Tag: sterling

Stacks of US Currency lined up on a long table in front of a CBP sign

Dulles CBP Seizes $46K in Cash from Ghana and Egypt bound travellers

 

CBP cash seizures in Dulles are on the rise with increased international travel. In this story, Dulles airport CBP officers seized $20,404 from a man traveling to Ghana and a couple traveling to Egypt with $26,043.

The man traveling to Ghana made an inaccurate report, but he still reported more than $10,000. But, his mistake was 1) his report was not accurate and 2) he did not report the money until he was asked. You need to file the FinCen 105 currency and monetary instrument report (CMIR) before you are asked to do so, otherwise it is obvious you had the intention of not reporting it until you were asked, and so, at minimum, would be responsible for an attempted violation of 31 USC 5316, failure to report cash.

The couple traveling from Dulles airport to Egypt that had their cash seized by CBP are in a tougher situation though. In their case, some of their money was “concealed inside a suitcase liner.” This allows CBP to claim the money was hidden with the intent it would not be found by Customs, which is the classic definition of bulk cash smuggling. Bulk cash smuggling leads to higher penalties, and a higher rate of forfeiture (permanent loss of all or part of the money).

The story follows below….

STERLING, Va. – The best way for travelers to keep their currency when traveling is to truthfully report all of it to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during inspection. CBP has repeated that advice for years, yet officers still encounter travelers at Washington Dulles International Airport who ignore that simple advice.

For example, CBP officers at Dulles airport recently seized more than $46,000 combined during two separate currency seizures from travelers departing the United States.

In the most recent case on Sunday, CBP officers inspected a U.S. citizen destined to Ghana. The man initially reported, both verbally and in writing, that he possessed $14,000. However, officers discovered a total of $19,904 in his carry-on bag, and an additional $500 in his backpack for a total of $20,404. Officers seized the currency, returned $404 to the man as humanitarian relief, and released him to continue his travel.

Earlier, on April 26, a CBP currency detector dog alerted to a couple’s carry-on bags and the couple, who were destined to Egypt, reported that they possessed $15,000. During an examination, CBP officers discovered additional currency in the woman’s purse and even more concealed inside a suitcase liner for a total of $26,043. CBP officers seized the currency, then returned $1,043 as a humanitarian relief and released the couple to continue their travel.

“We cannot make this point enough, travelers can carry all the currency they want to and from the United States, but U.S. federal law requires them to make a formal report on amounts of $10,000 or greater. It’s that simple,” said Daniel Escobedo, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C. “The consequences for violating US currency reporting laws are severe – from missing a flight and interrupting vacation plans, to seeing all their currency seized by a Customs and Border Protection officer, and to even facing criminal prosecution for bulk currency smuggling. It’s too easy to just be truthful.”

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.

$29,000 worth of cash displayed by CBP after seizure at Dulles airport

Dulles CBP Seize $29K in Cash from Congolese Man

CBP seizes about $342,000 each day, on average, at airports across the country and at our borders. In this story, CBP seized about $29,000 from a Congolese man who was arriving the United States. He was not criminally charged and although the story contains a cautionary tale at the ending about bulk cash smuggling, it does not say he was actually bulk cash smuggling.

Here’s the story:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $29,900 in unreported currency from a man who arrived on a flight from Ethiopia at Washington Dulles International Airport on Tuesday.

CBP officers interviewed the Congolese national traveler and explained the U.S. currency reporting law to him. The traveler declared both verbally and in writing that he possessed $10,000. During an inspection, CBP officers discovered a total of $29,900 in the man’s possession.

CBP officers seized the currency for violating U.S. currency reporting laws, then released the man. CBP is not releasing the traveler’s name because he was not criminally charged.

“The consequences for violating U.S. currency reporting laws are severe; penalties may include seizure of most or all of the traveler’s currency, or potential criminal charges,” said Daniel Escobedo, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C. “Customs and Border Protection strongly encourages all travelers to be well informed of their role in CBP’s international arrivals inspection process at CBP’s Travel website.”

