STERLING, Va. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO), at Washington Dulles International Airport seized over $23,000 from a South Africa-bound traveler on Thursday for violating federal currency reporting regulations.
There is no limit to how much currency travelers can import or export; however, federal law requires travelers to report to CBP amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.
During an outbound inspection, a CBP currency detection canine alerted to the carryon bags of a U.S. citizen. The man, both verbally and in writing, declared to CBP officers that he possessed $9,000; however, $13,267 was discovered in his bags and on his person. During the course of the inspection it was determined that he was traveling with his sister, a Ghanaian citizen. An additional $10,000 in unreported currency was found in her bags which the man stated belonged to him. The officers seized the $23,267, returned $667 to the man for humanitarian relief, and advised him how to petition for the return of the currency. The travelers were then released to continue their journey.
“Customs and Border Protection officers afforded the man multiple opportunities to truthfully report his currency, and he chose not do to so. Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements risk severe consequences, including currency seizure and potential criminal charges,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP Area Port Director for the Port of Washington Dulles. “The easiest way for travelers to hold on to their currency is to truthfully report it all to a CBP officer during inspection.”
The Privacy Act prohibits releasing the travelers’ names since they were not criminally charged.
CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, currency, prohibited agriculture products, and other illicit items. On a typical day during 2015, CBP seized $356,396 in undeclared or illicit currency at our nation’s 328 ports of entry. View CBP Snapshot to learn what else CBP achieved ‘On a Typical Day’ last year.
Learn more about how CBP's Office of Field Operations secures our nation's borders at our nation’s Ports of Entry.
CBP’s Travel section offers rules and tips for clearing CBP inspection during travel to and from the U.S.