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CBP Officers Discover More Than $69,000 in Undeclared U.S. Currency Concealed in Traveler’s Luggage

Release Date: 
December 2, 2014

NASSAU, Bahamas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Nassau Preclearance facility discovered $69,739 in undeclared U.S. currency inside a traveler’s carry-on and checked luggage.  The Royal Bahamas Police Force took custody of the traveler and the currency.

On Nov. 24, CBP officers encountered a 51-year-old female U.S. citizen traveling to Fort Myers, Florida. The subject was referred for a secondary baggage exam after Nassau Airport Authority Security alerted to a large sum of money inside a piece of checked luggage.  During the baggage exam, CBP officers discovered several envelopes addressed to multiple people containing U.S. currency. The subject only reported $900 on her declaration and when questioned reaffirmed to CBP officers that she was traveling with less than $10,000. The traveler failed to formally report the money to CBP resulting in the seizure of the currency.

“This seizure is an excellent example of the cooperative working relationship U.S. Customs and Border Protection has with Nassau Airport Authority Security, who notified CBP of an anomaly in a bag,” said Robert Allen Smith, area port director for Nassau Preclearance. “CBP officers provided the traveler with multiple opportunities to accurately report all currency in her possession; however, she failed to comply with the reporting requirements. The easiest way for travelers to hold on to their currency is to truthfully report it all to a CBP officer.”

Individuals are permitted to carry any amount of currency or monetary instruments into or out of the United States.  However, if the quantity is $10,000 or higher, they must formally report the currency to CBP. Failure to report may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.

CBP Preclearance operations allow for advance inspection of passengers and special coordination with law enforcement upon arrival in the United States. Through preclearance, the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air passengers performed on arrival in the United States are instead completed before departure at foreign airports.  Currently, preclearance operations exist at 15 foreign airports in six different countries, benefitting air passengers, airports, and air carriers, in the United States and abroad.

To keep our borders secure, every traveler entering and exiting a CBP port of entry is subject to a CBP inspection. For more information on CBP’s border security mission at our nation’s ports of entry, please visit

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017