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.