency or monetary instruments in excess of $10,000 to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the United States. Read more about currency reporting requirements.

The seizures included:

      • $19,762 from a couple destined to Sierra Leone on September 17;
      • $68,830 from a Paris-bound man on September 16;
      • $19,720 from a Paris-bound man on September 15;
      • $35,402 from a Paris-bound man on September 10;
      • $97,223 from a second Paris-bound man on September 10; and
      • $98,762 from an Ethiopia-bound man on September 9.

The currency seizures totaled $339,699.

Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $340,000 in unreported currency at Washington Dulles International Airport during September 9-17, 2020.

CBP is not releasing any of the travelers’ names since they were not criminally charged. All are either U.S. citizens or U.S. lawful permanent residents. An investigation continues.

“These are substantial seizures of unreported currency, and seizures that could have been avoided if the travelers would have been truthful in reporting their total currency to Customs and Border Protection officers,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “As the nation’s border security agency, CBP remains steadfast in our commitment to enforcing all U.S. laws at our nation’s borders, including federal currency reporting laws.”

During inspections, CBP officers ensure that travelers fully understand federal currency reporting requirements and offer travelers multiple opportunities to accurately report all currency and monetary instruments they possess before examining a traveler’s carryon or checked baggage.

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.

 

$98,762 in U.S. dollars seized by CBP stacked in front of a Dulles airport Washington DC sign

Dulles Customs Seizes Hidden Bulk Cash to Ethiopia

Customs officers at Dulles Airport seized nearly $100,000 this week from a man who only reported traveling with $14,000.

The problem from customs perspective is that he truly had $99,000, and of that amount, almost $80,000 was hidden in his bags, within shoes and pants pockets. The refusal by the man to report the correct amount of cash he transported along with the location of the hidden cash within his baggage will easily allow customs to presume he intended to hide the money so that it would not be found. That is classic bulk cash smuggling.

Bulk cash smuggling, unlike simply inaccurately reporting cash, carries with it steep penalties starting at 50% of the amount of money seized, or in this case, nearly $55,000.

Cases at Dulles is always difficult when it comes to getting seized money back. They are extremely aggressive in processing cases and keeping a maximum penalty. In the nearly 450 cases we have handled, the only time we’ve had a client criminally charged after the seizure has been at Dulles Airport. The man was doing nothing illegal beyond not reporting the money.

That’s why the phrase “an investigation continues” that appears in this story would have me very worried if I were the person who had money seized.

Without further ado, and present the fuller story from customs, along with a picture, below:

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized nearly $99,000 from a man traveling to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Wednesday for violating federal currency reporting laws.

While conducting an outbound inspection on the Ethiopia-bound flight, CBP officers interviewed a U.S. lawful permanent resident who is an Ethiopian citizen. The man verbally and in writing reported that he possessed $14,000 and a subsequent examination of his carryon bag revealed $19,112.

Officers escorted the man to CBP’s inspection station and conducted a comprehensive examination of his baggage. Officers discovered an additional $79,650 concealed inside shoes and jeans pockets inside his checked baggage. Officers seized a total of $98,762 of unreported currency.

Stacks of $100 bills hidden in a shoe

CBP is not releasing the man’s name since he was not criminally charged. An investigation continues.

“This is a significant currency seizure for Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “Bulk currency being smuggled from the United States may be illicit proceeds from narcotics smuggling, counterfeiting, and other nefarious activities. CBP will remain steadfast in our commitment to intercepting these smuggling attempts and financially hurting transnational criminal organizations where we can.”

Although there is no limit to the amount of money that travelers may carry when crossing U.S. borders, federal law [31 U.S.C. 5316] requires that travelers report currency or monetary instruments in excess of $10,000 to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the United States.

* * * *

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.

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.

$42k Cash Seized at Detroit Metro Airport en route to Philippines

Detroit Metro Airport is a hotbed for traveler’s who are bringing cash into or out of the country. Very frequently, these travelers do not properly report having more than $10,000. Yesterday, the Director of Field Operations for Detroit CBP tweeted about a cash seizure that was not publicized in a news release (but should have been!).

The tweet, which you can see below, is rich in images. Apparently, a woman was trying to get about $42,000 to the Philippines but said she was only carrying $5,000. That, alone, is a reason for seizing the money — it is a violation of the currency reporting requirements, otherwise known as a failure to report cash.

But more problematic is where the money was found once officers decided she was not being truthful and decided to conduct a currency verification. The money was “concealed in books & clothes,” which is going to allow CBP to infer an intent to conceal the money from CBP when it is combined with her statement that she only had $5,000. Of course, the money was seized by CBP at Detroit airport.

Now, in my experience, the woman will probably have an innocent explanation for why she had the money hidden in books and clothes. Usually, there are justified fears of having the money stolen when traveling internationally, especially with lay-overs, and long flights. The penalties for bulk cash smuggling can be steep.

Have you had a customs money seizure at Detroit Metro Airport?

