CBP Seizes $51k Cash and Make Arrest

At Miami airport, a traveler from Chile had a run in with U.S. Customs & Border Protection that resulted in a seizure of $51,777. As disclosed by the story below (full version HERE), it a resulted in an arrest, presumably¬†for a currency reporting violation — reporting $20,000 even though he was transporting more than $50,000, and/or dividing his money between he and other travelers in what is commonly called a “structuring” violation.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers at Miami International Airport (MIA) arrested a Chilean citizen Thursday for violating federal currency reporting requirements.

During a secondary inspection on July 9th, the man, who arrived from Santiago, Chile, reported possessing $20,000 USD. It was later discovered that the man had given money to three co-travelers in order to evade currency reporting requirements, an illegal practice known as currency structuring. In total, the cash added up to $51,777. CBP officers seized the money and arrested the subject. The subject and currency were turned over to Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD).

“Customs and Border Protection officers offer travelers multiple opportunities to truthfully report their currency, but those who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements face severe consequences, including potential criminal charges,” said Christopher Maston, Port Director, Miami International Airport.

The only different nuance in this story which is not altogether apparent is why the currency was turned over to the local police department. Typically, Customs seizes the currency, but apparently Customs did not want to be bothered with it in this case. My hunch would be that, in this case, there was more going on (i.e., criminally) than the failure to report and structuring, which resulted in arrest and local law enforcement getting involved in the arrest and seizure.

If you have had currency seized from Customs do not try to respond yourself but hire our firm, because we know what we are doing and have successfully handled many cases like yours. If you have questions, please give us a call at (734) 855-4999. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs around the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places, and not just locally in Detroit. Please read these other articles:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
  2. Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
  3. Structuring currency imports and exports
  4. Is it $10,000 per person?  Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
  5. Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
  6. Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
  7. Responding to a Customs currency seizure
  8. How do I get my seized money back?
  9. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  10. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  11. Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations
  12. Filing a Petition for Seized Currency (with Sample and Tips) with CBP
  13. Don’t Talk¬†About Your Customs Currency Seizure Case