Tag: bulk cash smuggling

British Pounds and USD Seized by CBP at Dublin, Ireland Pre-Clearance

Passenger Fails to Report British Pounds at Dublin Pre-Clearance, CBP Seizes

CBP Pre-Clearance operations in Dublin, Ireland, seized $61,000 worth of British Pounds that was being taken to the United States (without reporting it) by a traveller. It’s an interesting story because this seizure by United States Customs & Border Protection took place in Dublin, Ireland.

The story says its a seizure of money for not reporting it (i.e., undeclared cash), but if the sign in the background is to believed, the money was also smuggled (i.e. hidden, bulk cash smuggling).

This is possible because CBP operates “pre-clearance” centers where you go effectively go through U.S. customs before ever leaving country/airport you are travelling from. Back in 2006, before I knew anything about pre-clearance, I was processed through CBP’s Dublin pre-clearance center. It really caught me off guard to see uniformed CBP officer’s in the middle of Ireland.

Have you had money seized at CBP in Dublin Pre-Clearance?

If CBP in Dublin Pre-Clearance 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.

Stacks of Cash Seized by CBP at Veterans International Bridge

CBP Seizes $100k in Cash at Veterans Intl/Los Tomates Bridge

CBP in Brownsville seized nearly $100,000 from a traveler heading to Mexico at the Veterans International Bridge. The story from CBP indicates the man was walking, not driving a vehicle. CBP discovered multiple packages of cash totaling $99,118.

CBP seized the cash because it was not reported, but probably also because it was considered to be bulk cash smuggling.

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Veterans International Bridge [Los Tomates] Port of Entry recently seized $99,118 in bulk, unreported U.S. currency.

The seizure took place on Wednesday, May 27, when CBP officers working at the Veterans International Bridge encountered a 26-year-old male United States citizen from Brownsville, Texas, who was selected for a routine outbound inspection. CBP officers conducted a visual and physical search of the traveler and the bags he was carrying which resulted in the discovery of multiple packages of bulk U.S. currency totaling $99,118 hidden on his person and within his bags.

“This important currency seizure was possible because of the diligence and watchfulness of our CBP officers,” said Port Director Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry.  “I congratulate our officers on this seizure.”

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

Has Brownsville CBP seized your cash?

If Brownsville 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.

Cash Seized by Laredo CBP

CBP Seizes $293K in Bulk Cash

CBP officers working the Eagle Pass, Texas, Port of entry made a huge bulk cash seizure on Mother’s Day weekend.

The seizure was $293,000 and it was being taken to Mexico by a 38 year old U.S. citizen. The story is classic bulk cash smuggling (watch an explanation of bulk cash smuggling). Here’s CBP’s rendition:

EAGLE PASS, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry seized undeclared currency totaling over $293,000 in one enforcement action.

“This seizure is a prime example of the great lengths our officers go to keep illicit contraband, including unreported currency, from being imported or exported from our country,” said Port Director Paul Del Rincon, Eagle Pass Port of Entry.

On Saturday, May 9th, officers engaged in outbound operations stopped a 2009 SUV driven by a 38-year-old male U.S. citizen traveling to Mexico for inspection.  Upon non-intrusive imaging and physical inspection of the vehicle and the driver’s personal belongings, officers discovered several packages of undeclared currency totaling over $293,000.

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

I’m not sure who wrote the story, but if I was that person’s editor I would ask. “Why do we need to know the SUV was made in 2009?” In any event, this is a huge seizure and no wonder the man was arrested.

Has CBP seized your bulk cash?

Has CBP seized your bulk cash? 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.

$55000 Cash Seized in Laredo

Laredo CBP Seizes $55k

Laredo CBP seized $55,000 being taken from the United States to Mexico on May 3rd. This, despite the border being closed to all but non-essential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s the story, which is light on details except they specify the van they were driving… why, I don’t know. But here’s a picture of a 2007 Ford E35 van, to give the story some more context:
2007 Ford E35 Van

LAREDO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge intercepted … currency [on Sunday, May 3rd].

“CBP conducts enforcement operations to protect against the … unreported exportations of bulk currency,” said Port Director Gregory Alvarez, Laredo Port of Entry. “These interceptions exemplify CBP’s commitment to stop the illegal importation and exportation of contraband.”

