STERLING, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $130,000 in unreported currency from four groups of departing international travelers recently at Washington Dulles International Airport.
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 USC 5316] requires travelers to report all currency of $10,000 or greater to a CBP officer and complete U.S. Treasury Department Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments [FINCEN 105]. Read more about currency reporting requirements.
In the most recent case, CBP officers seized $27,560 in unreported currency from a Yemen-bound family on Tuesday. The family reported that they possessed $9,500; however, CBP officers found additional currency split among family members.
CBP officers seized currency on consecutive days last week. On June 20, CBP currency detector dog Fuzz alerted to an Egypt-bound traveler who reported that he possessed $7,000. Officers discovered a total of $34,283 in unreported currency split among four family members. And on June 21, CBP officers seized $15,423 in unreported currency from a Togo-bound couple who reported $9,900 in currency.
On June 11, CBP officers seized $50,210 in unreported currency from a Ghana-bound man who reported that he possessed $45,000.
In each case, CBP officers explained the currency reporting law and allowed the travelers multiple opportunities to truthfully report, both verbally and in writing, the total currency they are carrying.
Officers seized the currency and released the travelers.
CBP is withholding names because none of the travelers were criminally charged.
“The most important take away that we can’t emphasize enough is for travelers embarking on an international flight need to truthfully report all of their currency when asked by a Customs and Border Protection officer. It’s a very simple law,” said Christine Waugh, Acting Area Port Director for CBP’s Area Port of Washington, D.C.
Consequences for violating U.S. currency reporting laws may be severe – from missing a flight and interrupting vacation plans, to seeing all their currency seized by a CBP officer, to facing potential criminal prosecution for bulk currency smuggling.
CBP officers and agents seized an average of about $217,700 in unreported or illicit currency every day during 2022 along our nation’s borders.
Unreported bulk currency may sometimes be the proceeds of illegal activity, such as financial fraud and money scams. Greed may also cause some travelers to smuggle unreported currency that they may have lawfully attained to shield it from family or business partners.
Travelers can get an early start on reporting their currency by completing the fillable FINCEN 105 form prior to a CBP arrivals or departure inspections.
CBP's border security mission is led at our nation’s Ports of Entry by CBP officers and agriculture specialists from the Office of Field Operations. CBP screens international travelers and cargo and searches for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, invasive weeds and pests, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.
See what CBP accomplished during "A Typical Day" in 2022.