Philly CBP Seized $27k: Unreported & Concealed

Customs seized the equivalent to about USD $27,000 from a couple arriving from Belgium (the author of the story calls this Belgian couple a “Belgium couple”). Apart from that typo, the story is interesting because it seems to involve bulk cash smuggling. Bulk cash smuggling is when money is concealed with the intent to evade the reporting requirement.

Here, the couple reported travelling with €6,000, verbally and in writing. But, upon inspection, the CBP found and confiscated $14,321 and €11,567 “concealed inside a wallet, including inside the wallet lining”. Having the money in a wallet itself, and inside a sport coat pocket are not suspicious in and of itself… but the location of the money together with the failure to accurately report anywhere near the total amount being carried would give customs the cause to seize the cash for bulk cash smuggling. The original is here, excerpt below:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $27,001 in unreported currency from a Belgium couple for violating federal currency reporting requirements at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday.

The couple reported that they possessed 3,000 Euro each, both verbally and on their CBP Declaration form. During a routine secondary examination, CBP officers discovered $14,321 U.S. dollars and 11,567 Euros concealed inside a wallet, including inside the wallet lining, and inside a sport coat pocket. The currency equated to $27,001 in equivalent U.S. dollars.

The article says it was seized for reporting violations, so it’s not entirely clear they alleged bulk cash smuggling. Only upon receipt of the notice of seizure will the reasons be finalized.

If you have had cash seized by customs and are contemplating what to do next, please make use of the other information available on this website or call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page. 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
  14. Understanding CBP’s Election of Proceedings Form