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Baltimore CBP Seizes More than $25K in Unreported Currency from Nigerian Traveler

Release Date: 
July 24, 2014

BALTIMORE — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than $25,000 Wednesday from a Nigerian man at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) for violating federal currency reporting regulations.

The passenger, who arrived to BWI from London, United Kingdom, reported to a CBP officer that he possessed $6,000. During a secondary inspection, the traveler reported to a second CBP officer that he possessed $8,000 and 800 British Pounds.

During a baggage examination, CBP officers discovered $25,316 in U.S. Dollars, 1,385 in British Pounds and 450 in Euros, and a few Nigerian Naira. The combined currency totaled $28,280 in equivalent U.S. currency.

CBP officers seized the U.S. currency and Naira, and returned the Pounds and Euros  to the man for humanitarian relief. CBP officers also advised the traveler how to petition for the return of his seized currency.   

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.

“Customs and Border Protection reminds all travelers that the easiest way to hold on to one’s currency is to truthfully report all of it to a CBP officer,” said Dianna Bowman, CBP Port Director for the Port of Baltimore.

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.

Visit CBP’s Travel section to learn rules governing travel to and from the U.S.

The Privacy Act prohibits releasing the traveler’s name since he was not criminally charged.