Tag: south korea

CBP Seizes $95K in Cash at Dulles Airport

Dulles CBP officers made a few large money seizures for failure to file a FinCen 105 form, which it touted last week in a news release, available to read in full here. However, I’m an attorney here blog about the highlights. First, however, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are two-thousand words:

Bulk cash seized by CBP in Dulles airportA table full of cash seized by CBP DullesHere’s the money seizure story to back up the picture:

Three groups of travelers recently learned [holding onto one’s money is imperative] after CBP officers seized a combined $95,397 in unreported currency at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Two groups of travelers were attempting to board departing international flights when CBP officers encountered them. A Lebanon-bound couple surrendered $29,052 to CBP officers on July 21, and a Nepal-bound family surrendered $32,001 to CBP officers on July 26. On July 31, a South Korean family surrendered $34,344 to CBP officers after arriving on a flight from South Korea.

In each case, CBP officers discovered more currency during baggage examinations than what the travelers reported to CBP officers. CBP officers seized their currency and released all travelers to continue their trips.

The story has interesting use of the word “surrender.” As if they had a choice! Unless, of course, CBP means they “abandoned” the currency. That’s a terrifying reality we’ve made a video about (here).

Also, releasing “all travelers to continue their trips” does not mean they did were able to make their flight (highly doubtful!) or did not have any re-booking and hotel fees. The seizure of money by CBP has add-on effects; the interrogation, counting, and seizure procedures are time-consuming and so typically, you miss the flight (and so maybe your bags, if they’ve already been loaded); you are responsible to re-book on another flight; and if the next flight isn’t for a day or more, you’ve got to sleep in a hotel.

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.

$11097 seized by CBP displayed by Dulles airport CBP

Dulles CBP Seizes Cash from South Korean

We return to a familiar theme: cash seizures by Customs, at Dulles airport. This story (original here), relates the seizure of little more than $1100, for at least a failure to report (although the discovery of $5,097 in her baggage after verbally declaring only $6,000, will allow CBP to make the allegation she was smuggling bulk cash).

Here’s the storyt;

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized illicit steroids in international mail and unreported currency from a traveler at Washington Dulles International Airport during the weekend.

A South Korean woman, who is a U.S. lawful permanent resident, reported to CBP officers that she possessed $500. Officers explained currency reporting requirements to the woman and she amended her declaration to report that she had $6,000. During a baggage examination, CBP officers discovered a total of $11,097 in her baggage. CBP officers seized all the currency and released the woman. She arrived on a flight from Seoul on Sunday.

It is legal to carry large sums of currency into 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. Read more about currency reporting requirements.

Consequences for violating U.S. currency reporting laws are severe; penalties may include seizure of most or all of the traveler’s currency, and potential criminal charges.

Has Dulles CBP seized your money?

If Dulles CBP seized your money, we urge you not to try to do it yourself. You will not be happy with the outcome. 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.

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

Dulles Customs Seizes $113k from 5 People

Dulles airport is a new hotbed for CBP cash seizures. And based on the volume of stories coming out from CBP about currency seizures they’ve conducted, they love to talk about. In fact, in the last 2 weeks CBP seized money from 5 different groups of people for “intentionally” violating the federal currency reporting regulations.

It’s curious that CBP should state that the law was “intentionally” violated, as intent has nothing to do with whether the law was broken (at least, in CBP’s interpretation of the law). The only thing that is require for a violation of the cash reporting law is a knowing transportation or more than $10,000 into or out of the country, not a knowing violation of the reporting requirement. It is, in the legal world, called a “bright line” rule. In other words, if you leave or enter the country with more than $10,000 and you do not report it, it does not matter why you did not report it, you’ve broken the law by the very transportation of the money itself.

Here is the whole story concerning the 5 recent seizures at Dulles, as told by CBP:

A handful of international travelers learned of the value of truthfully reporting all currency they possessed to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport recently. That value came to about $113,000 in seized currency.

CBP officers seized a total of $112,819 during five seizures over the last 10 days for violating federal currency reporting requirements.  These currency seizures included:

  • $36,639 from a family departing Washington Dulles for Laos on October 25;
  • $14,221 from a woman departing to South Korea on October 24;
  • $22,034 from man who arriving from Ghana on October 22;
  • $17,946 from a man and woman departing to El Salvador on October 18; and
  • $21,979 from a man departing to Belgium.

In each incident, CBP officers allowed the travelers multiple opportunities to be truthful, and to read, understand and acknowledge the currency reporting law before officers inspected the travelers. In each incident, CBP officers found additional currency above what the travelers repeatedly claimed they possessed.

As customs stated, the total of these seizures exceeded the $73,900 that CBP officers seized from Serbian bound man on October 3. What’s up, Dulles CBP? Have your currency seizure reporting priorities just kicked up a few notches?

Stacks of Counterfeit $100 Bills that was part of the cash seizure at Detroit Metro Airport

$4.65M Counterfeit Cash Seizure At Detroit Metro Airport

On February 12, there was an unusual cash seizure at Detroit Metro Airport. U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) seized over $4.6 million dollars in “Hell money” — counterfeit currency burned in Asian funeral rituals to impart wealth the deceased in the afterlife — from a couple arriving from Seoul, South Korea.

This is definitely an interesting story. And from the buzz I see on social media, the couple will not face (or at least has not faced) criminal prosecution. The law on use and possession of counterfeit currency is found in 18 USC Title 25, and it appears that the government was not satisfied the couple had intent to use the money (as if it were lawful tender) so as to charge them with a crime.

In fact, I’m not sure this qualifies as a “cash seizure” because the story only says that the Secret Service and Homeland Security Investigations “took custody” of it. I’m not sure what that means, if not seizure. But the legal question that I am curious about is, if there is no crime under Title 18 (and assuming no other crimes), what is the basis for seizure?

There must be one, and I’m sure the notice of seizure will be rife with citations if, in fact, this actually is a cash seizure. I don’t have the time to get into that issue now.

In any event, here’s the story of this cash seizure at Detroit metro airport:

DETROIT– U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport announces, today, the seizure of $4,650,000 in Hell money printed to resemble U.S. and Vietnamese currency.

Hell money is printed on joss paper and resembles legal tender bank notes but is not legal tender or recognized currency; instead, Hell money is presented as burnt offerings to the deceased. This custom is often practiced in certain Asian cultures.

“Attempting to import any amount of counterfeit currency, regardless of the intended purpose, can have serious implications for arriving travelers,” said CBP Port Director Devin Chamberlain.  “Quality law enforcement work and solid attention to detail resulted in this seizure, and I am proud of the officers involved.”

The seizure occurred Feb. 12 after CBP officers encountered the couple who were arriving from Seoul, Korea.  Each person made conflicting statements about the amount of currency they were carrying. CBP officers referred the couple for a baggage examination.  A search of their luggage resulted in the discovery of 93 bundles of counterfeit U.S. $100 bills and 32 bundles of counterfeit Vietnamese Dong, the national currency of Vietnam.  The couple said the counterfeit currency was to be used as burnt offerings to the deceased.

CBP reminds international travelers that the manufacturing of, or importation of counterfeit Federal Reserve notes could result in federal charges.

Agents from Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Secret Service took custody of the fake currency.

Agents are reminding all travelers that the manufacturing of, and/or importation of counterfeit bank notes could result in federal charges.


Have you had a cash seizure at Detroit Metro airport?

If you’ve had a cash seizure at Detroit Metro airport by CBP you can learn more about the process from our trusted customs money seizure legal guide and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.