Tag: vietnam

Minneapolis CBP Seizes $26K Cash Bound for Vietnam

Here’s a Minneapolis CBP cash seizure story from earlier this year that I never had a chance to comment on, but I am overjoyed that it is FINALLY not involving Dulles CBP.

I’ve never represented a client with cash seizure case in Minneapolis. From what I remember, I’ve probably only had 2 leads I can remember in the past 14 years where some traveler has had something seized by CBP in Minneapolis. This tells me Minneapolis has a very low rate of cash seizure.

The story retold in this news release is common. The traveler reports having only $9,000 even though he had $26,000. If you’re going to lie to CBP, this is a bad way to lie. Why declare an amount suspiciously close to $10,000? Obviously, this alerts CBP that you are probably lying.

Another odd thing here is that the story says “the traveler admitted to the CBP Officer he was not aware of the requirements.” Wow, what an admission! How did CBP sweat that answer out of him??! And what’s it add to the story? If he was unaware of the requirements, obviously he would not accurately report what he was traveling with. And yet, CBP still seized the cash.

The original story is here, but here’s the important parts:

MINNEAPOLIS— On Monday, February 6, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) seized more than $26,000 from a passenger traveling to Vietnam.

CBP Officers encountered a passenger and inquired about his travel. The traveler reported he was traveling with $9,000.  During the baggage exam, the CBP officer discovered a total of $26,000.

The CBP Officer explained to the traveler that there is no limit to how much currency or other monetary instruments that can enter or leave the country, however, any amount over $10,000, requires the completion of a U.S. Treasury Department of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments form (FINCEN 105).  If not properly reported, it is subject to seizure under U.S. federal law [31 U.S.C. 5316].  In addition, travelers crossing U.S. borders are required to report all currency and other monetary instruments in their possession that exceeds $10,000 to a CBP officer.

The traveler admitted to the CBP Officer he was not aware of the requirements.  “International travelers must be truthful in reporting all currency in their possession to CBP officers when they arrive to or leave the United States,” said Augustine Moore, Area Port Director-Minnesota. “It is less painful to complete a simple form than it is to surrender all their currency for violating U.S. currency reporting laws.”

The consequences for violating U.S. currency reporting laws are severe; CBP officers can seize unreported currency, and travelers could potentially face criminal charges. An individual may petition for the return of seized currency but must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.

“Customs and Border Protection wants to make clear that there is no limit to the amount of money that travelers may carry when crossing U.S. borders, we only ask that travelers be truthful with CBP officers and fully comply with federal currency reporting laws,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director of Field Operations, Chicago Field Office.

Have you had cash seized by CBP in Minneapolis?

If you’ve had cash seized CBP in Minneapolis, 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.

A pile of $20 bills on a table.

CBP Seizes $11k Cash from Vietnamese Couple at Dulles

Customs officers at Dulles airport seized more than $11,000 from a couple traveling to Vietnam. According to the story, they originally reported traveling with $4,000; then changed that to $7,000; then made a written report that they had $9,000; and ultimately, were found to have $11,822.

The law which requires the report, 31 USC 5316, essentially requires that you make the report in writing. Technically, if you are about to leave the country and have made no effort to report the money to CBP, you are in violation of the reporting requirement — because clearly you are attempting to break the law (by act or omission). So, even if this couple had made a fully accurate report the first time they were asked, they could still be responsible for a currency reporting violation under 31 USC 5316.

The other important thing to note is that the report must be accurate down to the penny, or the reporter would still be in violation of the reporting requirement, and could have all their cash seized by Customs.

You can read all about the currency reporting laws, and what to do when you’ve had your money seized by accessing our customs money seizure legal guide.

STERLING, Va. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers continue to enforce a variety of U.S. laws at Washington Dulles International Airport, including [ . . . ] seizing $11,822 of unreported currency from a Vietnam-bound couple.

CBP is not releasing the travelers’ names because none was criminally charged.

During outbound inspection operations Tuesday, CBP officers seized $11,882 in unreported currency from a couple boarding a flight to Vietnam.  The couple verbally reported that they possessed $4,000.  After officers read the currency reporting requirements, the couple stated they possessed $7,000, then they wrote down that they possessed $9,000.  An examination revealed currency in the woman’s purse, and additional currency concealed in one of two pairs of pants the man wore.

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.

CBP officers provided a humanitarian monetary release of $322 to the couple, and released them to continue their travel.

Has Dulles CBP seized your cash?

If Dulles CBP seized your cash, beware that you stand to lose a lot of it because of their aggressive penalization of bulk cash smuggling and structuring offenses. You should contact our customs lawyer for a free cash seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.