STERLING, Va. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $34,149 from a passenger departing to Istanbul, Turkey at Washington Dulles International Airport Monday for violating federal currency reporting regulations.
The passenger, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Turkey, was departing with his family when CBP officers asked how much currency he possessed. He initially reported $7,500, but then wrote down $15,000 after officers explained the currency reporting law to him.
During the CBP inspection, the passenger presented two bundles of $100 bills, $20,000 in total, from his handbag. Officers discovered an additional $10,000 in a carry-on bag, and $4,149 in the man’s wallet. A currency verification resulted in a total of $34,149. CBP seized the currency and released the man to continue his travels.
There is no limit to how much currency travelers may bring to, or take from the U.S.; however, federal law requires travelers to report to CBP amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign 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.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers permit travelers multiple opportunities to truthfully report all currency in their possession, and this traveler failed to comply. The easiest way to hold on to one’s currency is to truthfully report all of it to a CBP officer,” said Stephen Kremer, Acting CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington.
The man was not criminally charged.
In addition to currency enforcement, 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 webpage to learn rules governing travel to and from the U.S.
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.