For the fourth time in two weeks, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized unreported currency from travelers at Washington Dulles International Airport.
Thursday night, CBP officers encountered a couple from Turkey who reported that they possessed $5,000. Officers advised the couple of federal reporting requirements and the couple confirmed that they understood and again reported $5,000. CBP currency and firearms detector dog Cato alerted to one of the couple’s bags and officers discovered a total of $20,654. Officers seized $20,000 and returned $654 to the couple for humanitarian relief.
On Saturday, CBP officers inspected a couple bound for Ghana who reported that they possessed $36,000, both verbally and in writing. While examining their baggage, CBP officers discovered a total of $40,781 in their possession. Officers seized $40,000 and returned $781 to the couple for humanitarian relief.
Previously, CBP officers seized $21,000 in unreported currency from a woman bound for Pakistan December 6, and officers seized $25,151 in unreported currency from a couple bound for Ghana November 30.
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.
On a typical day, CBP seizes an average of about $290,000 in unreported or illicit currency along our nation’s borders. 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.