PORT HURON, MICH.—On Friday, March 16, 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the Blue Water Bridge seized $16,334 in unreported currency from two participants in the NEXUS Trusted Traveler Program.
The driver, a male 50-year-old Canadian citizen, and his wife, residents of St. Laurent, Quebec, arrived at approximately 11:30 a.m. using the NEXUS lane. When asked if anyone was traveling with more than $10,000, the two reported carrying $8000 a piece and that the money was for business purchases in Chicago, Illinois. The subjects were referred to secondary inspection for a currency verification exam.
During the secondary inspection, the pair reaffirmed their negative declarations both orally and in writing on a customs declaration form. An interview by CBP officers revealed that all the currency belonged to the male subject and that it was divided for the purpose of avoiding the currency reporting laws. The laws require any individual who is transporting currency or other monetary instruments in an aggregate amount exceeding $10,000 (U.S. funds or its foreign equivalent) at one time from the United States to any foreign place, or into the United States from any foreign place, to file a report with U.S. CBP.
"Our officers used their questioning skills and acquired instincts to find these violations and I am proud of their efforts. These individuals were trusted by U.S. CBP by virtue of their membership in the NEXUS program and given the status of a low-risk traveler," said Port Director David Dusellier. "That trust was violated when they attempted to evade the currency reporting requirements by failing to report transportation of more than $10,000 in U.S. currency into the United States."
CBP officers seized the money for violation of the currency reporting requirements and CBP immediately removed both subjects from the NEXUS program.
Travelers who participate in the NEXUS program are afforded expedited processing when crossing the U.S.-Canada border. As participants in one of CBPs Trusted Traveler Programs, travelers enjoy a higher level of trust and confidence in regards to security when crossing the border, and violations of this trust will not be tolerated.
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.