Tag: bulk cash smuggling

$98,762 in U.S. dollars seized by CBP stacked in front of a Dulles airport Washington DC sign

Dulles-Seizes-Hidden-Bulk-Cash-99k-Ethiopia

Customs officers at Dulles Airport seized nearly $100,000 this week from a man who only reported traveling with $14,000.

The problem from customs perspective is that he truly had $99,000, and of that amount, almost $80,000 was hidden in his bags, within shoes and pants pockets. The refusal by the man to report the correct amount of cash he transported along with the location of the hidden cash within his baggage will easily allow customs to presume he intended to hide the money so that it would not be found. That is classic bulk cash smuggling.

Bulk cash smuggling, unlike simply inaccurately reporting cash, carries with it steep penalties starting at 50% of the amount of money seized, or in this case, nearly $55,000.

Cases at Dulles is always difficult when it comes to getting seized money back. They are extremely aggressive in processing cases and keeping a maximum penalty. In the nearly 450 cases we have handled, the only time we’ve had a client criminally charged after the seizure has been at Dulles Airport. The man was doing nothing illegal beyond not reporting the money.

That’s why the phrase “an investigation continues” that appears in this story would have me very worried if I were the person who had money seized.

Without further ado, and present the fuller story from customs, along with a picture, below:

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized nearly $99,000 from a man traveling to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Wednesday for violating federal currency reporting laws.

While conducting an outbound inspection on the Ethiopia-bound flight, CBP officers interviewed a U.S. lawful permanent resident who is an Ethiopian citizen. The man verbally and in writing reported that he possessed $14,000 and a subsequent examination of his carryon bag revealed $19,112.

Officers escorted the man to CBP’s inspection station and conducted a comprehensive examination of his baggage. Officers discovered an additional $79,650 concealed inside shoes and jeans pockets inside his checked baggage. Officers seized a total of $98,762 of unreported currency.

Stacks of $100 bills hidden in a shoe

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

“This is a significant currency seizure for Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “Bulk currency being smuggled from the United States may be illicit proceeds from narcotics smuggling, counterfeiting, and other nefarious activities. CBP will remain steadfast in our commitment to intercepting these smuggling attempts and financially hurting transnational criminal organizations where we can.”

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.

* * * *

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 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.

$42k Cash Seized at Detroit Metro Airport en route to Philippines

Detroit Metro Airport is a hotbed for traveler’s who are bringing cash into or out of the country. Very frequently, these travelers do not properly report having more than $10,000. Yesterday, the Director of Field Operations for Detroit CBP tweeted about a cash seizure that was not publicized in a news release (but should have been!).

The tweet, which you can see below, is rich in images. Apparently, a woman was trying to get about $42,000 to the Philippines but said she was only carrying $5,000. That, alone, is a reason for seizing the money — it is a violation of the currency reporting requirements, otherwise known as a failure to report cash.

But more problematic is where the money was found once officers decided she was not being truthful and decided to conduct a currency verification. The money was “concealed in books & clothes,” which is going to allow CBP to infer an intent to conceal the money from CBP when it is combined with her statement that she only had $5,000. Of course, the money was seized by CBP at Detroit airport.

Now, in my experience, the woman will probably have an innocent explanation for why she had the money hidden in books and clothes. Usually, there are justified fears of having the money stolen when traveling internationally, especially with lay-overs, and long flights. The penalties for bulk cash smuggling can be steep.

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.

$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.

Port of Buffalo, N.Y. border crossing check point where cbp seized cash for currency reporting violations.

Buffalo CBP Seized $207,500 of Concealed Cash

CBP in Buffalo made an enormous seizure of cash just 2 days ago. The cash seizure was made when CBP stopped a man who claimed he was traveling from Massachusetts to Mississauga, Canada to deliver some copper wire. During the encounter, a dog alerted to drugs and CBP officers then found a bag with $207,500 in it.

The man is not named so it would appear at this point he has not been criminally charged. Generally, when people are criminal charged CBP publishes their names. If they are not criminally charged, the person remains anonymous in stories like this. And there is no mention of an arrest.

This is a BIG seizure for CBP in Buffalo. For instance, in 2017 Buffalo CBP officers seized a TOTAL of $144,733. This seizure alone exceeds the the TOTAL cash seized in 20171

LEWISTON, N.Y. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Lewiston Bridge seized $207,500 in unreported currency.

On July 15, CBP officers inspected a tractor trailer during an outbound inspection that was driven by a 28-year-old male who is a citizen of Canada. The driver claimed he was transporting a shipment of copper wire that he was hauling from Massachusetts and destined to Mississauga, Ontario. During questioning, the driver claimed to be traveling with $300 in U.S. currency. A CBP K9 alerted to the presence of narcotics during an inspection of the cab portion of the truck. A further inspection revealed a plastic shopping bag that contained multiple bundles of U.S. currency in ten large vacuum sealed bags. Subsequently, the currency was inventoried and determined to be a total of $207,500.

“Our CBP officers remain focused on enforcement amidst the continued border restrictions,” said Port Director Jennifer De La O. “They identified an individual and conveyance that needed further inspection, they coordinated with our partners at Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and they ensured that this criminal activity was disrupted.”

Has CBP Buffalo seized your cash?

If Buffalo 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.

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.