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CBP Seizes $51K in Unreported Currency from Nigerian Traveler at Philadelphia International Airport

Release Date: 
September 15, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $51,851 in unreported currency, much of it concealed within clothing, from a Nigerian woman at Philadelphia International Airport Sunday.

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.

The woman arrived on a flight from the United Kingdom and reported to a CBP officer that she possessed $9,800. During a secondary baggage inspection, CBP officers discovered U.S. dollars, British pounds and Nigerian nairas that equaled the equivalent of $51,851 in U.S. dollars. CBP officers seized the currency and released the woman to continue her visit to the U.S.

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.

“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. View CBP’s ‘Typical Day’ enforcement stats at CBP Snapshot.

Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP’s Travel website to learn rules, tips and advice to help quickly complete their CBP international arrivals inspection.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017