If you have a customs money seizure at Detroit Metro airport, don’t do it yourself. Cash seizure cases are often packed with with difficulties and unforeseen challenges. Instead of risking forfeiture and the total loss of your money, do the smart thing and call us for a free currency seizure consultation and make use of the free customs money seizure legal guide we publish on this website.

$35,000 Seized by CBP at Dulles Airport on its way to Turkey

Dulles CBP Seizes $35k from Turkey-bound Traveler

On July 31, Dulles CBP seized more than $35,000 from a woman traveling to Turkey.

Unfortunately, story states that she only declared having $5000 when she was first stopped. When they searched her bags they found a total of $35,016.

This is a big no-no. Especially in Dulles Airport, not reporting money combined with later discovery of the money in clothing or baggage will typically result in allegations of “bulk cash smuggling”.

When bulk cash smuggling is alleged and proven, CBP can keep at least 50% of the money as a penalty, rather than a usual fixed the dollar amount for the range of value in currency seized. The story follows:

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized more than $35,000 from a woman traveling to Istanbul, Turkey on Friday for violating federal currency reporting laws.

CBP officers encountered the woman, a U.S. citizen, as she boarded her flight. Officers cited the currency reporting law to her and she reported that she possessed $5,000. During an examination of her carry-on bag, CBP officers discovered an additional $30,016 for a combined amount of $35,016.

CBP is not releasing the woman’s name since she was not criminally charged.

“Customs and Border Protection officers offer travelers opportunities to accurately report all currency they possess, and also ensures that the traveler fully understands federal currency reporting laws as well as the consequences for failing to comply,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “CBP remains steadfast in our commitment to enforcing our nation’s laws and to protecting our citizens against people and things that could cause us harm.”

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.

Port of Buffalo, N.Y. border crossing check point where cbp seized cash for currency reporting violations.

Buffalo CBP Seized $207,500 of Concealed Cash

CBP in Buffalo made an enormous seizure of cash just 2 days ago. The cash seizure was made when CBP stopped a man who claimed he was traveling from Massachusetts to Mississauga, Canada to deliver some copper wire. During the encounter, a dog alerted to drugs and CBP officers then found a bag with $207,500 in it.

The man is not named so it would appear at this point he has not been criminally charged. Generally, when people are criminal charged CBP publishes their names. If they are not criminally charged, the person remains anonymous in stories like this. And there is no mention of an arrest.

This is a BIG seizure for CBP in Buffalo. For instance, in 2017 Buffalo CBP officers seized a TOTAL of $144,733. This seizure alone exceeds the the TOTAL cash seized in 20171

LEWISTON, N.Y. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Lewiston Bridge seized $207,500 in unreported currency.

On July 15, CBP officers inspected a tractor trailer during an outbound inspection that was driven by a 28-year-old male who is a citizen of Canada. The driver claimed he was transporting a shipment of copper wire that he was hauling from Massachusetts and destined to Mississauga, Ontario. During questioning, the driver claimed to be traveling with $300 in U.S. currency. A CBP K9 alerted to the presence of narcotics during an inspection of the cab portion of the truck. A further inspection revealed a plastic shopping bag that contained multiple bundles of U.S. currency in ten large vacuum sealed bags. Subsequently, the currency was inventoried and determined to be a total of $207,500.

“Our CBP officers remain focused on enforcement amidst the continued border restrictions,” said Port Director Jennifer De La O. “They identified an individual and conveyance that needed further inspection, they coordinated with our partners at Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and they ensured that this criminal activity was disrupted.”

Has CBP Buffalo seized your cash?

If Buffalo 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.

Stacks of bills containing $100,025 in unreported currency seized by CBP officers at Rio Grande City Port of Entry.

Cash Smuggler Outdone by Texas CBP

CBP officers in Texas seized money from a 31 year old man from the United States, who did not report the money when leaving the United States (a requirement of the law).

The story, related by CBP here, is one of what seems to obviously be bulk cash smuggling in furtherance of some illegal activity (like drug smuggling). The hiding of the money, with the intent it not be reported to CBP, constitutes the offense of bulk cash smuggling.

But bulk cash smuggling comes in less obvious forms. Let’s say you put your money in a purse, with the intention of not reporting it to CBP at the time you place it there. Then, CBP asks you, “Do you have more than $10,000 on you?” You answer, “I do not.”

CBP then finds the money. This would also be bulk cash smuggling, because the money was not hidden with intent and not reported. But it’s not nearly as sinister as putting $100,000 in “dead presidents” (Benjamin Franklin was not a president..) into the body panels of your drug lord’s minivan.

Here’s the story:

RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Rio Grande City Port of Entry recently seized $100,025 in bulk, unreported U.S. currency.

“The seizure of this illicit currency is an example of the determination and resolve that our CBP officers have in order to keep our country safe.  Preventing this money from reaching illicit organizations is part of the CBP border security mission,” said Port Director Imelda Recio, Rio Grande City Port of Entry.

