Here’s a great story out of Philadelphia, where close to $40,000 was seized from a person traveling to Jamaica. CBP in Philadelphia has a good writer; their cash seizures stories are always the most informative or interesting.
In this case, the women whose cash was seized first reported not having more than $10,000; then changed it to $20,000; ultimately, she was found with almost $40,000. Read it for yourself:
PHILADELPHIA — Federal currency reporting requirements are simple. International travelers can carry as much currency as they wish into and out of the United States, but they must report all U.S. and foreign monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or greater on a U.S. Treasury Department financial form. None of the currency is taxed.
The consequences for violating federal currency reporting requirements are severe: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers may seize the currency, and officers may criminally charge the violator.
Yet, travelers continue to conceal currency or remain less than truthful during CBP inspections.
A Jamaica-bound traveler departing Philadelphia International Airport Thursday learned this lesson the hard way when CBP officers seized $39,225 that she possessed. The traveler initially reported that she possessed less than $10,000. After CBP officers thoroughly explained the currency reporting requirements, she wrote down that she possessed $20,000. A CBP inspection revealed $39,225.
“This currency seizure illustrates the importance and consequences of travelers complying with all U.S. laws, including currency reporting regulations,” said Shawn Polley, Acting CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “The best way to keep all of your currency is to honestly report it all to a to Customs and Border Protection officers during inspection.”
The traveler was not criminally charged and was allowed to continue her journey to Jamaica.
The story ends with the statement that “[o]n a typical day, CBP seizes $289,609 in undeclared or illicit currency along our nation’s borders.” That’s a lot of cash to get seized!
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