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CBP Preclearance Breaks Bulk Cash Smuggling Attempt

Release Date: 
February 20, 2019

Travelers who refuse to report currency risk seizure

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Abu Dhabi Preclearance seized $18,357 in unreported currency, Feb. 18. 

CBP officers intercepted $18,357 in unreported currency.
CBP officers working at Abu Dhabi
Preclearance facility intercept currency
smuggling attempt.

A U.S. couple and another family member were traveling to Wisconsin and Iowa respectively when CBP officers working at the Preclearance facility asked the family for a currency declaration.  The family reported carrying $8500.

When CBP officers requested the family complete the required FinCEN Form, the family group amended the currency amount to $17,000.  However, during the baggage examination, CBP officers discovered the U.S. couple was carrying $18,357. 

“International travelers can carry an unlimited amount of money into or departing from the U.S., but they are required to report traveling with currency over $10,000,” said CBP Preclearance Director of Field Operations Clint Lamm.  “Those who refuse to comply with the federal reporting requirements risk having the currency seized.”

The travelers were given multiple opportunities to truthfully report the amount of money they were carrying.  CBP officers seized $17,357 and the group was allowed to continue their travel.

Travelers arriving to or departing from the U.S. must report currency over $10,000.  Currency is reported by completing FinCEN Form 105 and providing it to a CBP officer.  Reportable currency or monetary instruments include currency, personal checks that have been endorsed, travelers’ checks, gold coins, and securities or stocks in bearer form.

In FY 2019, CBP Preclearance has seized nearly $2 million in unreported currency from travelers refusing to provide a truthful declaration.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021