STERLING, Virginia – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $46,628 in unreported currency from a man traveling to Cameroon at Washington Dulles International Airport on Monday.
CBP officers conducted random outbound inspections of passengers boarding a flight to Brussels, Belgium and asked a U.S. citizen how much currency he possessed. The man reported verbally that he had $30,000 and completed a U.S. Treasury Department form (FINCEN 105). During a subsequent examination of the man’s carry-on bags, CBP officers discovered a total of $46,628 in U.S. dollars.
There is no limit to how much currency or other monetary instruments travelers may bring to or take out of the United States; however, federal law [31 U.S.C. 5316] requires travelers to report all currency $10,000 or greater to a CBP officer. Read more about currency reporting requirements.
CBP seized the currency and returned $628 to the man as humanitarian relief and released the man to continue his travel. CBP is not releasing the traveler’s name because he was not criminally charged.
“Customs and Border Protection warns travelers that they face severe consequences for not complying with our nation’s laws, as this traveler now realizes,” said John Jurgutis, Acting Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C. “The easiest way for travelers to hold onto their currency is to report it all to a CBP officer.”
During inspections, CBP officers ensure that travelers fully understand federal currency reporting requirements and offer travelers multiple opportunities to accurately report all currency and monetary instruments they possess before examining a traveler’s carryon or checked baggage.
The consequences for violating U.S. currency reporting laws are severe; penalties may include seizure of most or all of the traveler’s currency, or potential criminal charges. 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 officers have observed that unreported currency may be proceeds from illicit activities, such as financial fraud and narcotics smuggling, and officer work hard to disrupt the export of these illicit revenues.CBP seized about $386,000 every day in unreported or illicit currency along our nation’s borders last year. Learn more about what CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2020.
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.