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Dulles CBP Seizes more than $29k in Unreported Currency from Ghana-bound Cousins

Release Date: 
August 15, 2017

Seven Currency Seizures since July 1 Nets more than $180k

STERLING, Va., — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than $29,000 from cousins traveling to Ghana Monday at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Since July 1, CBP officers at Dulles have recorded seven unreported currency seizures that totaled $180,819.

Seized currency.
Seized currency

In the latest incident, CBP officers seized $29,019 from two cousins who initially reported they possessed $9,115.  During an examination, CBP officers discovered $615 in one man’s wallet and an additional $18,900 in his carry-on bag. Officers then discovered $8,504 inside a pair of shorts the other man wore under his pants, and $1,000 in a checked bag.

CBP officers permitted the two Ghanaians numerous opportunities to truthfully report, both verbally and in writing, their total currency, before officers discovered the unreported currency.

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.

“We want travelers to feel comfortable carrying as much currency and other monetary instruments as they wish into and out of the United States, but we encourage travelers to honestly report all their currency to Customs and Border Protection officers during inspection,” said Elmer Jarava, CBP Acting Port Director for the Area Port of Washington Dulles.  “We hope that these currency seizures send a strong message about the consequences of violating U.S. currency reporting laws.”

Consequences for violating federal currency reporting requirements are severe. CBP may seize the violator’s currency and file criminal charges.

CBP provided $2,019 to the men as a humanitarian release so that they may continue their travel.

The previous CBP currency seizures at Dulles included more than $77,000 in three seizures, more than $48,000 in two seizures and a $25,000 currency seizure.

“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.

The Privacy Act prohibits releasing the travelers’ names since they were not criminally charged.

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.

Learn more about CBP at CBP.gov.

Last modified: 
August 16, 2017