STERLING, Va. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized a combined $72,095 in unreported currency from three travelers at Washington Dulles International Airport over the past three days.
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 first seizure occurred Saturday when a U.S. lawful permanent resident who arrived from Iran reported verbally and in writing that she possessed $10,000. While inspecting the woman’s luggage, CBP officers discovered Euros equivalent to $27,525 in U.S. dollars and $2,135 in U.S. currency for a total of $29,660.
On Sunday, a U.S. citizen arrived from Dubai, U.A.E., and reported verbally and in writing that she possessed $10,000. While examining her luggage, CBP officers discovered a total of $20,435.
The final seizure Monday occurred during an outbound international flight enforcement operation. A man destined for Ukraine reported to CBP officers that he possessed $15,000 and completed a financial reporting form stating that amount. During a search of the man’s carry-on baggage, CBP officers discovered an additional $8,000. CBP officers seized $22,000 and released $1,000 back to the man for humanitarian purposes.
CBP officers seized all currency, a combined $72,095, and released all three travelers.
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 Wayne Biondi, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington Dulles. “We hope that these seizures are 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.