CBP officers have observed that smuggled bulk currency may be the proceeds of illicit activity, such as proceeds from the sales of dangerous drugs or revenue from financial crimes, and officers work hard to disrupt transnational criminal organizations by intercepting their currency smuggling attempts at our nation’s borders.

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.

$44000 Seized by Dulles CBP on Display

Dulles CBP Seizes $44,000 from Ethiopia Traveler

CBP officers at Dulles Airport their Washington DC, which happens to be part of the wider Baltimore Field office, seized almost $44,000 from a permanent resident and citizen of Cameroon who was traveling to Ethiopia.

As often happens, he was prompted to complete a currency reporting form after indicating that he possessed money. But, he only reported $10,000. Upon obtaining the false report, customs officers inspected his possessions and discovered that he actually possessed $43,000.

Here is the full story as contained in the news release:

STERLING, Va. –U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized nearly $44,000 in unreported currency from an Ethiopia-bound traveler on Monday.

CBP officers inspected a traveler as he attempted to board his departing flight. The man, a Cameroon citizen and U.S. lawful permanent resident, reported that he possessed $10,000 and completed a financial reporting form. While examining the man’s carryon bag, CBP officers discovered $43,580. Officers seized $43,000 and returned $580 to the man as humanitarian relief. Officer released him to continue his travel.

Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $44,000 in unreported currency from an Ethiopia-bound traveler at Washington Dulles International Airport on October 5, 2020.

CBP is not releasing the man’s name since he was not criminally charged. An investigation continues.

My usual disclaimer about the difficulty of getting money back after a seizure at CBP Dulles applies. Anyone who has money seized at Dulles Airport can expect a long and arduous process which will include scrupulously documenting the source of the money, including the production of detailed financial records, explanations of particular deposits into one’s bank account, and of course, scrupulous documentation translated into English about the intended use of the money.

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.

CBP canine Cato sits next to table full of seized money.

Dulles CBP seized cash again; when is a violation of 31 USC 5316 complete?

Here’s a story about a man who had $43,409 in cash seized by customs at Dulles Airport. I’m going to use the story, which follows, to illustrate appoint about when a violation of the reporting requirement occurs.

The Dulles CBP officers seized cash as the man went to board a plane to Brussels. At this point, the violation of 31 U.S.C. § 5316 occurred. The man was getting on the plane without any intent to make a report of cash; he had to be asked. Even if he truthfully responded that he had exactly $43,409, the violation would already be completed his money could still be seized because he obviously had no intention to do what the law required; make a physical report of the cash at the time of departure.

Here’s the full news release:

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than $43,000 from a Belgium-bound man on Sunday at Washington Dulles International Airport.

CBP currency detector dog Cato alerted to the man as he prepared to board his flight to Brussels. The man verbally reported to CBP officers that he possessed $15,000, then admitted to possessing $37,000 as officers prepared to examine his baggage. The man completed a FINCEN105 reporting $37,000. During that baggage exam, officers discovered a combined $43,409 in U.S. currency. Officers seized the currency and released the man.

CBP is not releasing the man’s name because he was not criminally charged.

CBP canines are highly skilled at a variety of detection specialties, such as narcotics, firearms, humans, agriculture, and currency.

“Customs and Border Protection’s canines are a vital component to our border security mission and demonstrate their exceptional skill every day to help enforce our nation’s laws and keep us safe,” said Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office.

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.

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. CBP seized about $386,000 every day in unreported or illicit currency along our nation’s borders last year. Learn more about what CBP accomplished during “A Typical Day” in 2020.

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 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.

piles of money seized by CBP at dulles airport en route to Netherlands

CBP Seizes $66,000 in Cash from 2 Travelers

Dulles CBP again seized unreported money over the last weekend. The first was on an arriving flight from Dubai who filled out a form reporting $10,070, but in fact, she had almost $40,000 (oops).

