BALTIMORE—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) seized $44,783 yesterday from a Nigerian man for violating federal currency reporting regulations.
The passenger, who arrived to BWI from London, United Kingdom and destined for Washington, D.C., repeatedly declared possessing only $5,000. While examining the passenger's luggage, CBP officers discovered multiple envelopes wrapped in clothing that contained U.S. and foreign currency totaling the equivalent of $45,283.
There is no limit to how much currency travelers can import or export; however federal law requires travelers to report amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.
CBP officers seized $44,783 and returned $500 in U.S. currency to the passenger for humanitarian relief. CBP officers also advised the traveler how to petition for the return of his seized 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," said Susan Thomas, Acting CBP Port Director for the Port of Baltimore. "The traveler was given multiple opportunities to truthfully declare his currency. The easiest way to hold on to your money is to report it."
In addition to currency interdiction, 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 website 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.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.