BALTIMORE – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly $41,933 in unreported currency recently from travelers heading to Jamaica at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).
Although there is no limit to the amount of money that travelers may carry when crossing U.S. borders, federal law [31 U.S.C. 5316] requires that travelers report currency or monetary instruments in excess of $10,000 to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the United States. Read more about currency reporting requirements.
On Tuesday, CBP officers seized $15,433 from a Jamaican citizen who attempted to board a flight to Montego Bay. The man reported, both verbally and in writing, that he possessed $7,000. CBP officers discovered $11,566 in his carry-on bag and an additional $3,867 in his checked baggage.
CBP officers at BWI earlier seized $13,000 in unreported currency from a mother and daughter as they were boarding a flight to Montego Bay on May 31 and seized $13,500 in unreported currency from a Jamaican man boarding a Montego Bay-bound flight on May 29.
“As international travel resumes, Customs and Border Protection wants to remind travelers of the importance to truthfully report all currency they possess when asked by CBP officers during arrival and departure inspections,” said Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “Unreported and concealed currency is often proceeds from illicit activities, such as financial fraud and narcotics smuggling, and CBP officers remain committed to targeting transnational criminal organizations’ proceeds.”
During inspections, CBP officers ensure that travelers fully understand federal currency reporting requirements and offer travelers multiple opportunities to accurately report all currency and monetary instruments they possess before examining a traveler’s carryon or checked baggage.
The 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. An individual may petition for the return of seized currency, but the petitioner must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.
CBP seized about $386,000 every day in unreported or illicit currency along our nation’s borders last year. Learn more about what CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2020.
CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.
Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.