The second was a man leaving for Morocco who reported $10,000 (and CBP helped him fill out a form for the $10,000 (why? it’s not more than $10,000…); but he actually had $26,000.

Here’s the story from CBP itself.

On Friday, CBP officers inspected a U.S. citizen female traveler after she arrived on a flight from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The woman told CBP officers that she possessed $10,070 and completed a Treasury FINCEN-105 form for that amount. CBP officers then discovered a combined $39,536 in the woman’s carry-on bag and purse. CBP officers seized the currency and released the woman.

On Sunday, CBP officers inspected a U.S. lawful permanent resident male at the departure gate for a flight destined to Casablanca, Morocco. The man reported that he possessed $10,000. Officers assisted the man in completing a FINCEN-105 form to report his $10,000. During a subsequent examination of the man’s carryon bag and jacket, officers discovered a total of $26,000. Officers provided the man $1,300 for humanitarian relief and released him.

“Grossly under-reporting on both the Treasury currency reporting form and verbally to a Customs and Border Protection officer during an inspection is a clear violation of our nation’s currency reporting laws,” said Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “CBP encourages travelers to truthfully report all currency and monetary instruments that they possess to a CBP officer.”

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.

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.

The original link is here.

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.

Money in envelope seized by Dulles CBP

Dulles CBP Seize $340K in Cash from 6 Travelers

It was a busy week for customs officers at Dulles airport, seizing money from travelers for violating the currency reporting requirements. The press release from CBP, below, highlights a total of six seizures made in a single week totaling more than $339,000, which all violated the currency reporting requirements in one way or another (i.e., failure to report, structuring, and/or bulk cash smuggling).

Dulles airport is a hub for traveler’s heading to Africa. Around DC, there are large communities of people from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Cameroon. They make good money in the United States, and then try to take some of that money back home. Often times for building projects or investment opportunities in their native countries.

Here’s the rest of the cash seizure stories frrom CBP:

STERLING, Va. – Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly $340,000 during six outbound seizures of unreported currency in one week at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $340,000 in unreported currency at Washington Dulles International Airport during September 9-17, 2020.

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.

The seizures included:

      • $19,762 from a couple destined to Sierra Leone on September 17;
      • $68,830 from a Paris-bound man on September 16;
      • $19,720 from a Paris-bound man on September 15;
      • $35,402 from a Paris-bound man on September 10;
      • $97,223 from a second Paris-bound man on September 10; and
      • $98,762 from an Ethiopia-bound man on September 9.

The currency seizures totaled $339,699.

Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $340,000 in unreported currency at Washington Dulles International Airport during September 9-17, 2020.

CBP is not releasing any of the travelers’ names since they were not criminally charged. All are either U.S. citizens or U.S. lawful permanent residents. An investigation continues.

“These are substantial seizures of unreported currency, and seizures that could have been avoided if the travelers would have been truthful in reporting their total currency to Customs and Border Protection officers,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “As the nation’s border security agency, CBP remains steadfast in our commitment to enforcing all U.S. laws at our nation’s borders, including federal currency reporting laws.”

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.

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.

 

$98,762 in U.S. dollars seized by CBP stacked in front of a Dulles airport Washington DC sign

Dulles Customs Seizes Hidden Bulk Cash to Ethiopia

Customs officers at Dulles Airport seized nearly $100,000 this week from a man who only reported traveling with $14,000.

The problem from customs perspective is that he truly had $99,000, and of that amount, almost $80,000 was hidden in his bags, within shoes and pants pockets. The refusal by the man to report the correct amount of cash he transported along with the location of the hidden cash within his baggage will easily allow customs to presume he intended to hide the money so that it would not be found. That is classic bulk cash smuggling.

Bulk cash smuggling, unlike simply inaccurately reporting cash, carries with it steep penalties starting at 50% of the amount of money seized, or in this case, nearly $55,000.

