Tag: bulk cash smuggling

CBP Texas seizes $297K Cash at Del Rio

Recently, customs discovered a huge cache of cash when inspecting a vehicle heading into Mexico. The story, which comes to us out of Del Rio Texas, part of the Laredo sector, is detailed below.

The headline of the news release styles this as being “unreported” currency, however what this really is (in addition to being unreported) is bulk cash smuggling. As that link explains, bulk cash smuggling occurs when money is hidden with the purpose of evading the reporting requirement that requires an individual entering or leaving the country with more than $10,000 to file a report.

 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers working outbound operations seized over $297,000 in undeclared currency in a single enforcement action.

“CBP conducts outbound enforcement operations to protect against unreported exportations of bulk U.S. currency, which often can be proceeds from alleged illicit activity, or currency that funds transnational criminal organizations,” said Port Director Liliana Flores, Del Rio Port of Entry. “This currency seizure demonstrates an outstanding job by our officers.”

The enforcement action occurred on Wednesday, May 5 at the Del Rio International Bridge, when officers assigned to outbound operations selected a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze traveling to Mexico for a secondary examination. Upon physical inspection of the vehicle, packages containing $297,311 in unreported U.S. currency were discovered.

The currency was seized by CBP OFO officers. A 23-year-old male Mexican citizen passenger was arrested, and the case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.

Individuals are permitted to carry any amount of currency or monetary instruments into or out of the U.S., however, if the quantity is more than $10,000, they will need to report it to CBP. “Money” means monetary instruments and includes U.S. or foreign coins currently in circulation, currency, travelers’ checks in any form, money orders, and negotiable instruments or investment securities in bearer form. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.

Has Del Rio CBP seized your cash?

If Del Rio CBP has seized your cash, we urge you to call us for a consultation before considering doing it yourself. 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.

$201,585 in Unreported Currency Seized by CBP at Roma stacked in piles

CBP Officers Seize $201,585 in Unreported Currency at the Roma Port of Entry

I’ll give all my readers some free advice: if you have an extra $200,000 lying around, spend it inside the country — don’t take it across the border.

Why?

In today’s presentation of a CBP news release involving the misadventures of smugglers attempting to move cash across the border, we learn about a $201,585 which was seized in November 2020 as it was heading out to Mexico. Here’s the full story:

ROMA, Texas —U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Roma Port of Entry recently seized more than $200,000 in unreported currency concealed in a vehicle during an outbound examination.

“Our CBP officers are dedicated to stopping the movement of illegal contraband and unreported currency from coming in and out of ports of entry. Even in challenging times, it is clear that our officers are truly dedicated in carrying out their mission. Their hard work and expertise never goes unnoticed,” said Port Director Andres Guerra, Roma Port of Entry.

The seizure occurred on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 when CBP officers referred a 2013 Chevrolet 1500 for a secondary inspection.  With the utilization of a non-intrusive imaging system, CBP officers discovered $201,585 concealed within the vehicle.

CBP officers seized the currency. The case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) for further investigation.

It is not a crime to carry more than $10,000, but it is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or more to a CBP officer upon entry or exit from the U.S. or to conceal it with intent to evade reporting requirements. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest. An individual may petition for the return of currency seized by CBP officers, but the petitioner must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.

Has Texas CBP seized your cash?

If Texas CBP 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 their’ 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.

Bags of Money Seized by Texas CBP

CBP Texas Seizes $838,481 at Roma Texas

CBP officers in Texas prevented the attempted export of NEARLY ONE MILLION dollars in cash to Mexico, late last year. The money was driven in a vehicle by a U.S. citizen, and the money was concealed in the car. The story does not state that the driver was arrested, although it would be difficult to believe he was not.

ROMA, Texas —U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers Roma Port of Entry recently seized more than $838,000 in unreported currency concealed in a vehicle during an outbound examination.

The seizure occurred on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 when CBP officers referred a 2016 Chevrolet Colorado occupied by a male U.S. citizen for a secondary inspection.  With the utilization of a non-intrusive imaging system, CBP officers discovered $838,481 concealed within the vehicle.

CBP officers seized the currency. The case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.

Has Texas CBP seized your money?

