Baltimore - Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) seized $12,400 Thursday from a Nigerian woman for violating federal currency reporting regulations.
The passenger, who arrived to BWI from London and was destined for Maryland, repeatedly declared possessing only $8,000. While examining the passenger's luggage, CBP officers discovered additional U.S. and foreign currency in a camera case. The final count was $12,400 in U.S. currency and the equivalent of $648 in foreign currency.
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 the $12,400 and returned the foreign currency to the passenger for humanitarian relief. CBP officers also advised the traveler how to petition for the return of her seized currency. After consultation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, she was released pending further investigation.
"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 Frances B. Garcia, Acting CBP Port Director for the Port of Baltimore. "The traveler was given multiple opportunities to truthfully declare her currency. The easiest way to hold on to your currency is to report it."
In addition to narcotics interdiction, CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture products or other illicit items.
Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP's Travel website at to learn rules governing travel to and from the U.S.
The Privacy Act prohibits releasing the traveler's name since she was not criminally charged.