Category: customs cash seizure

Stacks of cash seized by CBP in Detroit

CBP Hauls in Big Cash Seizures in Detroit

CBP in April and May continue to log huge cash seizures from arriving and departing traveler’s at the Port of Detroit, including at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the Ambassador Bridge, and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

CBP has been sharing photographs of these cash seizures on the X account for the Director of Field Operations for Detroit. These cash reporting violation seizures fall within the purview of the DFO. See the first post, below, from back on April 19:

Then, another seizure on May 10 totaling $21,230, from someone who was alleged to have admitted “intentionally misreporting” the amount of currency he was traveling with.

Has Detroit Metro Airport CBP seized your cash?

If CBP at Detroit Metro Airport seized your cash, you need a lawyer. 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.

US and Canadian Currency Seized by CBP in March 2024

Detroit Cash Seizures at Ambassador Bridge & Detroit Metro Airport in March 2024

CBP officers in Detroit had their own version of March madness, when they seized around $370,000 total in cash from travelers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and another $100,000 at the Ambassador Bridge that connects the US & Canada (these figures are according to CBP’s really awesome currency seizure dashboard).

I was away from X/Twitter for a while but checked back in when I learned a new Director of Field Operations was appointed for the Detroit Field Office at CBP. Lo, and behold, there was lot of publicized seizure activity for March. A bonus was the high-res images images of the seized currency for a few cases for the month. So here is a walk-through of those seizure incidents for March 2024:

On March 1, there was a total of $30,000 seized (in more than one incident) at Detroit Metropolitan airport for passengers arriving in the United States:

Usually, people arriving with cash (who are usually not arrested) bring it with them for travel expenses, purchases, college tuition, and things of that nature.

On March 3rd, there was a total of $23,000 seized in combined amounts of U.S. dollars and Canadian currency at the Ambassador Bridge:

The activity at the Ambassador Bridge also includes travelers, but there’s always a good number of people gambling at Windsor or Detroit casinos who run afoul of the currency reporting laws when they’re crossing the border with their winnings.

On March 8, CBP seized $30,000 from someone leaving the United States for Amsterdam (probably where they would catch another connecting flight somewhere else….) at Detroit Metro Airport:

On March 23, a similar story with $22,000 seized from two travelers (seemingly traveling together) at Detroit Metro Airport on their way out of the United States (true story: most people don’t know they have to report amounts over $10,000 when leaving the country!):

Has Detroit CBP seized your cash?

If CBP in Detroit seized your cash whether at the Detroit Metro airport, the Ambassador Bridge, or the Tunnel, you need a lawyer. 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 containing $124,052 in unreported currency seized by CBP officers at Eagle Pass Port of Entry.

Texas CBP Seizes $124K cash at Eagle Pass

Texas CBP officers seized $124,000 in Eagle Pass, Texas, on March 20, when a Mexican national traveled with $124,052, apparently hidden in his vehicle.

Although no details are given about how the money was hidden, it is probably a case of classic bulk cash smuggling (watch an explanation of bulk cash smuggling). Here’s CBP’s summary of the incident:

EAGLE PASS, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Eagle Pass Port of Entry recently seized over $124,000 in unreported currency hidden within a vehicle during an outbound examination.

“This seizure reflects the vigilant inspectional [sic] work of our frontline officers and their commitment to our border security mission,” said Port Director Pete Beattie, Eagle Pass Port of Entry. “Undeclared bulk cash seizures like these, often proceeds from illicit activity, have significant impact on those who fail to comply with federal currency reporting requirements, including transnational criminal organizations.”

The seizure occurred on Wednesday, March 20 at the Camino Real International Bridge when a CBP officer referred a southbound vehicle driven by a 48-year-old male Mexican citizen for secondary examination. After initial inspection, CBP officers conducted an intensive secondary examination and discovered a total of $124,052 in unreported currency concealed within the vehicle.

Has Texas CBP seized your bulk cash?

Has Texas CBP seized your bulk cash? 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.

Stacks of money seized by CBP officers in Pharr, Texas.

Texas CBP seizes $85K in unreported and smuggled money; 1 arrested

Another day, another customs money seizure. This one in particular happened to the U.S.-Mexico border in Pharr, Texas, and actually involved an arrest. CBP officers can arrest anyone for the not reporting, structuring, or smuggling cash, but most often, they do not.

The cash reporting requirement laws in Title 31 of the U.S. Code allow for CBP to choose whether to proceed as a civil matter or criminal matter. For the unlucky 19 year old fellow involved in the what seems to be a bulk cash smuggling offense, he was arrested.