Has Texas CBP seized your money? If so, we can help. Read our helpful customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

$44000 Seized by Dulles CBP on Display

Dulles CBP Seizes $44,000 from Ethiopia Traveler

CBP officers at Dulles Airport their Washington DC, which happens to be part of the wider Baltimore Field office, seized almost $44,000 from a permanent resident and citizen of Cameroon who was traveling to Ethiopia.

As often happens, he was prompted to complete a currency reporting form after indicating that he possessed money. But, he only reported $10,000. Upon obtaining the false report, customs officers inspected his possessions and discovered that he actually possessed $43,000.

Here is the full story as contained in the news release:

STERLING, Va. –U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized nearly $44,000 in unreported currency from an Ethiopia-bound traveler on Monday.

CBP officers inspected a traveler as he attempted to board his departing flight. The man, a Cameroon citizen and U.S. lawful permanent resident, reported that he possessed $10,000 and completed a financial reporting form. While examining the man’s carryon bag, CBP officers discovered $43,580. Officers seized $43,000 and returned $580 to the man as humanitarian relief. Officer released him to continue his travel.

Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $44,000 in unreported currency from an Ethiopia-bound traveler at Washington Dulles International Airport on October 5, 2020.

CBP is not releasing the man’s name since he was not criminally charged. An investigation continues.

My usual disclaimer about the difficulty of getting money back after a seizure at CBP Dulles applies. Anyone who has money seized at Dulles Airport can expect a long and arduous process which will include scrupulously documenting the source of the money, including the production of detailed financial records, explanations of particular deposits into one’s bank account, and of course, scrupulous documentation translated into English about the intended use of the money.

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.

Cash seized by Brownsville CBP displayed to reporters

CBP Texas Seizes $46,085 in Smuggled Cash at Brownsville

CBP officers in Texas are the frontline of the United States in its war against illicit trafficking of narcotics and the proceeds of the sale of narcotics. For this reason, the are skeptical of people who were traveling across the border with large amounts of cash, especially when it is hidden and not reported before discovery.

In a story that comes out of Brownsville Texas, last fall, CBP officers encountered a twenty-year-old Mexican citizen departing the United States from Mexico. As part of the outbound inspection, officers discovered a total of $46,085 hidden inside the vehicle.

This is a classic case of bulk cash smuggling. Bulk cash smuggling occurs whenever anyone with the intent to not report the money to U.S. Customs upon importer export, hides it in some way with the intention that it not be discovered or reported.

Here’s the full story:

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge Port of Entry seized $46,085 in bulk, unreported U.S. currency.

“CBP officers may conduct inspections before travelers leave the United States. This routine inspection led to this seizure and is a testament to the diligence and sense of duty our officers have when carrying out outbound inspections,” said Port Director Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry.

The seizure took place on Thursday, Oct. 1, when CBP officers working at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge encountered a 20-year-old male Mexican citizen from McAllen, Texas, as the driver of a gray 2012 Ford F-150, who was selected for an outbound inspection. CBP officers conducted a visual and physical search of the vehicle which resulted in the discovery of bulk undeclared U.S. currency totaling $46,085 hidden within the vehicle.

CBP officers seized the currency and the vehicle, arrested the traveler and turned him over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation.

The penalties for bulk cash smuggling are steep, even if the money is shown to be from a legitimate source and have a legitimate intended use. Moreover, the likelihood of criminal charges arising from the bulk cash smuggling at the Mexico border are greater than for a simple failure to report.

Has Brownsville CBP taken your cash?

If Brownsville CBP has taken your cash, 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.

Texas CBP Seized $100,000 in Smuggled Cash

A few months back, CBP in Texas seized $100,000 in bulk cash that was taped a a pedestrian’s body as he was leaving the United States for Mexico. Here’s what that looks like:

I did not catch this story as a news release from CBP, but it was a story that ran in the local paper (read it here). Here’s the story:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized $101,924 strapped to a 19-year-old man heading to Mexico on the Zaragoza Bridge in El Paso’s Lower Valley.

CBP officials said the cash smuggling attempt was detected Tuesday afternoon by officers checking Mexico-bound traffic who picked the man for an inspection.

The money was in $100, $50 and $20 bills inside plastic bags strapped to the young man’s chest and back underneath his shirt, CBP said. The cash was seized and an investigation continues.

Under federal law, travelers can carry any amount of money but must report amounts over $10,000 to CBP at the time of departure or arrival, officials said.

