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Dulles CBP Seizes $42k in Unreported Currency from Ghana-bound Man

Release Date: 
November 9, 2017

Second Significant Seizure of Ghana-bound Currency in Two Months

STERLING, Va., — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than $42,000 from a man boarding a flight to Ghana Tuesday at Washington Dulles International Airport.

CBP officers seized $42k from Ghana-bound man November 7, 2017 at Washington Dulles International Airport.
CBP officers seized $42k from
Ghana-bound man November 7, 2017
at Washington Dulles International

The man, who CBP has not named because he was not criminally charged, initially reported to officers that he possessed $8,000.  After officers advised the man of U.S. currency reporting regulations, the man wrote that he possessed $15,000 and he completed a financial reporting form.

A CBP currency detector dog then alerted to bulk currency in the man’s carry-on baggage.  The man then produced $2,480 in U.S. currency and 240 Euros from his jacket, $10,216 from his backpack, and $710 from his front pants pocket.

CBP officers then discovered a package that contained $8,000, an envelope that contained $8,000, and an additional $13,200 inside a pouch, all concealed inside his backpack.  The total amount of currency the man possessed equaled $42,606 in U.S. dollars and 240 Euros.

Travelers may carry as much currency as they wish into and out of the United States.  Federal law requires that travelers must report all U.S. and foreign monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or greater on a U.S. Treasury Department financial form.  None of the currency is taxed.

“Customs and Border Protection encourages travelers to be completely honest when reporting all their currency during an inspection with a CBP officer, or be prepared to face severe consequences,” said Elmer Jarava, CBP Acting Port Director for the Area Port of Washington Dulles.  “The best way for travelers to hold onto their currency is to fully comply with our nation’s currency reporting laws.”

CBP officers seized $42k from Ghana-bound man November 7, 2017 at Washington Dulles International Airport.
CBP officers found currency concealed
throughout a Ghana-bound man's
backpack, jacket and pants.

Following the currency seizure, CBP officers returned $406 in U.S. currency and 240 Euros to the man and released him to continue his journey.

This is the second significant currency seizure from a Ghana-bound traveler in two months.  On September 23, CBP officers seized $150,228 in unreported currency at Washington Dulles International Airport.

“As the nation’s border security agency, Customs and Border Protection is charged with enforcing hundreds of laws and regulations at our nation’s international ports of entry,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore, the agency’s operational commander in the mid-Atlantic region.  “CBP plays a critical role in helping to keep our communities safe, and it’s a responsibility that we take very seriously.”

Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP’s Travel section to learn more about the CBP admissions process and rules governing travel to and from the U.S.

CBP’s Office of Field Operations

Almost a million times each day, CBP officers welcome international travelers into the U.S.  In screening both foreign visitors and returning U.S. citizens, CBP uses a variety of techniques to intercept narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products, and to assure that global tourism remains safe and strong. 

On a typical day, CBP seizes $289,609 in undeclared or illicit currency along our nation’s borders.  Learn more about what CBP did during "A Typical Day" in 2016.

CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations.  Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021