There are no specifics on how the money was hidden within the vehicle, only that it was discovered by a non-intrusive examination. Here’s the story:

PHARR, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry this weekend seized $85,000 in unreported currency hidden within a vehicle during an outbound examination.

“Or officer continue to maintain strict vigilance and that dedication to duty, inspection skill and experience contributed to this significant outbound currency seizure,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “These types of seizures, often involving proceeds from illicit activity, have significant impact and reflect CBP’s ongoing commitment to our priority border security mission.”

Stacks containing $85,000 in unreported U.S. currency seized by CBP officers during an outbound examination at Pharr International Bridge.

The seizure occurred on Sunday, April 14 at the Pharr International Bridge when a CBP officer referred a southbound vehicle driven by a 19-year-old male U.S. citizen for a secondary examination. Following a thorough examination that included use of a nonintrusive inspection system, CBP officers discovered a total of $85,000 in unreported currency hidden within the vehicle.

CBP officers seized the currency. Homeland Security Investigations special agents arrested the driver and initiated a criminal investigation.

Has Texas CBP seized your money?

If Texas CBP seized your money at Pharr, Hidalgo, Anzalduas, Laredo, or elsewhere, 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.

Dulles CBP seized cash discovered by k9 from Iraqi man laid out on table

Dulles CBP Seizes $56k from Iraq-bound Man

Dulles is back in the news again with another cash seizure. In this case, CBP officers aided by a detector dog named “Fuzz,” were searching passengers leaving for Qatar. The dog alerted to a man’s carry-on baggage, and the man initially reported possessing $30,000.

CBP then searched and found a total of $42,000. Then, apparently, they searched harder and found another $14,400, for a total of $56,400. Not sure how that happened, but that’s what the story seems to say.

Because the first report of $30,000, and the other $26,400 was packed away in luggage, this is probably going to lead to allegations of bulk cash smuggling. And bulk cash smuggling violations, especially at Dulles FP&F, tend to lead to big penalties (like 50% of the amount seized, if not forfeiture).
STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized $56,400 from an Iraq-bound man at Washington Dulles International Airport on Thursday only hours after they seized $68,000 in unreported currency from a Nigeria-bound family.
There is no limit to how much currency or other monetary instruments travelers may bring to or take out of the United States. However, federal law [31 USC 5316] requires travelers to report all currency of $10,000 or greater to a CBP officer and complete U.S. Treasury Department Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments [FINCEN 105]. Read more about currency reporting requirements.

CBP officers and currency detector dog Fuzz conducted outbound inspections of passengers departing on a flight to Doha, Qatar, when K9 Fuzz alerted to a man’s carryon baggage. Officers explained U.S. currency reporting laws and asked the man how much currency he and his mother had in their possession. The man, who was traveling with his mother to Iraq, reported that he had $30,000 and signed the FINCEN 105 form formally reporting that amount.

During a subsequent inspection, CBP officers discovered a combined $42,000 in carryon bags and on their persons.

Officers escorted the man and his mother back to CBP’s inspection station where officers discovered an additional $14,400 in the man’s checked baggage.

CBP officers seized a combined $56,400 and released the family to continue their trip.

Earlier on Thursday CBP officers seized $68,000 from a Nigeria-bound family after the family reported to officers that they possessed only $10,000.

“These are two currency seizures that could have been completely avoided had the two parties truthfully reported all of their currency to Customs and Border Protection officers,” said Marc E. Calixte, Area Port Director for CBP’s Area Port of Washington, D.C. “CBP urges all travelers to fully comply with our nation’s laws during inspection, including U.S. federal currency reporting law.”

 

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.

Evidence bag full of seized cash by CBP Dulles

Dulles seizes $68k Cash to Nigeria via Cairo

At Dulles airport, CBP officers at Washington Dulles International Airport recently seized $68,000 cash involving a Nigeria-bound family.

The family, departing on a plane for Cairo, Egypt, underwent outbound inspections where CBP officers. The father, when asked, reported $10,000. But then CBP inspected their bags and found additional currency concealed in multiple envelopes, bringing the total to $68,216.

My guess is that the envelopes were money they were carrying for other people to their own families in Nigeria. Whenever anyone leans someone is “going back home” they will often give them an envelope of cash with instructions to give the money to someone, sometimes who they meet at the airport.

CBP took all but $216, allowing them to continue on their trip. The relevant parts of the story are quoted below:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized $68,000 in unreported currency from a Nigeria-bound family at Washington Dulles International Airport today.

There is no limit to how much currency or other monetary instruments travelers may bring to or take out of the United States. However, federal law [31 USC 5316] requires travelers to report all currency of $10,000 or greater to a CBP officer and complete U.S. Treasury Department Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments [FINCEN 105]. Read more about currency reporting requirements.

