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Philadelphia CBP Seizes Nearly $40K in Unreported Currency from Ghanaian Man

Release Date: 
June 24, 2014

PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $39,500 from a Ghanaian man for violating federal currency reporting regulations Monday at Philadelphia International Airport.

The man, whose name isn’t being released because he wasn’t criminally charged, arrived from Frankfurt about 4 p.m. A CBP officer referred him to a routine secondary baggage examination.

The man reported to CBP officers, both verbally and in writing, that he possessed $9,400 in U.S. dollars and 80 Euros. The baggage exam revealed two stacks of U.S. currency and Ghana Cedi inside clothing and the baggage liner. A currency verification revealed $39,500 in U.S. dollars, 80 Euros and 2,280 Ghana Cedi, for a combined $40,359 in equivalent U.S. dollars.

CBP seized $39,500 and returned the foreign currency to the man for humanitarian purposes.

There is no limit to how much currency travelers may bring to, or take from the U.S.; however, federal law requires travelers to report to CBP amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency. Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of having their currency seized, and may potentially face criminal charges.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers permitted this traveler multiple opportunities to truthfully report all currency in his possession. Hopefully, this is a lesson to all travelers that the easiest way to hold on to their currency is to truthfully report it all to a CBP officer,” said Susan Stranieri, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia.

In addition to currency enforcement, CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, prohibited agriculture products, and other illicit items.

Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP’s Travel page to learn rules governing travel to and from the U.S.