Tag: bulk cash smuggling

Hundred Dollar Bills Stacked of Cash Seized by CBP Texas

CBP Officers Seize over $100K in Undeclared Currency at Hidalgo International Bridge

Earlier this year, CBP seized a shocking amount of money was seized heading into Mexico from the United States by a 26 year old female U.S. citizen. The money was all found “on her person,” which is a way of saying that the money was more than just “undeclared” but rather, was smuggled. The cash was seized and the woman was arrested. Here’s the relevant part of the story (original here):

HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge intercepted $114,294 in undeclared currency.

On April 24, 2022, CBP officers conducting outbound enforcement operations at the Hidalgo International Bridge encountered a blue Ford SUV making its way out of the United States toward Mexico. The vehicle was a taxi occupied by a 26-year-old U.S. citizen woman. The vehicle was selected for inspection and at the secondary inspection area, officers discovered numerous packages of tape wrapped U.S. currency on the woman’s person. A total of twelve packages with a total of $114,294 of undeclared currency was discovered on her person.

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.

The fact the woman was arrested is a pretty good indication that CBP believed the money was connected to illegal activity beyond the simple failure to report and smuggling; that it was derived from or intended to further some illegal enterprise, such as narcotic trafficking.

Have you had cash seized by CBP?

If you’ve had cash seized CBP in Hidalgo, you can learn more about the process from 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.

Stacks of US Currency lined up on a long table in front of a CBP sign

Dulles CBP Seizes $46K in Cash from Ghana and Egypt bound travellers

 

CBP cash seizures in Dulles are on the rise with increased international travel. In this story, Dulles airport CBP officers seized $20,404 from a man traveling to Ghana and a couple traveling to Egypt with $26,043.

The man traveling to Ghana made an inaccurate report, but he still reported more than $10,000. But, his mistake was 1) his report was not accurate and 2) he did not report the money until he was asked. You need to file the FinCen 105 currency and monetary instrument report (CMIR) before you are asked to do so, otherwise it is obvious you had the intention of not reporting it until you were asked, and so, at minimum, would be responsible for an attempted violation of 31 USC 5316, failure to report cash.

The couple traveling from Dulles airport to Egypt that had their cash seized by CBP are in a tougher situation though. In their case, some of their money was “concealed inside a suitcase liner.” This allows CBP to claim the money was hidden with the intent it would not be found by Customs, which is the classic definition of bulk cash smuggling. Bulk cash smuggling leads to higher penalties, and a higher rate of forfeiture (permanent loss of all or part of the money).

The story follows below….

STERLING, Va. – The best way for travelers to keep their currency when traveling is to truthfully report all of it to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during inspection. CBP has repeated that advice for years, yet officers still encounter travelers at Washington Dulles International Airport who ignore that simple advice.

For example, CBP officers at Dulles airport recently seized more than $46,000 combined during two separate currency seizures from travelers departing the United States.

In the most recent case on Sunday, CBP officers inspected a U.S. citizen destined to Ghana. The man initially reported, both verbally and in writing, that he possessed $14,000. However, officers discovered a total of $19,904 in his carry-on bag, and an additional $500 in his backpack for a total of $20,404. Officers seized the currency, returned $404 to the man as humanitarian relief, and released him to continue his travel.

Earlier, on April 26, a CBP currency detector dog alerted to a couple’s carry-on bags and the couple, who were destined to Egypt, reported that they possessed $15,000. During an examination, CBP officers discovered additional currency in the woman’s purse and even more concealed inside a suitcase liner for a total of $26,043. CBP officers seized the currency, then returned $1,043 as a humanitarian relief and released the couple to continue their travel.

“We cannot make this point enough, travelers can carry all the currency they want to and from the United States, but U.S. federal law requires them to make a formal report on amounts of $10,000 or greater. It’s that simple,” said Daniel Escobedo, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C. “The consequences for violating US currency reporting laws are severe – from missing a flight and interrupting vacation plans, to seeing all their currency seized by a Customs and Border Protection officer, and to even facing criminal prosecution for bulk currency smuggling. It’s too easy to just be truthful.”

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.

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Electronic FinCen105 From CBP

In the past few years, CBP has made it possible to file a FinCEN 105 form online at this website. Common sense would tell you if you file the report that you’re carrying more than $10,000 in cash (or monetary instruments) online, you can avoid having to go through the hassle of reporting the money in person.

That’s common sense, anyway. So much for that, because you’d be 100% wrong. If you file the report online, you still have to physically report to CBP as confirmation! For this reason, I did a new YouTube video on the topic:

You can also see my other YouTube videos on related cash seizure topics on our channel here: Great Lakes Customs Law YouTube Channel

Has CBP seized your money?

Has 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.

 

Cash Seized by El Paso Texas CBP

CBP Laredo Seizes $91K in Unreported Cash

CBP new’s releases have been lean on stories about money seizures for structuring, bulk cash smuggling, failure to report; the trinity of CMIR (currency and monetary instrument report) cases. These types of asset forfeitures all pertain to the movement of more than $10,000 in cash without filing the necessary FinCen 105 report.

