A Virgin Islands CBP Cash Seizure occurred in what would be unusual circumstances for average client of our customs law firm. The seizure happened on a boat “near” the waters of the U.S. Virgin Islands during a maritime patrol. Usually our clients face a money seizure at an airport or land border crossing, not on the open water.
It is also unusual that there was no failure to report cash; rather, the money was seized primarily due to suspicious circumstances surrounding the encounter. CBP inspected the boat at a local marina and one of the three individuals in the boat tried to get away. That person was in possession of a brown bag with $145,000.
Now, aside from a possible failure to report cash – which is not clear in these circumstances (recall a report only needs to made at the time of entry or exit from the U.S.) – the money was seized under a kind of “catch-all” law that allows the government to seize cash if they believe it is connected to basically any illegal activity.
Let’s have a look at the Virgin Islands CBP Cash Seizure story:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents seized $145,000 from a vessel operated by 3 US citizens. All subjects were released pending further investigation.
“Our agents remain vigilant for illegal smuggling operations, as well as money laundering,” stated Johnny Morales Director of Air Operations for the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch. During a maritime patrol, a St. Thomas-based marine crew located a vessel with 3 men traversing around the waters of the US Virgin Islands.
The vessel heaved and was escorted for inspection into a local marina, where one of the vessel occupants attempted to flee and was subsequently detained. He had a brown bag which contained a significant amount of US currency.
The bag contained $145,000 which was seized for a civil forfeiture under title 18 USC section 981.
The story can be accessed here. If you’ve experienced a Virgin Islands CBP Cash Seizure, you can learn more from our trusted legal road-map of a customs money seizure and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.