Tag: airport

$35,000 Seized by CBP at Dulles Airport on its way to Turkey

Dulles CBP Seizes $35k from Turkey-bound Traveler

On July 31, Dulles CBP seized more than $35,000 from a woman traveling to Turkey.

Unfortunately, story states that she only declared having $5000 when she was first stopped. When they searched her bags they found a total of $35,016.

This is a big no-no. Especially in Dulles Airport, not reporting money combined with later discovery of the money in clothing or baggage will typically result in allegations of “bulk cash smuggling”.

When bulk cash smuggling is alleged and proven, CBP can keep at least 50% of the money as a penalty, rather than a usual fixed the dollar amount for the range of value in currency seized. The story follows:

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized more than $35,000 from a woman traveling to Istanbul, Turkey on Friday for violating federal currency reporting laws.

CBP officers encountered the woman, a U.S. citizen, as she boarded her flight. Officers cited the currency reporting law to her and she reported that she possessed $5,000. During an examination of her carry-on bag, CBP officers discovered an additional $30,016 for a combined amount of $35,016.

CBP is not releasing the woman’s name since she was not criminally charged.

“Customs and Border Protection officers offer travelers opportunities to accurately report all currency they possess, and also ensures that the traveler fully understands federal currency reporting laws as well as the consequences for failing to comply,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “CBP remains steadfast in our commitment to enforcing our nation’s laws and to protecting our citizens against people and things that could cause us harm.”

Has Dulles CBP seized your cash?

If Dulles CBP has seized your cash, we urge you to call us for a consultation before considering doing it yourself. You probably will not be happy with the outcome if you do, based on Dulles’ aggressive posture in most cases. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

$11097 seized by CBP displayed by Dulles airport CBP

Dulles CBP Seizes Cash from South Korean

We return to a familiar theme: cash seizures by Customs, at Dulles airport. This story (original here), relates the seizure of little more than $1100, for at least a failure to report (although the discovery of $5,097 in her baggage after verbally declaring only $6,000, will allow CBP to make the allegation she was smuggling bulk cash).

Here’s the storyt;

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized illicit steroids in international mail and unreported currency from a traveler at Washington Dulles International Airport during the weekend.

A South Korean woman, who is a U.S. lawful permanent resident, reported to CBP officers that she possessed $500. Officers explained currency reporting requirements to the woman and she amended her declaration to report that she had $6,000. During a baggage examination, CBP officers discovered a total of $11,097 in her baggage. CBP officers seized all the currency and released the woman. She arrived on a flight from Seoul on Sunday.

It is legal to carry large sums of currency into or out of the United States. However, federal law requires that travelers who possess $10,000 or more in currency or other monetary instruments must report it all to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the country. Read more about currency reporting requirements.

Consequences for violating U.S. currency reporting laws are severe; penalties may include seizure of most or all of the traveler’s currency, and potential criminal charges.

Has Dulles CBP seized your money?

If Dulles CBP seized your money, we urge you not to try to do it yourself. You will not be happy with the outcome. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

CBP officer revealing $27,500 concealed in a traveler's backpack, seized for bulk cash smuggling and not reporting

Dulles CBP Seizes $53k in Cash

Dulles does it again, seizing $53,000 from two different people at the time they left the United States.  

In one incident, when stopped before leaving on a plane from the United States to Cameroon, a man reported having $26,000, but was found to have $36,668. 

In the other incident, a man and his family were leaving for Sudan. They reported having $11,000, but in fact, they had $16,500.

In the first instance, the presence of “six envelopes” tells me that this man was probably carrying money back to Cameroon for other people, probably to help family members suffering Cameroon’s civil war.  If that was the case, there’s probably a good chance he wasn’t told exactly how much was in the envelopes, leading to his under-report of the money.

