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CBP Seizes Over $15K From Traveler

Release Date: 
April 15, 2015

Passenger failed to declare currency

HOUSTON -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at George Bush Intercontinental Airport seized $15,841 from a traveler flying to Nigeria.

The 38-year old Nigerian man was waiting to board a flight to Lagos, Nigeria when CBP officers asked him if he was transporting more than $10,000 in monetary instruments.  The traveler declared carrying $6,400 of his own and another $4,400 for a friend.

CBP officers seized more than $15,000 after a traveler failed to declare the currency in his possesion.

CBP officers seized more than $15,000 after a traveler failed to declare the currency in his possesion.

CBP officers advised the traveler that currency reporting requirements for anyone arriving and departing the U.S. must be declared on CBP Form 503 and the declaration must include all currency.  The traveler was allowed to complete the required form but when officers verified the amount of currency, an additional $5041 and about $74 in Nigerian currency were discovered in the traveler’s backpack.

CBP officers found a total of $15,841 in U.S. currency which was seized for attempting to export currency exceeding $10,000 without filing a report.  The Nigerian currency was returned to the traveler for humanitarian purposes as he was flying into that country.

“There is absolutely no limit to the amount of currency a traveler can bring into or take out of the United States,” said Houston CBP Port Director Charles Perez. “The only requirement is to declare amounts that reach or exceed $10,000.”

From Oct. 1, 2014 through Mar. 30, 2015, CBP officers nationwide seized nearly $38 million.  Last fiscal year, officers averaged $650,117 in undeclared or illicit currency seizures per day totaling more than $81 million, nationwide.

Travelers can avoid seizure by declaring currency when the amount reaches $10,000. International travelers carrying more than $10,000 into or out of the United States must report the amount they are transporting or risk the currency’s seizure.

Currency declarations are made by completing FinCEN Form 105 and giving it to a CBP officer. Currency is not limited to U.S. currency but all negotiable monetary instruments including Traveler’s Checks, money orders and securities.  A complete list of negotiable monetary instruments is available on FinCEN Form 105.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017