U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) at Dulles airport has once again demonstrated its money-seizing prowess in a news release about yet another customs airport money seizures . In the story, Customs seized money totaling approximately $37,000 from two different sets of people. If you have questions about customs money seizures, get a free currency seizure consultation and read up about the process with our customs money seizure legal guide.
The story itself showcases how irrational a person can be when panicked, which like almost all law enforcement encounters, tips of the scales in favor of law enforcement. When confronting a uniformed customs agent otherwise rational people will do irrational things, such as denying possessing more than $10,000 in writing, verbally reporting more than $10,050, and then seconds later willingly handing over more than $22,000; or reporting $6,000 and then turning over 6 envelopes containing $15,215. It’s not at all uncommon, and most of my clients will tell me that they just panicked and can’t explain why they did what they did.
Let’s have a look at this story from CBP at Dulles Airport now:
STERLING, Va., — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized about $37,000 in unreported currency from two groups of travelers Thursday at Washington Dulles International Airport for violating federal currency reporting regulations.
Two men from China arrived from Beijing and answered “no” on a CBP Declaration form that they possessed currency of $10,000 or more. After questioning, the travelers then verbally reported to a CBP officer that they had more than $10,000.The men completed a U.S. Treasury Department form reporting $10,000 in U.S dollars and $50 in Chinese Yen. During a baggage examination, the men handed a CBP officer two envelopes and a wallet that contained a total of $22,238.
In a second seizure, CBP officers stopped a Northern Virginia couple boarding an outbound international flight. The couple reported verbally and in writing that they possessed a total of $6,000. During the examination, the couple produced six stacks of currency separately concealed on their bodies and in a purse. The total amount of currency equaled $15,215 in U.S dollars. CBP released $215 to the couple for humanitarian purposes, and seized the rest.
None of the four was criminally charged. CBP released them to continue their trips.
There is no limit to how much currency travelers may bring to, or take from the U.S. However, federal law requires travelers to report to CBP amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency. Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of having their currency seized, and may potentially face criminal charges.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers presented these travelers multiple opportunities to report all of the currency they had in their possession. It’s the law. Hopefully, this is a lesson to all travelers that the easiest way to hold on to their currency is to truthfully report it to a CBP officer,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP Area Port Director for the Port of Washington Dulles.
These folks were not arrested by CBP at Dulles airport, but of course the government has 5 years to criminally charge them. Our customs law firm handles currency/money seizures made by customs in Detroit and around the country.
You can educate yourself using our trusted “customs money seizure legal guide” to understand what to do if CBP at Dulles airport seized cash from you and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.