Detroit CBP seizes $271,463 in Unreported Currency

A news release from Customs & Border Protection that hits close to home, in my own Port of Detroit. Unfortunately for the people involved this story, their currency seizure did not have an outcome similar to those handled by Great Lakes Customs Law.

Detroit — On August 22, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport seized $271,463 from a lawful permanent resident of the United States and his daughter, a United States citizen, after they both failed to report the currency to CBP officers.

Hekmat and Bedeel Bahnam arrived in Detroit on a flight from Amman, Jordan. They initially denied carrying $10,000 or more in U.S. currency or its equivalent in foreign currency. CBP Officers searched their luggage and discovered $271,463 in U.S. and Iraqi currency. The Bahnam’s were arrested and turned over to agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). They were charged with bulk cash smuggling and conspiracy and face Federal prosecution.

“You must report to CBP that you are carrying $10,000 or more in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency or other monetary instruments when you travel into or out of the United States.” said Devin Chamberlain, CBP Detroit (Airport) port director. “There is no limit as to how much currency travelers can import or export. However, the law requires travelers to report when they carry at least $10,000 in monetary instruments. Violators may face criminal prosecution and forfeiture of the undisclosed funds.”

If you have had currency seized and are contemplating what to do next, please make use of the other information I make available on this website or call my office at (734) 855-4999 or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist with currency seizures 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?