US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Dulles CBP Seizes Nearly $22k in Unreported Currency from Ghana-bound Couple

Release Date: 
June 14, 2019

Third Currency Seizure from Ghana-Bound travelers in two weeks

STERLING, Virginia — Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized $21,920 in unreported currency from a Ghana-bound couple at Washington Dulles International Airport Wednesday.

The couple verbally and in writing told CBP officers that they possessed $10,000. Officers discovered several envelopes in the woman’s carry-on bag that contained a combined $21,920. Officers seized the currency for violating federal currency reporting requirements, then remitted $920 as humanitarian relief and released the couple.

CBP officer inspecting a traveler's backpack.
CBP officer inspecting a traveler's

It is perfectly legal to carry large sums of currency in or out of the United States. However, federal law requires that travelers who possess $10,000 or more in currency or other monetary instruments must report it all to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the country.

“Customs and Border Protection officers know that concealed bulk currency is oftentimes proceeds from alleged illicit activity and it may be used to fund transnational criminal organizations,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore. “CBP remains committed to enforcing all of our nation’s laws, including federal currency reporting laws, at our nation’s international ports of entry.”

CBP officers seized a combined $43,269 from two groups of Ghana-bound travelers May 29 and May 30. Read about those seizures here and here.

CBP recently issued travel tips for international travel through Washington Dulles International Airport. Chiefly among those tips is for travelers to truthfully report all currency they possess to a CBP officer during inspection.

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.

CBP uses a variety of techniques to intercept narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products, and to assure that global tourism remains safe and strong. On a typical day, CBP seizes an average of about $290,000 in unreported or illicit currency along our nation’s borders. Learn more about what CBP accomplishes during "A Typical Day."

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

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

Last modified: 
June 14, 2019