CBP officers conducted outbound inspections of passengers departing on a flight to Cairo, Egypt, when they encountered the family. Officers explained U.S. currency reporting laws and asked the family how much currency they had in their possession. The father reported that the family possessed $10,000 and signed the FINCEN 105 form formally reporting that amount.

During a subsequent inspection of the family’s carryon bags, CBP officers discovered currency in multiple envelopes, in addition to the currency that the family presented to the officers. The total currency amounted to $68,216.

Officers seized the currency and remitted $216 to the family as a humanitarian release. CBP officers released the travelers to continue their journey.

“Seizing a traveler’s currency is a very serious consequence, but one that can easily be avoided just by the traveler truthfully reporting to a Customs and Border Protection officer all of the currency they are taking with them,” said Marc E. Calixte, Area Port Director for CBP’s Area Port of Washington, D.C.

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 containing $125,306 in unreported U.S. currency seized by CBP officers at Laredo Port of Entry.

CBP Laredo seizes $125K in smuggled cash

Last month, CBP officers in Laredo seized $125,000 in bulk cash smuggled out of the USA into Mexico. The story highlights the consequences of failing to report currency amounts exceeding $10,000 and engaging in bulk cash smuggling, both civil and criminal offenses that can result in currency seizure criminal jeopardy.

Unless as person is involved in other illegal activity (i.e., drug crimes, money laundering, etc) then it’s unlikely the person will face criminal charges for simply carrying or hiding more than $10,000. Most of our (more than 630) clients over the past 14 years have never faced criminal prosecution for their currency reporting violations.

They do, however, usually face a difficult bureaucracy, confusing procedures, differing options, and arbitrary denials quite regularly. We specialize in navigating this complex terrain and providing assistance. But first, let’s delve into the details of this recent seizure publicized by CBP:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge recently seized over $125,000 in unreported currency hidden within a passenger vehicle during an outbound examination.

“It is important to acknowledge the efforts of our CBP officers who continue to maintain law and order,” said Port Director Alberto Flores, Laredo Port of Entry.  “Currency seizures intercepted play a significant role in reinforcing border security and safeguarding communities from the threat of illicit activities.”

The seizure occurred on Monday, November 20 at the Gateway to the Americas Bridge when a CBP officer conducting outbound examinations selected a 2014 Chevrolet Malibu driven by a 36-year-old male U.S. citizen for examination. After initial inspection, CBP officers conducted an intensive physical examination and discovered a total of $125,306 in unreported currency hidden within the vehicle.

CBP officers seized the currency. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents arrested the driver and initiated a criminal investigation.

Have you had cash seized by CBP in Laredo?

If you’ve had cash seized CBP in Laredo, you can learn more about the process from 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.

Minneapolis CBP Seizes $26K Cash Bound for Vietnam

Here’s a Minneapolis CBP cash seizure story from earlier this year that I never had a chance to comment on, but I am overjoyed that it is FINALLY not involving Dulles CBP.

I’ve never represented a client with cash seizure case in Minneapolis. From what I remember, I’ve probably only had 2 leads I can remember in the past 14 years where some traveler has had something seized by CBP in Minneapolis. This tells me Minneapolis has a very low rate of cash seizure.

The story retold in this news release is common. The traveler reports having only $9,000 even though he had $26,000. If you’re going to lie to CBP, this is a bad way to lie. Why declare an amount suspiciously close to $10,000? Obviously, this alerts CBP that you are probably lying.

Another odd thing here is that the story says “the traveler admitted to the CBP Officer he was not aware of the requirements.” Wow, what an admission! How did CBP sweat that answer out of him??! And what’s it add to the story? If he was unaware of the requirements, obviously he would not accurately report what he was traveling with. And yet, CBP still seized the cash.

The original story is here, but here’s the important parts:

MINNEAPOLIS— On Monday, February 6, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) seized more than $26,000 from a passenger traveling to Vietnam.

CBP Officers encountered a passenger and inquired about his travel. The traveler reported he was traveling with $9,000.  During the baggage exam, the CBP officer discovered a total of $26,000.

The CBP Officer explained to the traveler that there is no limit to how much currency or other monetary instruments that can enter or leave the country, however, any amount over $10,000, requires the completion of a U.S. Treasury Department of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments form (FINCEN 105).  If not properly reported, it is subject to seizure under U.S. federal law [31 U.S.C. 5316].  In addition, travelers crossing U.S. borders are required to report all currency and other monetary instruments in their possession that exceeds $10,000 to a CBP officer.