For that reason, I am reaching back in time to some old news releases that I never had a chance to comment on before. In this Laredo story, a 30 year old man and 19 year old woman were heading to Mexico and failure to report $91,116, which was also concealed in their clothing and packages.

That sounds like both a violation of 31 USC 5316 (failure to report more than $10,000 currency) and 31 USC 5332 (bulk cash smuggling). In this case, the they were both arrested! That to me means there was further suspicion on the part of CBP that there was criminal activity beyond the CMIR violations afoot. 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 $91,000 in undeclared currency in a single enforcement act.

. . .

The enforcement action occurred on Thursday, March 25 at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge, when officers assigned to outbound operations selected a 2017 Chevrolet Equinox traveling to Mexico for inspection. A 30-year-old male United States citizen driver and 19-year-old female passenger were referred for a secondary examination. Upon physical inspection of the drivers’ clothing, packages containing $91,116 in undeclared U.S currency were discovered.

The currency was seized by CBP. Both subjects were 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.  . . . Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.

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.

$29,000 worth of cash displayed by CBP after seizure at Dulles airport

Dulles CBP Seize $29K in Cash from Congolese Man

CBP seizes about $342,000 each day, on average, at airports across the country and at our borders. In this story, CBP seized about $29,000 from a Congolese man who was arriving the United States. He was not criminally charged and although the story contains a cautionary tale at the ending about bulk cash smuggling, it does not say he was actually bulk cash smuggling.

Here’s the story:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $29,900 in unreported currency from a man who arrived on a flight from Ethiopia at Washington Dulles International Airport on Tuesday.

CBP officers interviewed the Congolese national traveler and explained the U.S. currency reporting law to him. The traveler declared both verbally and in writing that he possessed $10,000. During an inspection, CBP officers discovered a total of $29,900 in the man’s possession.

CBP officers seized the currency for violating U.S. currency reporting laws, then released the man. CBP is not releasing the traveler’s name because he was not criminally charged.

“The consequences for violating U.S. currency reporting laws are severe; penalties may include seizure of most or all of the traveler’s currency, or potential criminal charges,” said Daniel Escobedo, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C. “Customs and Border Protection strongly encourages all travelers to be well informed of their role in CBP’s international arrivals inspection process at CBP’s Travel website.”

CBP officers have observed that smuggled bulk currency may be the proceeds of illicit activity, such as proceeds from the sales of dangerous drugs or revenue from financial crimes, and officers work hard to disrupt transnational criminal organizations by intercepting their currency smuggling attempts at our nation’s borders.

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.

$23,000 in Bulk Cash Hidden in Backpack Seized by Dulles CBP

Dulles Airport Customs Seizes $23k in Unreported Currency

Since the removal of travel restrictions international travel has increased; add to that, the US holiday of Thanksgiving, and we should expect to see a significant rise in CBP enforcement activities. In the story below, which (of course) takes place at Dulles Airport, we have a tale of a married couple traveling to Ghana who did not accurately report the currency, and who had their money seized by customs at the airport.

As always with the stories from Dulles, it seems, there is enough information to allege bulk cash smuggling, which leads to higher penalties. Here is the story:

STERLING, Virginia — The seizure of … $23,000 in unreported currency on Monday offer a glimpse into the breadth of enforcement responsibilities that Customs and Border Protection officers carry out daily at Washington Dulles International Airport.

CBP officers seized the unreported currency while conducting enforcement operations on a Ghana-bound flight. A married couple reported to CBP officers that they possessed a combined $10,500.

$23,000 in Bulk Cash Hidden in Backpack Seized by Dulles CBP
Officers found the concealed
currency inside the carry-on
bag’s zippered liner.

While inspecting the couple’s carry-on bag, officers discovered an envelope concealed behind the carry-on bag’s zippered liner. Officers verified the couple’s combined currency at $23,641. Officers seized the currency for violating U.S. currency reporting laws and then released the couple with $641as a humanitarian relief.

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

“The seizures of . . . unreported currency may seem innocuous at first; however, they illustrate the resolve and commitment that Customs and Border Protection officers and specialists dte every day to enforce our nation’s laws, to enhance our nation’s economic vitality through lawful international trade and travel, and to help keep our citizens safe,” said Daniel Escobedo, CBP Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C.

CBP officers remind travelers that there is no limit to how much currency or other monetary instruments they may bring to or take out of the United States; however, federal law [31 USC 5316] requires travelers to report all currency $10,000 or greater to a CBP officer.

Read more about federal currency reporting requirements.

CBP officers have observed that smuggled bulk currency may be the proceeds of illicit activity, such as proceeds from the sales of dangerous drugs or revenue from financial crimes and work to disrupt currency smuggling. CBP seized an average of about $386,000 every day last year in unreported or illicit currency along our nation’s borders.

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.

Piles of U.S. Currency seized by CBP in Baltimore

CBP Baltimore Seizes $42k Cash from Jamaicans

CBP in Baltimore seized some cash from travelers, in 2 incidents, who were traveling to Jamaica. The story from CBP in its original form is here:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly $41,933 in unreported currency recently from travelers heading to Jamaica at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). . . .