* * *

On Sunday, May 3rd, officers conducting outbound operations stopped a 2007 Ford E35 van for inspection. Upon physical inspection of the vehicle, packages containing $55,000 of undeclared currency were discovered. The vehicle and currency were seized by CBP.

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.

Stacks of bills totaling $16,152 in unreported currency seized by CBP officers at Eagle Pass Port of Entry.

Texas CBP Seizes $12k from Old Man’s Boot

CBP Texas seized $12,030 from a 69 year-old U.S. citizen who was heading to Mexcio. The money he carried was “hidden in his right boot” and the man was arrested and turned over to local law enforcement for investigation. Thus, the title of this post.

To be sure, failing to report money and bulk cash smuggling are crimes. In this case, hiding money in your boot and not reporting it to Customs is a crime. However, in my experience (which is limited to the client’s I’ve had), bulk cash smuggling does not result in an arrest but only an enhanced penalty.

Therefore, it is my hope that this elderly man was up to no good (i.e., carrying money on behalf of the cartels) and not just an old man who was trying to keep his money in a safe place as he headed into the criminal uncertainties of Mexico.

EAGLE PASS, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) interdicted . . . a total of $12,030 in undeclared currency … at [the] Eagle Pass Port of Entry.

On April 19, CBP officers inspected a 2013 Chevy Express van traveling outbound at the Camino Real Bridge along with the passengers. During the physical inspection of a 69-year-old male United States citizen, officers discovered $12,030 of unreported currency hidden within his right boot. The undeclared money was seized and the subject was arrested and turned over to Maverick County Sheriff’s Office 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.

Stacks of bills totaling $163,130 in unreported currency seized by CBP officers at Hidalgo International Bridge

Texas CBP Seizes $214K in Undeclared Cash

Below is a report by Texas CBP of seizure of cash leaving outboun to Mexico, which was seized from a 23-year-old Mexican national. The young man had $214,000 hidden in his vehicle, and what surely will prove to be a classic case of bulk cash smuggling (bulk cash smuggling is when money is hidden with the intent of not reporting it to CBP).

From our own experience, CBP in states like Texas and California seem to be more active in seizing cash than the Northern states where CBP is operating. This although the U.S.-Mexico border is closed to non-essential travel through June 22, and the U.S.-Canada border until June 21.

Here is the story:

HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the … Anzalduas International Bridges intercepted … $214,000 in unreported U.S. currency … [at the end of February 2020].

* * *

The currency seizure occurred on Feb. 21 after CBP officers assigned to the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge performing outbound inspections selected a silver 2018 Kia Forte driven by a 23-year-old from Guadalajara for further inspection. A thorough secondary examination resulted in officers discovering 18 bundles of U.S. currency totaling $214,000 hidden within the car.

The story ends by stating that the CBP Office of Field Operations (OFO) seized the currency and the vehicle in the failed smuggling attempts. The men were also arrested.

Have you had cash seized by Texas CBP?

If you have had cash seized by Texas CBP, we can help. Read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide or can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

CBP Seizes $45k Currency and Vehicle in Laredo

Though money seizures from traveler’s have slowed at the nation’s airports due to the pandemic, such is not the case at our nation’s land-borders, especially with Mexico. As an example, today we bring our customs law blog’s audience Customs seizure of $45,000 in unreported cash heading to Mexico about a month ago. The story was also picked up by Breitbart (why this run-of-the-mill seizure merited their attention I can only guess).

In this case, not only the currency was seized, but also the vehicle. The people involved were not arrested, however. The seizure of the vehicle might mean that they suspect more was going on than just some people traveling with cash that they did not want to report; it could also be seized because it is what the cash was smuggled inside of… that is called bulk cash smuggling.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) officers working outbound operations seized over $45,000 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 Port Director Gregory Alvarez, Laredo Port of Entry. “This seizure of $45,157 is a direct reflection of our continuous commitment to enforce federal currency reporting requirements.”

On Friday, April 11, officers assigned to outbound operations referred a 2020 Toyota Avalon traveling to Mexico for examination. Upon physical inspection of the vehicle and subject’s personal belongings, packages containing $45,157 of undeclared currency were discovered. The vehicle and currency were seized by CBP.

The vehicle was seized 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 cash?

If CBP in Laredo has seized your cash, you need a lawyer. Read 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.

U.S. Customs & Border Protection Officer's uniform, featuring the seal of the agency.

