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Dulles CBP Seizes Nearly $92k in Unreported Currency from Foreign-Bound Travelers

Release Date: 
July 6, 2018

STERLING, Va., — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly $91,819 during five recent violations of federal reporting laws at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Travelers may carry as much currency as they wish into and out of the United States.  None of the currency is taxed.  Federal law requires that travelers who possess $10,000 or more in currency or monetary instruments must report it to a CBP officer and complete a U.S. Treasury Department financial form.

Consequences for violating U.S. currency laws are severe: from loss of all unreported currency to potential criminal charges, as illustrated by the following three cases:

  • CBP officers seized $18,171 in U.S. dollars and foreign currency from a family boarding a flight to Germany Thursday.  The family reported $9,500.  Officers discovered the additional currency during an examination.  Officers released 700 Euros ($819 USD conversion) and 3,170 Shekels ($871 USD conversion) to the family for humanitarian purposes and released the family.
  • CBP officers seized $22,449 in U.S. dollars and foreign currency from a man boarding a flight to Austria Wednesday.  The man reported 15,000 Euros.  Officers discovered an additional $4,957 in U.S. dollars on the man’s body and in a carry-on bag. Officers released 500 Euros to the man for humanitarian purposes and released him.
  • CBP officers seized $15,650 in U.S. dollars from a woman boarding a flight to Austria Tuesday.  The woman reported $9,000.  Officers discovered additional currency within a purse and a carry-on bag.  Officers released $650 to the woman for humanitarian purposes and released her.
  • CBP officers seized $13,164 in U.S. dollars from two women boarding a flight to United Arab Emirates Sunday.  The women reported $9,500.  Officers discovered additional currency in a purse and a carry-on bag.  Officers released $964 to the women for humanitarian purposes and released the women.
  • CBP officers seized $22,385 in U.S. dollars from a family boarding a flight to Ghana June 19.  The family – husband, wife and wife’s sister – reported $5,000 and $7,000.  Officers discovered additional currency in envelopes on all three persons that the man claimed to be his.  Officers released $385 to the family for humanitarian purposes and released the family.

In each case, CBP officers read the federal reporting requirements to the travelers and solicited their understanding of the law.  Officers afforded the travelers multiple opportunities to truthfully report all currency they possessed, verbally and by writing their currency declaration on the form describing currency reporting laws.

Travelers in these cases were either citizens of the U.S., Jordan, Pakistan, or Ghana.  None was arrested.

“Customs and Border Protection outbound inspections protect against unreported exportations of bulk U.S. currency, which often can be proceeds from alleged illicit activity, or that fund transnational criminal organizations,” said Casey Durst, Director, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore.  “These currency seizures are a direct reflection of CBP’s continuing commitment to enforcing all U.S. laws, including federal currency reporting laws, at our nation’s international ports of entry.”

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 $265,205 in undeclared or illicit currency along our nation’s borders.  Learn more about what CBP did during "A Typical Day" in 2017.

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: 
July 6, 2018