On Tuesday, CBP officers seized $15,433 from a Jamaican citizen who attempted to board a flight to Montego Bay. The man reported, both verbally and in writing, that he possessed $7,000. CBP officers discovered $11,566 in his carry-on bag and an additional $3,867 in his checked baggage.

CBP officers at BWI earlier seized $13,000 in unreported currency from a mother and daughter as they were boarding a flight to Montego Bay on May 31 and seized $13,500 in unreported currency from a Jamaican man boarding a Montego Bay-bound flight on May 29.

Piles of cash seized by CBP in Baltimore

The 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. 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.

Have you had cash seized from CBP at Baltimore Washington International Airport?

If CBP at Baltimore Washington International Airport 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.

Dulles CBP Seized $46K in Money from Airport Traveler

CBP at Dulles airport seized $46,000 from a man traveling to Cameroon. He reported having $30,000, but CBP found $16,628 more tucked away inside his carry-on bag (ahem, bulk cash smuggling). The full story is here, with my comments on the excerpt below:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $46,628 in unreported currency (ahem, failure to report) from a man traveling to Cameroon at Washington Dulles International Airport on Monday.

CBP officers conducted random outbound inspections of passengers boarding a flight to Brussels, Belgium and asked a U.S. citizen how much currency he possessed. The man reported verbally that he had $30,000 and completed a U.S. Treasury Department form (FINCEN 105). During a subsequent examination of the man’s carry-on bags, CBP officers discovered a total of $46,628 in U.S. dollars.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized $46,628 in unreported currency from a U.S. citizen traveling to Cameroon on September 27, 2021.

. . .

CBP seized the currency and returned $628 to the man as humanitarian relief and released the man to continue his travel. CBP is not releasing the traveler’s name because he was not criminally charged.

Bad things can happen to you if you do not report your currency, read all about that at Long Term Consequences of Cash Seizure (or if you prefer to watch me talk about it, go to my YouTube video on the topic)

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.

$200,000 in Cash Seized by Customs Detroit at the Ambassador Bridge

Ambassador Bridge Site of $230k Customs Money Seizure

Detroit’s Ambassador Bridge was the site of recent money seizures of more nearly $230,000 by Customs for failure to declare cash over $10,000, in commercial vehicles traveling into Canada.

Bundles of undeclared seized cash seized by Detroit CBP The news releases, below, says the money was taken because the driver failed to report the cash at the Ambassador Bridge (but I have to imagine there is a bulk cash smuggling violation somewhere in this, too).

Here’s the Tweet from Detroit’s director of field operations announcing the seizures…

This is the biggest seizure of undeclared cash in Detroit to hit the news in a while. I’m sure the discovery of this amount of money has caused a lot of controversy and interest at the port the last few days. Here’s the full story from CBP, below:

DETROIT — Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Field Operations seized $200,000 in undeclared U.S. currency at the Canadian border early Tuesday morning.

The cash was discovered by officers during a series of outbound commercial vehicle inspections near the Ambassador Bridge port of entry.

The cache of currency was seized due to failure to report, and the driver was released without further incident.

Homeland Security Investigations continues to investigate the matter. Less than 24 hours earlier, $28,000 in undeclared currency was seized at the same site.

Update 11-12-21:

This week, notice was published of the intent to forfeit the above seized cash. Anyone with an interest in it has until January 11, 2021, to file a claim (unless they received personal notice in the mail, then other deadlines apply):

2021380100131801-0001-0000, Seized on 09/28/2021; At the port of DETROIT; U.S. Currency; 2000; EA; Valued at $200,000.00; For violation of 31 USC 5317(c)(2), 31 USC 5316(a)(1)(A), 31 USC 5332(c), 31 USC 5332(a)

Those legal references mean it was seized for bulk cash smuggling and a failure to report. This is a case I would have liked. The fact that notice has been posted publicly means that the time for filing a petition has past, or the interested person probably decided to file a claim or an offer in compromise (that would probably be a bad idea).

Has Detroit CBP seized your cash?

If CBP in Detroit 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.

 

Almost $60,000 in cash stacked up and seized by Philadelphia Customs

Philly CBP Seizes $99K Smuggled Cash To Doha, Qatar

Customs at Philadelphia seized nearly $100,000 cash that was hidden inside the traveler’s personal effects on his way to Doha, Qatar. Here’s the story, below:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than $99,000 from a Palestine-bound U.S. family on Saturday at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

CBP officers conducted outbound enforcement operations on a Doha, Qatar-bound flight and encountered a man who verbally reported that he possessed $65,000. Officers provided a CBP form 503 to the traveler that explains federal currency reporting requirements, asked if he understood the law, and asked him to write down his currency amount on the form. The traveler wrote $65,000 and signed the form.

Officers then provided the traveler with an U.S. Treasury Department form (FINCEN 105) and the traveler documented that he possessed $65,000.

Officers initiated a baggage examination and discovered a total of $99,549 in the traveler’s pockets, in his jacket, and in two carry-on backpacks. Officers seized the currency, returned $5,000 for humanitarian purposes, and released the family.

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

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.