PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $39,657 in unreported currency, much of it concealed within the pages of a hard-back book, from a Greek man at Philadelphia International Airport Wednesday.
There is no limit to how much currency travelers may bring to, or take from the U.S. However, federal law requires travelers to complete financial reporting forms for any amount that exceeds $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.
While roving among passengers who arrived from Athens, Greece, a CBP officer questioned the man about the total currency he possessed. The man verbally reported that he had $2,500 in U.S. dollars and 1,500 in Euros. He also wrote that amount on his declaration form and signed it.
During a baggage examination, the CBP officer discovered a large sum of currency concealed in the book. A currency verification revealed that the man possessed $4,600 in U.S. dollars and 31,525 in Euros. The combined currency equaled $39,657 in equivalent U.S. dollars.
CBP officers provide travelers with multiple opportunities to truthfully report all of their currency. Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements risk having their currency seized, and potentially face criminal charges.
“Seizing a traveler’s currency is not a pleasant experience, but there are severe consequences for violating U.S. laws,” said Susan Stranieri, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “We hope that this seizure is a lesson for all travelers that the easiest way to hold on to their currency is to honestly report it all to a Customs and Border Protection officer.”
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 section to learn rules, tips and advice to help quickly complete their CBP international arrivals inspection.
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.