At Dulles airport, CBP officers at Washington Dulles International Airport recently seized $68,000 cash involving a Nigeria-bound family.
The family, departing on a plane for Cairo, Egypt, underwent outbound inspections where CBP officers. The father, when asked, reported $10,000. But then CBP inspected their bags and found additional currency concealed in multiple envelopes, bringing the total to $68,216.
My guess is that the envelopes were money they were carrying for other people to their own families in Nigeria. Whenever anyone leans someone is “going back home” they will often give them an envelope of cash with instructions to give the money to someone, sometimes who they meet at the airport.
CBP took all but $216, allowing them to continue on their trip. The relevant parts of the story are quoted below:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized $68,000 in unreported currency from a Nigeria-bound family at Washington Dulles International Airport today.
There is no limit to how much currency or other monetary instruments travelers may bring to or take out of the United States. However, federal law [31 USC 5316] requires travelers to report all currency of $10,000 or greater to a CBP officer and complete U.S. Treasury Department Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments [FINCEN 105]. Read more about currency reporting requirements.
CBP officers conducted outbound inspections of passengers departing on a flight to Cairo, Egypt, when they encountered the family. Officers explained U.S. currency reporting laws and asked the family how much currency they had in their possession. The father reported that the family possessed $10,000 and signed the FINCEN 105 form formally reporting that amount.
During a subsequent inspection of the family’s carryon bags, CBP officers discovered currency in multiple envelopes, in addition to the currency that the family presented to the officers. The total currency amounted to $68,216.
Officers seized the currency and remitted $216 to the family as a humanitarian release. CBP officers released the travelers to continue their journey.
“Seizing a traveler’s currency is a very serious consequence, but one that can easily be avoided just by the traveler truthfully reporting to a Customs and Border Protection officer all of the currency they are taking with them,” said Marc E. Calixte, Area Port Director for CBP’s Area Port of Washington, D.C.
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