STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized more than $35,000 from a woman traveling to Istanbul, Turkey on Friday for violating federal currency reporting laws.
CBP officers encountered the woman, a U.S. citizen, as she boarded her flight. Officers cited the currency reporting law to her and she reported that she possessed $5,000. During an examination of her carry-on bag, CBP officers discovered an additional $30,016 for a combined amount of $35,016.
CBP is not releasing the woman’s name since she was not criminally charged.
“Customs and Border Protection officers offer travelers opportunities to accurately report all currency they possess, and also ensures that the traveler fully understands federal currency reporting laws as well as the consequences for failing to comply,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “CBP remains steadfast in our commitment to enforcing our nation’s laws and to protecting our citizens against people and things that could cause us harm.”
Although there is no limit to the amount of money that travelers may carry when crossing U.S. borders, federal law [31 U.S.C. 5316] requires that travelers report currency or monetary instruments in excess of $10,000 to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the United States.
CBP officers offer travelers multiple opportunities to truthfully report all currency they possess and confirming that they understand the reporting requirement. Consequences for violating U.S. currency reporting laws are severe; penalties may include seizure of most or all of the traveler’s currency, and potential criminal charges. Read more about currency reporting requirements.
An individual may petition for the return of seized currency, but the petitioner must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.
CBP has noted that bulk currency being smuggled out of the United States may be illicit proceeds from nefarious activities, including narcotics smuggling, counterfeiting, and other criminal offenses. On average, CBP seized about $207,000 every day in unreported or illicit currency along our nation’s borders. Learn more about what CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2019.
CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.