STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than $47,000 from a Netherlands-bound traveler Friday at Washington Dulles International Airport.
Officers asked the traveler, a female U.S. citizen, how much currency she possessed. She reported $10,000 and showed officers a FINCEN-105 currency reporting form she filed with CBP earlier Friday. Officers asked if she had any additional currency and she repeated that she was transporting a total of $10,000.
CBP officers then examined her carryon bag and discovered $47,440. Officers seized the currency and returned $1,740 to the traveler for humanitarian purposes, then released her to continue her trip.
CBP is not releasing the woman’s name because she was not criminally charged.
“Grossly under reporting on both the Treasury currency reporting form and to a Customs and Border Protection officer during inspection is a clear violation of our nation’s currency reporting laws,” said Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “Travelers must truthfully report all currency and other monetary instruments that they possess to a CBP officer.”
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. Read more about currency reporting requirements.
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.
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. 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.
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'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.