Tag: virgin islands

Virgin Islands CBP Cash Seizure nets $145,000 USD

Virgin Islands CBP Cash Seizure Nets $145k

A Virgin Islands CBP Cash Seizure occurred in what would be unusual circumstances for average client of our customs law firm. The seizure happened on a boat “near” the waters of the U.S. Virgin Islands during a maritime patrol. Usually our clients face a money seizure at an airport or land border crossing, not on the open water.

Virgin Islands CBP Cash Seizure nets $145,000 USD
Virgin Islands CBP Cash Seizure nets $145,000 USD

It is also unusual that there was no failure to report cash; rather, the money was seized primarily due to suspicious circumstances surrounding the encounter. CBP inspected the boat at a local marina and one of the three individuals in the boat tried to get away. That person was in possession of a brown bag with $145,000.

Now, aside from a possible failure to report cash – which is not clear in these circumstances (recall a report only needs to made at the time of entry or exit from the U.S.) – the money was seized under a kind of “catch-all” law that allows the government to seize cash if they believe it is connected to basically any illegal activity.

Let’s have a look at the Virgin Islands CBP Cash Seizure story:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents seized $145,000 from a vessel operated by 3 US citizens. All subjects were released pending further investigation.

“Our agents remain vigilant for illegal smuggling operations, as well as money laundering,” stated Johnny Morales Director of Air Operations for the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch. During a maritime patrol, a St. Thomas-based marine crew located a vessel with 3 men traversing around the waters of the US Virgin Islands.

The vessel heaved and was escorted for inspection into a local marina, where one of the vessel occupants attempted to flee and was subsequently detained.  He had a brown bag which contained a significant amount of US currency.

The bag contained $145,000 which was seized for a civil forfeiture under title 18 USC section 981.

The story can be accessed here. If you’ve experienced a Virgin Islands CBP Cash Seizure, you can learn more from our trusted legal road-map of a customs money seizure and can contact us for a free currency seizure consultation by clicking the contact buttons on this page.

US CBP Seizes $10.6M Cash in Caribbean in FY 2014

Last year, U.S. Customs & Border Protection — CBP — in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands seized $10.6 million dollars in unreported currency, smuggled bulk cash, or unlawful currency structuring violations. Last year I called that an overwhelming amount of seized currency.

Most of these customs currency seizures occur at airports, ferry crossings, etc. CBP for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands reported their annual fiscal year statistics for 2014 and this currency seizure number has more than doubled. That is more than overwhelming, it is tremendous… the story also compares currency seizures with those in California, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. All areas in which drug smuggling is pervasive.

In Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, CBP officers and agents seized over 51,043 pounds of narcotics with an estimated street value of approximately 650 million and seized approximately $10.6 million in unreported currency in FY 2014, which runs from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014.

But later the story says:

Furthermore, $8.4 million of currency interdictions were reported and over 80 firearms were seized.

$8.4M or $10.6M? Who’s counting over there?! And this is the same government that seizes currency for any mis-report who can’t get their facts straight for their news releases.

If you have had cash seized by customs and are contemplating what to do next, please make use of the other information available on this website or call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or e-mail us through our contact page. We are able to assist with cash seized by customs around the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places, and not just locally in Detroit. Please read these other articles:

  1. Seizure of currency and monetary instruments by U.S. Customs
  2. Seizure for bulk cash smuggling into or out of the U.S.
  3. Structuring currency imports and exports
  4. Is it $10,000 per person?  Under what circumstances is filing a report with Customs for transporting more than $10,000 required?
  5. Criminal & civil penalties for failing to report monetary instrument transportation
  6. Is only cash currency subject to seizure by Customs?
  7. Responding to a Customs currency seizure
  8. How do I get my seized money back?
  9. Getting money seized by U.S. Customs back while staying overseas
  10. How long does it take Customs to decide a petition for a currency/monetary instrument seizure?
  11. Statute of Limitations for Currency Reporting Violations
  12. Filing a Petition for Seized Currency (with Sample and Tips) with CBP