The seizure occurred on Saturday, June 20, when CBP Officers working outbound operations at the Rio Grande City, Texas International Bridge encountered a 31-year-old male United States citizen from Rio Grande City, Texas, who was selected for a routine outbound inspection.  CBP Officers conducted a visual and physical search of the vehicle and discovered multiple packages of bulk U.S. currency totaling $100,025 hidden inside the vehicle.

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.

Cash Guns and Drugs Seized by Detroit Customs

Cash Seized by Detroit CBP, with Guns & Drugs

Cash continues to be seized by U.S. Customs & Border Protection at the Port of Detroit, as the tweet from the Director of Field Operations below shows. In this case, the seizure of the money is likely for reasons other than failure to report the cash, but probably for bulk cash smuggling or violations related to money laundering or illegal activity (drugs/gun trafficking, etc.).

Here’s a tweet from the Detroit DFO (Director of Field Operations) for CBP:

This is a reminder that even if money is properly reported to CBP, they can still seize it for other reasons, with sufficient cause for seizure. In this case, someone traveling with cash, guns, and drugs is pretty obviously up to no good.

Has CBP Detroit Seized Your Cash?

If CBP Detroit seized your cash, we can help you just live we’ve helped over 425 people get back their seized money over the past 10 years. Read our helpful customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

British Pounds and USD Seized by CBP at Dublin, Ireland Pre-Clearance

Passenger Fails to Report British Pounds at Dublin Pre-Clearance, CBP Seizes

CBP Pre-Clearance operations in Dublin, Ireland, seized $61,000 worth of British Pounds that was being taken to the United States (without reporting it) by a traveller. It’s an interesting story because this seizure by United States Customs & Border Protection took place in Dublin, Ireland.

The story says its a seizure of money for not reporting it (i.e., undeclared cash), but if the sign in the background is to believed, the money was also smuggled (i.e. hidden, bulk cash smuggling).

This is possible because CBP operates “pre-clearance” centers where you go effectively go through U.S. customs before ever leaving country/airport you are travelling from. Back in 2006, before I knew anything about pre-clearance, I was processed through CBP’s Dublin pre-clearance center. It really caught me off guard to see uniformed CBP officer’s in the middle of Ireland.

Have you had money seized at CBP in Dublin Pre-Clearance?

If CBP in Dublin Pre-Clearance 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.

CBP Seizes Helicopter Drones for FCC label violations

CBP in Detroit, as part of a larger seizure that we blogged about not long ago, has seized 4,600 radio-controlled drone helicopters. But, because they did not have the appropriate FCC labels (certifying compliance of the product with FCC regulations), they have been seized. Here’s the story from CBP, along with an embedded tweet with more pics of the merchandise from Director of Field Operations for Detroit.

DETROIT— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has effectively grounded more than 4,600 remote controlled helicopter drones at the Fort Street Cargo Facility.

The 4,619 drones, valued at approximately $69,000, were seized after officers and import specialists discovered the merchandise did not meet Federal Communications Commission labeling requirements. The shipment was also determined to be undervalued by nearly $62,000, and subject to legislative duties as outlined in Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.

The intended imports, which originated from China, were seized June 1 in conjunction with a previous shipment containing more than $400,000 in counterfeit merchandise. Those items were seized in late May.

“The CBP employees in Detroit are committed to protecting the American consumer and the economy, while facilitating legitimate trade and travel,” said Devin Chamberlain, Port Director. “The products CBP prevents from entering the United States are those that could injure community health, public safety and the American way of life.”

Has CBP seized your imports for failing to meet FCC requirements?

If CBP seized your imports for failing to meet FCC requirements, or get a penalty for import violations, call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer about the possibility of getting your penalty reduced, or e-mail us through our contact page.

Cash Seized by CBP at Presidio Texas

CBP Presidio Seizes $175,935 In Cash at Mexican Border

CBP in Presidio, Texas seized $175,936 when inspecting people leaving the country for Mexico on June 7, 2020. The story which is quoted below, says that the money was hidden within the quarter panel (i.e., in the body panels above the front wheels) of a vehicle.

Obviously, then, this money is not just “undeclared” as the story headline broadcasts, but also smuggled. The man who was driving the vehicle was arrested and “is facing federal currency smuggling charges.” That means he is being charged with bulk cash smuggling under 31 USC 5332.

The cash was smuggled, and the vehicle was outfitted for smuggling the cash, thus making them both subject to seizure under the customs law.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers conducting southbound operations at the Presidio port of entry yesterday afternoon, stopped a 22-year-old male U.S. citizen who was attempting to leave the country with $175,935 in unreported U.S. currency.

The seizure was made at approximately 2:37 p.m. while CBP officers were conducting joint southbound operations with U.S. Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Presidio Police Department. A CBP officer selected a compact car for an intensive exam following an interview with the driver.

A CBP currency detector dog alerted to the front quarter panels of the vehicle. Twelve bundles were removed from non-factory compartments found on the driver and passenger side quarter panels of the vehicle.

CBP officers arrested the man. He was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations special agents and is facing federal currency smuggling charges.

Has Presidio CBP seized your money?

Has Laredo CBP seized your money? If so, we can help. Read our helpful customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.