Orlando Cash Seizure by CBP

Texas CBP seized cash. A picture of 19 stacks of $20 and $100 bills part of the cash seized by CBP at Hidalgo International Bridge

An Orlando cash seizure by U.S. Customs & Border Protection at Orando International Airport is a first for this customs “blawg”. The story from CBP, quoted in part below, describes the events leading up to a seizure. In this case, the cash smuggler was a Spaniard exiting the country for Costa Rica in Orlando. He only reported having $800 cash, not the $100,000 he was found with:

The individual, a Spanish passport holder, was boarding a flight to Costa Rica when stopped for questioning by CBP officers performing outbound operations.  When asked how much money he was carrying the man responded $800. However, upon further inspection of the man and his luggage CBP officers discovered the unreported currency violating federal currency reporting regulations.

The story says this was cash smuggling (a/k/a bulk cash smuggling), but does not explain why. Recall as we’ve explained here before that bulk cash smuggling involves the concealment of cash in any way with an intent to evade the cash reporting requirement.

No word, though, on how it was concealed or what tipped CBP off leading to this big Orlando cash seizure. That’s a fairly big wad of cash; even assuming it was all in $100 bills, that would still be a total of 10,000 Benjamins. The laws are enforced differently by each port, with more of less zeal than others. It could be that the money was just in a carry-on bag in one or two places and CBP considered it bulk cash smuggling because it was not in plain sight and it was coupled with a failure to report. In other words, if I put $100,000 in my bag and, when asked, tell CBP I only have $800 then CBP is pretty safe in presuming that I am evading the reporting requirement and that is why I’ve hid the cash.

On the other hand, the smuggling could be more intentional. It could be that it bundles of currency were sewn into the lining of the luggage, or into the lining of clothing that was then placed in the carry-on. That is a stronger showing of concealment with intent to evade because more planning is involved in sewing the money in a way that avoids casual discovery.

Have you experienced an Orlando cash seizure by CBP?

If you experienced an Orlando cash seizure by U.S. Customs & Border Protection  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.