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.
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.