In the second instance, the fact that the family was traveling together tells me that — as almost always happens in my client’s cash seizure cases — someone did not count all their money, or did not consider some part of money to be required to be reported (i.e., an adult daughter traveling with a few extra thousand dollars of her own, not thinking she needed to report her money as part of the group because she’s an adult). These situations can be messy; sometimes money should be reported, sometimes not; it ends up being the word of the violator against the word of the CBP officer who seized the cash.

In each case, though, once someone is boarding the plane and has not already voluntary made the report to CBP, a violation of the reporting requirements of 31 USC 5316 have already occurred. So whether the report was accurate or not is technically not important: by having to be prompted to report currency by a CBP officer while boarding a plane, you are as good as caught, because you obviously have the intention to not report the money in the small physical space between the ticket counter and the gangway.

Here’s the full story:

STERLING, Virginia — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly $53,000 during two outbound currency examinations Thursday at Washington Dulles International Airport.

CBP is not releasing the travelers’ names because none were criminally charged.

While inspecting passengers boarding a flight to Belgium, CBP officers seized $35,688 from a Cameroon man who reported that he possessed $26,000. Officers discovered a combined $27,500 in six envelopes in a backpack, and an additional $7,500 in the man’s carry-on bag. Officers retained $34,000 and released $1,688 to the man for humanitarian purpose.  

While inspecting passengers boarding a later flight to Turkey, CBP officers seized $17,122 from a U.S. family bound for Sudan. The family reported that they possessed $11,000. Officers retained $16,500 and released $621 to the family for humanitarian purpose.

In both cases, the passengers were released to continue their travel.

Travelers may carry as much currency as they wish into and out of the United States.  Federal law requires that travelers 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.

“Customs and Border Protection encourages travelers to be completely honest when reporting all their currency during an inspection with a CBP officer, or they may incur civil or criminal penalties,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore.  “CBP officers conduct outbound examinations to safeguard the revenue of the U.S., and to intercept potentially illicit proceeds that support transnational criminal organizations.”

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/dulles-cbp-seizes-53k-unreported-currency-two-departing-sets-travelers

A picture of a CBP officer watching travelers at an airport. CBP Officers at Philadelphia International Airport seized $26,000 from a couple going to Greece for a failure to report the cash

CBP’s Big Fat Greek Cash Seizure

In Philadelphia, CBP did what you might call a big, fat, greek cash seizure, when they seized $26,000 from a couple who were leaving the United States for Greece.

The couple reported $17,000, but for some reason they did not report the other $9,000, which was found in “multiple envelopes.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than $26,000 from a Greece-bound couple who violated federal currency reporting regulations at Philadelphia International Airport Wednesday.

During an outbound inspection, the couple reported verbally and in writing that they possessed $17,000. During an inspection, CBP officers discovered multiple envelopes that contained a combined $27,052. CBP officers provided the couple a humanitarian release of $501 and seized the remaining $26,551.

Officers released the couple to continue their travel to Greece.

Why would the couple fail to report the extra $9,000 to CBP? There are some things we do not know for certain. For example, the CBP officer could have led the couple to believe they only needed to report their own money, not money they were carrying for others; they could have asked them how much money they were carrying “in your carry-on”, when the other money was stashed away in a purse. And they could have panicked.

The story says that the couple was allowed to continue their travel to Greece. Most of my clients who’ve had money seized from Customs have to re-book for another flight, because the process of counting the money and seizing results can be a substantial delay. Sometimes my client’s don’t continue to their destination even if they can, because they have no money to travel with.

I’ve had clients who’ve taken a month off work for a vacation to their homeland, only to have their money seized with no source of funds to continue on the trip until they get their cash back. When CBP seizes cash, it is very often a heartbreaking, stressful, and traumatic experience.

But we are here to help! If you want to learn more about responding to a customs cash seizure in Philadelphia or anywhere else, read our trusted customs cash seizure legal guide and can contact us for a free cash seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

CBP Cash Seizure of $46K at Dulles Airport

U.S. Customs seized nearly $50,000 again from a traveler attempting to leave the country for a failure to make a currency report over $10,000 at Dulles airport. This seizure happens to involve a family traveling to Austria. They reported transporting $15,000 to Customs, but really had $45,912.02. As a result, their cash was seized by Customs.