Bulk shipments of cash smuggled into Mexico are often drug-trafficking proceeds, law enforcement officers have said.

“CBP officers are working hard to stop the illegal movement of guns, ammunition and unreported currency,” CBP Ysleta Port Director Arnie Gomez said in a statement. “Travelers who do not follow federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of losing their currency and may potentially face criminal charges.”

Has Texas CBP seized your cash?

If Texas CBP 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 their’ 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.

$140k in Cash Bundles seized by CBP Laredo

CBP Laredo Seizes $140K Cash

CBP officers in Laredo discovered and seized $140,000 cash hidden in the suitcase of a 26 year-old Mexican national who was leaving the United States for Mexico. In this case (unlike most of my cash seizure clients), the individual was arrested.

Although every failure to report cash is itself a criminal offense, it is very rare overall that someone is arrested and criminally charged for a failure to report. In my estimation, if suspects you are up to some criminal activity beyond the failure to report or smuggle cash (i.e., using it to buy/sell drugs), then you are far more likely to be arrested.

And again, why does every US-Mexico border story tell us what kind of vehicle was involved? Not relevant, and a little weird, but it was a 2014 Volvo bus.

Here’s the full story:

LAREDO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers working outbound operations seized over $140,000 in undeclared currency in a single enforcement act over the weekend.

“CBP’s national security mandate is complex, ranging from anti-terrorism to more traditional counter-drug operations,” said Acting Port Director Eugene Crawford, Laredo Port of Entry. “This seizure is a direct reflection of our continuous commitment to enforce federal currency reporting requirements.”

The enforcement action occurred on Saturday, February 13th, when officers assigned to outbound operations selected a 2014 Volvo bus traveling to Mexico for inspection. A 26-year-old male Mexican citizen passenger was referred for a secondary examination. Upon physical inspection of the subject’s personal belongings, packages containing $140,750 in undeclared currency were discovered.

The currency was seized by CBP. The subject was arrested and the case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) special agents for further investigation.

Has Laredo CBP seized your money?

Has Laredo CBP seized your money? If so, we can help. Read our helpful customs money seizure legal guide (or watch the videos) and contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Piles of cash seized by CBP at Detroit Metro Airport

CBP Detroit Seizes $60K Headed to Amsterdam

Customs officers at Detroit Metro Airport seized more than $60,000 from a woman who was traveling to Amsterdam, who reported having only $1,000 but in fact had more than $60,000 concealed in a bag of women’s “Always” ultra-thin menstrual pads.

Customs in Detroit is, as far as I can tell, always one of the leading ports across in terms of enforcement of the currency reporting violations, even though it’s not widely ‘advertised’ through Customs news releases. For instance, Dulles airport does not have nearly the volume of cash seizures as Detroit, yet Dulles is always in the news.

Here’s the story about the Detroit cash seizure:

ROMULUS, Mich. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations Officers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, conducting outbound enforcement operations encountered a female passenger headed to Amsterdam on February 3 with more than $60,000 in undeclared U.S. currency.

The female passenger initially reported to CBP officers conducting outbound examinations, she was only carrying $1,000. During an inspection of her baggage, Officers found bundles of cash inside envelopes, concealed in packaging used to house sanitary napkins. Officers seized the money as a result of the passenger violating currency reporting requirements.

“CBP enforces these regulations to combat money laundering or other criminal offenses,” said Port Director Robert Larkin. “I’m proud of our officers and the work they do to interrupt currency smuggling operations and illegal activities daily.”

The full story is available here.

Have you had a customs money seizure at Detroit Metro Airport?

If you have a customs money seizure at Detroit Metro airport, don’t do it yourself. Cash seizure cases are often packed with with difficulties and unforeseen challenges. Instead of risking forfeiture and the total loss of your money, do the smart thing and call us for a free currency seizure consultation and make use of the free customs money seizure legal guide we publish on this website.

Piles of money seized by Philadelphia CBP

Philadelphia CBP Seized $44,000 from Jamaica-bound Travelers

Philadelphia CBP seized some cash from a couple heading to Jamaica. Philly is not a notorious location for aggressive enforcement of the currency reporting requirement by CBP, but it does occasionally seize money from traveler’s entering or leaving the country for not accurately reporting it. In the story that follows, CBP seized almost $45,000 from a couple who was leaving the United States for Jamaica, after they allegedly reported only carrying $6,050 (oops!).

