Tag: PHL

Piles of money seized by Philadelphia CBP

Philadelphia CBP Seized $44,000 from Jamaica-bound Travelers

Philadelphia CBP seized some cash from a couple heading to Jamaica. Philly is not a notorious location for aggressive enforcement of the currency reporting requirement by CBP, but it does occasionally seize money from traveler’s entering or leaving the country for not accurately reporting it. In the story that follows, CBP seized almost $45,000 from a couple who was leaving the United States for Jamaica, after they allegedly reported only carrying $6,050 (oops!).

It was not mentioned in the story, but a picture is worth a thousand words: the money was located in their baggage. Specifically, it was placed in envelopes in the pockets of a packed pair of jeans. This looks like bulk cash smuggling! Because the money was hidden in this way the chances of an increased penalty (i.e., 50% of the amount seized) GREATLY increases. Here’s the story:

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than $44,000 from a Jamaica-bound couple at Philadelphia International Airport on Friday.

CBP is not releasing the couple’s names because they were not criminally charged.

During outbound inspections of the Montego Bay-bound flight, the couple reported to CBP officers that they possessed $6,050. Officers advised the couple of federal currency reporting laws and the couple confirmed that amount verbally and in writing. During an examination of the couple’s carry-on baggage, officers discovered $44,629 in U.S. dollars and $5,000 Jamaican dollars (equivalent to $35.04 in U.S. dollars) for a total of $44,664.05.

Jeans stuffed with money in the pockets seized by CBP

Officers returned $535.04 to the couple for humanitarian relief and released them.

“Travelers face consequences, sometimes severe, for violating U.S. currency reporting laws,” said Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “Our best advice to travelers is to truthfully report all currency they possess to a Customs and Border Protection officer during inspection.”

Although there is no limit to the amount of money that travelers may carry when crossing U.S. borders, federal law [31 U.S.C. 5316] requires that travelers report currency or monetary instruments in excess of $10,000 to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the United States. Read more about currency reporting requirements.

During inspections, CBP officers ensure that travelers fully understand federal currency reporting requirements and offer travelers multiple opportunities to accurately report all currency and monetary instruments they possess before examining a traveler’s carryon or checked baggage.

. . .

An individual may petition for the return of seized currency, but the petitioner must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.

Has Philadelphia CBP seized your cash?

If Philadelphia CBP seized your cash, read our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and contact our customs lawyer for a free cash seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

CBP Counting Seized Money on Steel Table

CBP Philadelphia Seized $152k in Unreported Cash

The last time we wrote about how CBP Philadelphia seized cash was more than 3 years ago. Cash seizures do not happen too frequently at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), but they definitely do happen.

As proof, recently CBP Philadelphia conducted two cash seizures, with the total value being over $150,000. The two men, apparently in two separate incidents, were traveling to Turkey and Ghana. The story is light on details and follows the typical format, including the 2017 cash seizure statistic that on a typical day, CBP seized $265,205.

Here are the (scant) details on the CBP Philadelphia cash seizure:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $152,342 in unreported currency from two men who recently departed Philadelphia International Airport.

On Saturday, CBP officers seized $105,842 from a man destined to Ghana who initially claimed that he possessed $60,000.

On April 1, CBP officers seized $46,500 from a man destined to Turkey who initially claimed that he possessed $30,000.

In each case, CBP officers afforded the travelers multiple opportunities to truthfully report all currency.

CBP is not releasing the travelers’ names because none was criminally charged. Travelers may carry as much currency as they wish into and out of the United States.  Federal law requires that travelers must report all U.S. and foreign monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or greater on a U.S. Treasury Department financial form.  None of the currency is taxed.

“Customs and Border Protection encourages all travelers to be completely honest and report all their currency during an inspection with a CBP officer.  Consequences could be severe, including seizure of all currency and possible criminal prosecution,” said Joseph Martella, CBP Area Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia.  “The best way for travelers to hold onto their currency is to fully comply with our nation’s currency reporting laws.”

Has CBP Philadelphia seized your cash?

If CBP Philiadelphia seized your cash at PHL airport, you should act quickly to ensure that your rights to get the money out of seizure and forfeiture are not lost. You should educate yourself on the process by reading our customs money seizure guide, or contact us directly for a consultation. Our experience can help you just like the many, many others we have already helped.