This is important: even though you report more than $10,000, the report must be ACCURATE. If you are off even by a dollar, Customs can seize your money, as happened during this airport currency seizure. You can read the full story HERE:

A family of three was boarding a flight to Austria and were selected for questioning by CBP officers who were conducting an outbound international flight enforcement operation. The family reported possessing $15,000 and completed a financial reporting form stating that amount, however; a total of $45,912.02 was discovered in Currency%20seizure3[1]their carryon bags and on their persons. CBP officers seized the $45,912.02, returning $3,000 to the travelers for humanitarian relief, and advised them how to petition for the return of the rest of the currency.“Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of having their currency seized, and may potentially face criminal charges,” said Patrick Orender, CBP Assistant Port Director for the Port of Washington Dulles. “The travelers were given the opportunity to truthfully report their currency. The easiest way to hold on to your money is to report it.”

I know it is sometimes true that truthfully reporting money is the easiest way to keep it, but I am also sure that it is not always true. I know many clients had  opportunities to report transporting more than $10,000 in money but there are who are subjected to “zealous enforcement” and asked trick questions without sufficient opportunity to make, or amend, a report.  Sometimes the philosophy of some Customs officers is to “seize first, ask questions later.”

If you have had currency seized from Customs do not try to respond yourself but hire our firm, because we know what we are doing and have successfully handled many cases like yours. If you have questions, please give us a call at (734) 855-4999. 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

CBP at Dulles Airport Seizes $72K over 3 days

CBP seized over $70,000 from 3 travellers at Washington Dulles airport recently. This was reported yesterday by CBP (read it here), with some additional follow-up in an article at the Washington Post (read it here).

The Washington Post does an alright job of reporting why the currency was seized, but understandably mixes up its legal terminology; seizure is different from forfeiture. Likewise, a “simple” failure to report violation does not, in and of it self, give rise to a bulk cash smuggling violation. Failure to report is money is not reported, or is not accurately reported; bulk cash smuggling is when money is hidden on a person or in their effects with purpose and intent that, by hiding it, they will avoid the requirement, to file a currency report.

Here is the story from CBP. Notice no criminal charges were filed yet:

STERLING, Va. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized a combined $72,095 in unreported currency from three travelers at Washington Dulles International Airport over the past three days.

There is no limit to how much currency travelers may bring to, or take from the U.S. However, federal law requires travelers to complete financial reporting forms for any amount that exceeds $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.

The first seizure occurred Saturday when a U.S. lawful permanent resident who arrived from Iran reported verbally Keep Calm and Contact Your Customs Attorneyand in writing that she possessed $10,000. While inspecting the woman’s luggage, CBP officers discovered Euros equivalent to $27,525 in U.S. dollars and $2,135 in U.S. currency for a total of $29,660.

On Sunday, a U.S. citizen arrived from Dubai, U.A.E., and reported verbally and in writing that she possessed $10,000. While examining her luggage, CBP officers discovered a total of $20,435.

The final seizure Monday occurred during an outbound international flight enforcement operation. A man destined for Ukraine reported to CBP officers that he possessed $15,000 and completed a financial reporting form stating that amount. During a search of the man’s carry-on baggage, CBP officers discovered an additional $8,000. CBP officers seized $22,000 and released $1,000 back to the man for humanitarian purposes.

CBP officers seized all currency, a combined $72,095, and released all three travelers.

CBP officers provide travelers with multiple opportunities to truthfully report all of their currency. Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements risk having their currency seized, and potentially face criminal charges.

“Seizing a traveler’s currency is not a pleasant experience, but there are severe consequences for violating U.S. laws,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington Dulles. “We hope that these seizures are a lesson for all travelers that the easiest way to hold on to their currency is to honestly report it all to a Customs and Border Protection officer.”

In addition to currency enforcement, CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, prohibited agriculture products, and other illicit items.

If you have had your currency seized, please 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