Tag: K9

Customs Police Dog and Seized cash displayed on table

Dulles CBP Seizes over $350k Cash in 14 Violations

What is newsworthy about Customs seizing money at Dulles airport? Not much, really, except when it happens so frequently that even CBP begins thinking, “What’s up with all the cash seizures?”

Thus we are brought to the latest release from CBP in Dulles, wherein CBP tells the tale of the 14 cash seizures that occurred since January 15 through February 15.

The story, with some details below, explains that 6 of the violations were discovered because of a K9 police dog alert to the presence of cash, and that most of the travelers were heading to Africa.

Why so much money going to Africa? There is a large African ex-pat community in the DC area, and many carry money back home for others to support family or medical needs, for business concerns in Africa, and also, to take cash for building projects (homes).

Without further ado, here’s the story:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are facing an alarming trend of travelers violating U.S. currency reporting laws after officers seized $350,918 in unreported currency since New Year’s Eve from 14 groups of international travelers at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Thirteen of the seizures with a combined total of $327,304 in unreported currency occurred since January 15.

Thirteen unreported currency seizures were from travelers departing the United States; one seizure involved travelers arriving to the United States.

Twelve (12) unreported currency seizures were recorded on travelers destined to Africa. One additional outbound and the lone inbound seizure occurred on travelers departing to or arriving from Asia. All seizures remain under investigation.

Nearly half (six) of the seizures started with an alert by CBP currency detector dog Fuzz, a three-year-old yellow Labrador.

None of the travelers were criminally charged and were released to continue their travel.

* * *

“The overwhelming majority of travelers fully comply with our nation’s laws, and we appreciate that. But this trend is very unfortunate and unexplainable considering that people may legally travel from and to the U.S. with as much currency they would like and all they need to do is simply report what they have to a Customs and Border Protection officer upon arrival or prior to departure from the United States,” said Kim Der-Yeghiayan, Acting Area Port Director for CBP’s Area Port of Washington, D.C.

You can read more about the consequences for violating the U.S. currency reporting laws, which include seizure, criminal charges, not to mention, the embarrassment of seeing your money seized, treated like a criminal, and the further problems of missing your flight and interrupting vacation plans.

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.

$28k laid out on a white table at Dulles airport CBP

Dulles Cash Seizure: $28k to Ghana

Last week or so, CBP at Dulles reported on some recent seizure activity for enforcing the currency reporting requirement for travelers heading to Ghana with  more than $10,000. In this case, the money was discovered when a dog smelled the money in a woman’s carry-on bag. Upon inspection and questioning, the officers found out she structured the money by giving it 5 other people (also traveling to Ghana) on the flight.

Here’s the full story here. 

STERLING, Virginia — On consecutive days, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) currency detector dog alert resulted in the seizure Thursday of unreported currency from Ghana-bound travelers at Washington Dulles International Airport.

The currency K9 alerted to one passenger’s carry-on bag. She reported to CBP officers that she possessed $8,000. Officers discovered $11,500 in her carry-on.

The woman then admitted to traveling with four additional passengers. She allegedly reported that her travel companions were carrying currency for her, which is known as structuring, to avoid exceeding the $10,000 reporting threshold. Structuring is a serious allegation that may result in federal prosecution. However, no charges have been filed at this time.

CBP officers had the four additional travelers and their baggage pulled from the flight for further inspection. Officers discovered an additional $16,354 of the first woman’s currency among three of her four travel companions. Officers seized a total of $27,854 and provided the woman $154 as humanitarian relief. Officers released all five travelers.

All five travelers were born in Ghana. Three are naturalized U.S. citizens, one is a U.S. lawful permanent resident of Ghana citizenship, and one is a Ghana citizen.

It is perfectly legal to carry large sums of currency in or out of the United States. However, federal law requires that travelers who possess $10,000 or more in currency or other monetary instruments must report it all to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the country.

“Structuring currency to deliberately circumvent U.S. law is a serious violation that brings with it potentially severe consequences to the violator, but it does happen and so Customs and Border Protection officers remain vigilant to intercept these currency structuring efforts,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore. “CBP remains committed to enforcing all of our nation’s laws, including federal currency reporting laws, at our nation’s international ports of entry.”