The traveler admitted to the CBP Officer he was not aware of the requirements.  “International travelers must be truthful in reporting all currency in their possession to CBP officers when they arrive to or leave the United States,” said Augustine Moore, Area Port Director-Minnesota. “It is less painful to complete a simple form than it is to surrender all their currency for violating U.S. currency reporting laws.”

The consequences for violating U.S. currency reporting laws are severe; CBP officers can seize unreported currency, and travelers could potentially face criminal charges. An individual may petition for the return of seized currency but must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.

“Customs and Border Protection wants to make clear that there is no limit to the amount of money that travelers may carry when crossing U.S. borders, we only ask that travelers be truthful with CBP officers and fully comply with federal currency reporting laws,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director of Field Operations, Chicago Field Office.

Have you had cash seized by CBP in Minneapolis?

If you’ve had cash seized CBP in Minneapolis, you can learn more about the process from 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.

Cash laying on a table seized by CBP Dulles

Dulles Seizes $130k in Unreported Currency from Travelers

Summer travel season is well underway, and that means so is CBP’s cash seizure machine is likewise well underway. CBP’s cash seizures, for failure to report cash, structuring, and bulk cash smuggling, all involve people entering leaving the country with more than $10,000, and in one way or another, not filing the FinCEN 105 form at all, or not filing it accurately. The way to report traveling with more than $10,000 is super easy!

Among ports of entry, CBP at Dulles airport in Sterling, Virginia (Washington, DC), is among the most prolific storyteller when it comes to highlighting enforcement activity for these cash reporting violations.

Their most recent story involves people leaving for Yemen, Egypt, Togo, and Ghana. Notably, the stories – except for the Ghana-bound man — are mostly about currency split between travelers, which could be a structuring offense. The Ghana-bound man, however, as shown in the photograph below, probably is going to be said to have smuggled the money (“bulk cash smuggling“). The interesting parts of the story are below:

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $130,000 in unreported currency from four groups of departing international travelers recently at Washington Dulles International Airport.

[ . . . ]

In the most recent case, CBP officers seized $27,560 in unreported currency from a Yemen-bound family on Tuesday. The family reported that they possessed $9,500; however, CBP officers found additional currency split among family members.

CBP officers seized currency on consecutive days last week. On June 20, CBP currency detector dog Fuzz alerted to an Egypt-bound traveler who reported that he possessed $7,000. Officers discovered a total of $34,283 in unreported currency split among four family members. And on June 21, CBP officers seized $15,423 in unreported currency from a Togo-bound couple who reported $9,900 in currency.

On June 11, CBP officers seized $50,210 in unreported currency from a Ghana-bound man who reported that he possessed $45,000.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers recently encountered four groups of travelers departing on international flights at Washington Dulles International Airport who violated U.S. currency reporting laws. As a consequence, CBP officers seized a combined total of nearly $130,000 from the travelers. CBP urges travelers to be completely truthful with CBP officers during their departure inspection.
Officers sometimes discover unreported currency concealed inside travelers’ clothes like whith this Ghana-bound traveler.

In each case, CBP officers explained the currency reporting law and allowed the travelers multiple opportunities to truthfully report, both verbally and in writing, the total currency they are carrying.

Officers seized the currency and released the travelers.

CBP is withholding names because none of the travelers were criminally charged.

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 cash totaling $96,800 in unreported currency seized by CBP officers at Hidalgo International Bridge in Texas

CBP seizes $96K in cash at Hidalgo Bridge

The latest press release from CBP deals with a cash seizure for, among other things, bulk cash smuggling and a failure to report cash on FinCen 105 form, at the Texas-Mexico southern border. The full story is available here.

In this story, we continue to see the government’s odd fixation with reporting the details of vehicle the individual was driving — here, a maroon Chevrolet SUV. Enjoy!:

HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge intercepted $96,800 in undeclared currency from a traveler heading to Mexico.

“CBP officers conduct outbound enforcement operations to protect against unreported exportations of bulk U.S. currency, which can often be proceeds from alleged illicit activity, or currency that funds transnational criminal organizations,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry.

On May 2, 2023, CBP officers conducting outbound enforcement operations at the Hidalgo International Bridge encountered a maroon Chevrolet SUV, driven by a 42-year-old male Mexican citizen traveling southbound to Mexico. A CBP officer referred the vehicle for further inspection. After physically inspecting the vehicle, officers discovered seven bundles of currency totaling $96,800 in various denominations concealed within a hidden compartment in the vehicle.

CBP OFO seized the currency and vehicle. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested the driver and initiated a criminal investigation.

Have you had cash seized by CBP in Texas?

If you’ve had cash seized CBP in Texas, you can learn more about the process from 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.