STERLING, Va. — In separate incidents on Monday at Washington Dulles International Airport, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers intercepted an impostor who arrived from Ghana, and seized about $44,000 from a couple heading to Ghana.
A biometric verification by a CBP officer on an Ivory Coast man revealed the man to be an impostor to the Ivory Coast passport and U.S. travel visa he possessed. The CBP officer used fingerprint examination and facial comparison technology to detect the biometric mismatch. The traveler admitted that he acquired the identity and travel documents in Ghana.
Moments later, a CBP K9 alert led to CBP officers seizing a total of $44,606 in U.S. dollars and equivalent foreign currency from a Ghanaian couple who attempted to board a flight to Ghana. The woman was already on the flight when CBP officers interviewed the man. The Ghanaian man reported to CBP officers that he possessed $9,000. He then reported that his wife had an additional $5,000. CBP officers discovered the additional currency during a baggage inspection.
CBP returned $1,500 to the couple and released them to continue their journey.
There is no limit to how much currency travelers can import or export; however, federal law requires travelers to report to CBP amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.
None of the three travelers was arrested. The Privacy Act prohibits releasing the travelers’ names since they were not criminally charged.
“These are two very serious violations of U.S. immigration and currency reporting laws, and these travelers are very fortunate to avoid criminal prosecution,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Washington Dulles. “Customs and Border Protection hopes that these incidents are a reminder to all travelers to be truthful with CBP officers. The United States is a welcoming country, especially to those who respect our nation’s laws.”
CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, currency, prohibited agriculture products, and other illicit items.
On a typical day, CBP officers processed the admission of more than a million passengers and pedestrians at our nation’s 328 international ports of entry. CBP officers refused admission to 367 inadmissible persons, and seized $356,396 in undeclared or illicit currency on that typical day.
View CBP Snapshot to learn what else CBP achieved ‘On a Typical Day’ last year.
Learn more about how CBP's Office of Field Operations secures our nation's borders at our nation’s Ports of Entry.
Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP’s Travel website to learn more about the CBP admissions process and rules governing travel to and from the U.S.
Learn more about how CBP secures our nation’s borders.
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.