Customs seized $13,000 in money, and arrested, a Yuma, Arizona resident. The man was traveling on a shuttle from Phoenix and was leaving for Mexico.
Because the man did not declare the money as required by 31 USC 5316 (reports of currency), Customs seized the money from the man. As we strive to explain on this customs law blog, importing and exporting more than $10,000 in money is not illegal if the money is reported (preferably on form FinCen105) to Customs prior to attempting to enter or leave the country.
The story, quoted below, does not indicate the man was arrested (although he could have been, as not reporting cash is a crime), but only “turned . . . over to” HSI agents.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Arizona’s Port of Lukeville arrested a Yuma resident after seizing more than $13,000 in undeclared currency Friday.
Officers performing outbound inspections of an arriving shuttle from Phoenix referred a 24-year-old man for further inspection when a search of his luggage led to suspicion. Officers discovered multiple envelopes inside of a backpack with a cash count of more than $13,200.
Customs and Border Protection officers seized the currency, and turned the subject over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Have you failed to report money to Customs?
If you failed to report money to Customs and had the cash seized, your rights may have been violated and you can try to get the money back. In most cases, filing an administrative petition for relief or a CAFRA seized asset claim to initiate judicial proceedings is the best way to get your seized cash back from Customs. For more information, reading our customs money seizure legal guide and give us a call!