It was not mentioned in the story, but a picture is worth a thousand words: the money was located in their baggage. Specifically, it was placed in envelopes in the pockets of a packed pair of jeans. This looks like bulk cash smuggling! Because the money was hidden in this way the chances of an increased penalty (i.e., 50% of the amount seized) GREATLY increases. Here’s the story:

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than $44,000 from a Jamaica-bound couple at Philadelphia International Airport on Friday.

CBP is not releasing the couple’s names because they were not criminally charged.

During outbound inspections of the Montego Bay-bound flight, the couple reported to CBP officers that they possessed $6,050. Officers advised the couple of federal currency reporting laws and the couple confirmed that amount verbally and in writing. During an examination of the couple’s carry-on baggage, officers discovered $44,629 in U.S. dollars and $5,000 Jamaican dollars (equivalent to $35.04 in U.S. dollars) for a total of $44,664.05.

Jeans stuffed with money in the pockets seized by CBP

Officers returned $535.04 to the couple for humanitarian relief and released them.

“Travelers face consequences, sometimes severe, for violating U.S. currency reporting laws,” said Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “Our best advice to travelers is to truthfully report all currency they possess to a Customs and Border Protection officer during inspection.”

Although there is no limit to the amount of money that travelers may carry when crossing U.S. borders, federal law [31 U.S.C. 5316] requires that travelers report currency or monetary instruments in excess of $10,000 to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the United States. Read more about currency reporting requirements.

During inspections, CBP officers ensure that travelers fully understand federal currency reporting requirements and offer travelers multiple opportunities to accurately report all currency and monetary instruments they possess before examining a traveler’s carryon or checked baggage.

. . .

An individual may petition for the return of seized currency, but the petitioner must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.

Has Philadelphia CBP seized your cash?

If Philadelphia CBP seized your cash, read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and contact our customs lawyer for a free cash seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

Money in envelope seized by Dulles CBP

Dulles CBP Seize $340K in Cash from 6 Travelers

It was a busy week for customs officers at Dulles airport, seizing money from travelers for violating the currency reporting requirements. The press release from CBP, below, highlights a total of six seizures made in a single week totaling more than $339,000, which all violated the currency reporting requirements in one way or another (i.e., failure to report, structuring, and/or bulk cash smuggling).

Dulles airport is a hub for traveler’s heading to Africa. Around DC, there are large communities of people from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Cameroon. They make good money in the United States, and then try to take some of that money back home. Often times for building projects or investment opportunities in their native countries.

Here’s the rest of the cash seizure stories frrom CBP:

STERLING, Va. – Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly $340,000 during six outbound seizures of unreported currency in one week at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $340,000 in unreported currency at Washington Dulles International Airport during September 9-17, 2020.

Although there is no limit to the amount of money that travelers may carry when crossing U.S. borders, federal law [31 U.S.C. 5316] requires that travelers report currency or monetary instruments in excess of $10,000 to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the United States. Read more about currency reporting requirements.

The seizures included:

      • $19,762 from a couple destined to Sierra Leone on September 17;
      • $68,830 from a Paris-bound man on September 16;
      • $19,720 from a Paris-bound man on September 15;
      • $35,402 from a Paris-bound man on September 10;
      • $97,223 from a second Paris-bound man on September 10; and
      • $98,762 from an Ethiopia-bound man on September 9.

The currency seizures totaled $339,699.

Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $340,000 in unreported currency at Washington Dulles International Airport during September 9-17, 2020.

CBP is not releasing any of the travelers’ names since they were not criminally charged. All are either U.S. citizens or U.S. lawful permanent residents. An investigation continues.

“These are substantial seizures of unreported currency, and seizures that could have been avoided if the travelers would have been truthful in reporting their total currency to Customs and Border Protection officers,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “As the nation’s border security agency, CBP remains steadfast in our commitment to enforcing all U.S. laws at our nation’s borders, including federal currency reporting laws.”

During inspections, CBP officers ensure that travelers fully understand federal currency reporting requirements and offer travelers multiple opportunities to accurately report all currency and monetary instruments they possess before examining a traveler’s carryon or checked baggage.

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.