Cases at Dulles is always difficult when it comes to getting seized money back. They are extremely aggressive in processing cases and keeping a maximum penalty. In the nearly 450 cases we have handled, the only time we’ve had a client criminally charged after the seizure has been at Dulles Airport. The man was doing nothing illegal beyond not reporting the money.

That’s why the phrase “an investigation continues” that appears in this story would have me very worried if I were the person who had money seized.

Without further ado, and present the fuller story from customs, along with a picture, below:

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized nearly $99,000 from a man traveling to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Wednesday for violating federal currency reporting laws.

While conducting an outbound inspection on the Ethiopia-bound flight, CBP officers interviewed a U.S. lawful permanent resident who is an Ethiopian citizen. The man verbally and in writing reported that he possessed $14,000 and a subsequent examination of his carryon bag revealed $19,112.

Officers escorted the man to CBP’s inspection station and conducted a comprehensive examination of his baggage. Officers discovered an additional $79,650 concealed inside shoes and jeans pockets inside his checked baggage. Officers seized a total of $98,762 of unreported currency.

Stacks of $100 bills hidden in a shoe

CBP is not releasing the man’s name since he was not criminally charged. An investigation continues.

“This is a significant currency seizure for Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “Bulk currency being smuggled from the United States may be illicit proceeds from narcotics smuggling, counterfeiting, and other nefarious activities. CBP will remain steadfast in our commitment to intercepting these smuggling attempts and financially hurting transnational criminal organizations where we can.”

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.

* * * *

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 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.

$32k in Cash Laid out on table by US Customs (CBP)

Dulles CBP Seizes $32,000 from Traveler to Ghana

Another blog post, another customs cash seizure at Dulles airport. Most of my clients who have money seized at Dulles airport are most-often traveling to-or-from Ghana, Nigeria, or to a lesser extent, Egypt. This story highlights the dangers of not reporting having more than $10,000 in cash to Customs when traveling in any airport, but especially at Dulles airport.

This story, like many of them publicized at Dulles airport, features money that was hidden. This most likely means CBP will be trying to keep half of the money as a penalty, even if the person is able to prove all of the money came from legitimate sources and had legitimate intended uses. Here’s the story from back in January of this year:

STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized more than $32,000 from a man traveling to Accra, Ghana who violated federal currency reporting regulations.

It is legal to carry large sums of currency into or out of the United States. However, federal law requires

Undeclared cash found hidden in bagage by Customs at Dulles airport
The currency was discovered during
a baggage exam.

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.

The man, a citizen of the United States and resident of Liberia, declared verbally and in writing that he possessed $15,000. During a baggage examination, CBP officers discovered a total of $33,040. Officers returned $750 to the man as a humanitarian release and allowed him to continue his journey. Officers seized the remaining $32,290.

Has Dulles CBP accused you of bulk cash smuggling?

If Dulles CBP has accused you of bulk cash smuggling, 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.

$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.

Dulles CBP Seizes $19000 in Smuggled Cash

In what is ominous to me, CBP in Dulles says they “continue to encounter travelers who attempt to smuggle unreported currency out of the United States.” By smuggling, they mean bulk cash smuggling. And at Dulles airport, for sure, bulk cash smuggling (watch our bulk cash smuggling video here) means they will be trying to keep 50% of the seized money as a penalty, even if legitimate source and intended use are proven.

It’s ominous to me because Dulles CBP is just one of the toughest CBP ports around the country to get money back from, and when you can get it back, the penalties can be very high. The ominous quote is from a recent news releases about a couple heading to Morocco with $19,000, who only reported $8,000.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport continue to encounter travelers who attempt to smuggle unreported currency out of the United States.

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.

In the latest seizure, a couple destined for Casablanca, Morocco on December 28 acknowledged that they understood federal currency reporting requirements and reported verbally and in writing that they possessed $8,000. CBP currency detector dog Cato alerted to their carry-on baggage and officers discovered additional currency. In total, CBP officers discovered $19,651. Officers seized $19,000 and released $651 to the couple for humanitarian purposes and allowed them to continue their trip.

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.