Tag: dulles airport currency seizure

Picture of what the cash seized at Dulles airport looked similar to.

Cash seized at Dulles airport by CBP

A Chinese traveler had cash seized at Dulles airport, again, last week. This time it was $20,377, instead of $16,000 in cash seized by CBP there last week.

Dulles airport CBP seems to be on a roll. This story has the man reporting $10,000, but carrying $20,377 on his person and in his luggage. In addition to the failure to report, that failure to report combined with the presence of the money in the luggage could be the basis for an allegation of bulk cash smuggling.

Here’s the story about the cash seized at Dulles airport last week (as told by CBP):

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO), at Washington Dulles International Airport seized $20,377 Monday from a Chinese citizen for violating federal currency reporting regulations.

The man, who arrived on a flight from China, declared to CBP officers that he was carrying $10,000 and completed a financial form reporting the same. However; CBP officers discovered a total of $20,377 on his person and in his luggage. CBP officers seized the $20,377 and advised him how to petition for the return of the rest of the currency.

Always remember, legitimate source and legitimate use of the seized cash must be proven before Customs is legally required to consider returning the money. The types of documentation that is needed to prove this varies in every situation, and documentation should only be provided to CBP after

Picture of what the cash seized at Dulles airport looked similar to.
A Chinese citizen had cash seized at Dulles airport.

consultation with an attorney (here’s why). A customs lawyer will have a much better chance at getting your cash returned than doing it on your own.

If you’ve had cash seized at Dulles airport, or another airport, 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.

A pile of $20 bills on a table.

$16k Dulles Airport Currency Seizure by CBP

A Dulles airport currency seizure of $16,000 by CBP was reported by Customs this week. The seizure

A pile of $20 bills on a table, similar to the Dulles airport currency seizure case mentioned in this article
A Dulles airport currency seizure resulted in the seizure of $16,000 by CBP.

occurred last Thursday, when a woman traveling to Ghana was stopped and searched by Customs when she failed to report traveling with $6,951 more than she had.

According to the story, the currency was found in both her luggage and on her person; CBP may use this as a basis to allege not only a failure to report, but also bulk cash smuggling. If Dulles alleges bulk cash smuggling as reason they seized the money in the notice of seizure, this lady will almost certainly be looking at a huge loss of money as a penalty, even if she can prove it came from a legitimate source and had a legitimate intended use. This is because bulk cash smuggling permits Customs to keep more of the money as a penalty.

Here is the excerpt from the full Customs Dulles airport currency seizure story:

A woman boarding a flight to Ghana was selected for questioning by CBP officers who were conducting an outbound enforcement operation on an international flight. The woman completed a financial form, reporting $10,000, however; a total of $16,951 in U.S. and foreign currency was discovered on her person and in her luggage. CBP officers seized the $16,951, returned the equivalent of $192 in foreign currency as humanitarian relief, and advised her how to petition for the return of the rest of the currency.

As I’ve said before, don’t take legal advice from Customs. Depending on the source of the money and the circumstances of the seizure filing an administrative petition might not be her best option; it could be that filing a claim, making an offer in compromise, or filing a petition in the federal court are the best options. If you’ve experienced a Customs Dulles airport currency seizure use our trusted legal road-map of a customs money seizure or contact us for a free currency seizure consultation!

Baltimore CBP Seizes $44K in Unreported Currency

CBP in Baltimore has made another news release about currency seizures for currency reporting requirement violations conducted at their port. This time we have some visual support for the story:

Baltimore — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) seized $44,783 yesterday from a Nigerian man for violating federal currency reporting regulations.

The passenger, who arrived to BWI from London, United Kingdom and destined for Washington, D.C., repeatedly declared possessing only $5,000. While examining the passenger’s luggage, CBP officers discovered multiple envelopes wrapped in clothing that contained U.S. and foreign currency totaling the equivalent of $45,283.

Baltimore Cbp Seizes 44k Unreported Currency
There is no limit to how much currency travelers can import or export; however federal law requires travelers to report amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.

CBP officers seized $44,783 and returned $500 in U.S. currency to the passenger for humanitarian relief. CBP officers also advised the traveler how to petition for the return of his seized currency.

“Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of having their currency seized, and may potentially face criminal charges,” said Susan Thomas, Acting CBP Port Director for the Port of Baltimore. “The traveler was given multiple opportunities to truthfully declare his currency. The easiest way to hold on to your money is to report it.”

In addition to currency interdiction, CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, prohibited agriculture products and other illicit items.


So many times I read this news releases and just wonder what people are thinking when they declare having a substantial amount of money, but not enough to put them over the reporting requirement. Like here the guy declares $5,000, but really he’s carrying over $45,000. Declaring a lesser amount than you are actually transporting does not mitigate the penalty for a seizure nor does it prevent Customs from seizing your money.  In certain circumstances, Customs can allow for human error and remit a seizure on site when the amount reported is not far off from what is actually being transported; but there’s no way a person can think that by reporting $5,000 when you’re actually carrying $40,000 more is going to give you any advantages. And by reporting $5,000, it seems highly likely that Customs is going to want to verify what you are telling them by taking you to a secondary inspection, going through your baggage, and counting what they find.

If you have money seized and receive a notice of seizure, do not decide how to respond to a CAFRA Notice without first consulting an attorney. Any mistake or error in judgment you make can cost you dearly.The Petition process is a legal process. The petition itself is and should always be a legal document, no different than in any other legal proceeding, that contains detailed factual narrative, what led to the seizure, a review of the relevant law, regulations and Custom’s own guidelines concerning the criteria for remission. When the facts allow for it, our Petition will always include a strong argument for return of the money in full, or even when there is a valid basis for the currency seizure, a strong argument for the money to be returned upon payment of a fine in the smallest amount of money possible, rather than forfeiture of all your money.

If you have had currency seized and are contemplating what to do next, please make use of the other information I make available on this website or call my office at (734) 855-4999 or e-mail us through ourcontact page. We are able to assist with currency seizures around the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places, and not just locally in Detroit.