Top 10 things to know after a U.S. customs (CBP) money seizure

1. You should expect a CAFRA notice of seizure.

After a customs money seizure, you should expect to receive a CAFRA notice of seizure in the mail. This is different from the custody receipt for seized property you you should’ve received.

2. U.S. Customs is only required to “send” a notice of seizure in 60 days most of the time.

After the U.S. customs seizes money they must send a notice of seizure. In most cases, CBP is not required to confirm it was received, only that it was sent.

3. If CBP sends the notice of seizure and you don’t get it, or its late, your case will suffer.

Someone who has had customs seize cash usually has 30 days from the date on the CAFRA notice of seizure to respond to get money back administratively, or 35 days to take the case to court by filing a CAFRA seized asset claim form. If you do not receive the notice of seizure from Customs, the clock to respond and get your seized cash back from customs is still ticking. Waiting passively for CBP to send the CAFRA notice of seizure will jeopardize your case.

4. You can choose how your case will be handled through an election of proceedings form.

An election of proceedings form is enclosed with the notice of seizure. You must choose an option, sign and return the form as directed to contest your cash seizure case with customs. You should get a free currency seizure consultation before deciding how to proceed to get seized cash back from CBP.

5. Your case will go to court only if you or CBP seeks judicial forfeiture.

Typically the only way you can get your customs money seizure case before a judge is by properly filing a CAFRA seized asset claim form that is signed by you. The detailed instructions for this step are in the notice of seizure and the election of proceedings form.

6. An administrative petition for return of seized cash isn’t an apology letter or explanation.

If you choose to file an administrative petition for returned of seized cash it should not be in the form of an apology letter or explanation to Customs. A notice of seizure is a legal document and requires a legal response. If you admit to a crime or violation there is no way to take it back. If CBP chooses to criminally prosecute you, you will not be able to say you are innocent.

7. You must prove the money was legal.

Whatever election of proceedings option you select, you will have to prove the money seized by CBP was legal and came from a legitimate source. This is most typically done by including supporting documents like affidavits, tax returns, contracts, profit and loss sheets, bank statements, tax returns, business registration certificates, and proofs of employment or income with the administrative petition (if chosen as the option). Be careful not to undershare or overshare with Customs, or accidentally or unknowingly disclose other violations of the law.

Even if you prove the cash seized by CBP was from a legitimate source, you also have to prove that it was going to be used for a legal purpose. This can be a trip itinerary, proof of expenses, medical bills, leases, and other documents.

8. You must be patient; processing times vary by port, sometimes taking a year or more.

If you choose an administrative petition, offer in compromise, or claim, the process can take very long; sometimes a year or more. Doing everything right the first time helps prevent unnecessary delays.

9. Statements made to CBP can be used against you.

It is likely that when you were detained by CBP after the money seizure that you were read your “Miranda rights” and told that you had the right to remain silent. Any statements you made before you were detained and after you were detained and read your rights can be used against you.

10. You may be charged with a crime.

Failure to report cash to customs, structuring cash transactions, and bulk cash smuggling all carry with them civil and criminal penalties. You can be charged either civilly, criminally, or both.

$32k in Cash Laid out on table by US Customs (CBP)

Dulles CBP Seizes $32,000 from Traveler to Ghana

Another blog post, another customs cash seizure at Dulles airport. Most of my clients who have money seized at Dulles airport are most-often traveling to-or-from Ghana, Nigeria, or to a lesser extent, Egypt. This story highlights the dangers of not reporting having more than $10,000 in cash to Customs when traveling in any airport, but especially at Dulles airport.

This story, like many of them publicized at Dulles airport, features money that was hidden. This most likely means CBP will be trying to keep half of the money as a penalty, even if the person is able to prove all of the money came from legitimate sources and had legitimate intended uses. Here’s the story from back in January of this year:

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized more than $32,000 from a man traveling to Accra, Ghana who violated federal currency reporting regulations.

It is legal to carry large sums of currency into or out of the United States. However, federal law requires

Undeclared cash found hidden in bagage by Customs at Dulles airport
The currency was discovered during
a baggage exam.

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.

The man, a citizen of the United States and resident of Liberia, declared verbally and in writing that he possessed $15,000. During a baggage examination, CBP officers discovered a total of $33,040. Officers returned $750 to the man as a humanitarian release and allowed him to continue his journey. Officers seized the remaining $32,290.

Has Dulles CBP accused you of bulk cash smuggling?

If Dulles CBP has accused you of bulk cash smuggling, 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.

$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.