Philadelphia – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly $27,000 from a Ghana couple Sunday at Philadelphia International Airport after they failed to truthfully report the total currency they possessed.
Neither was criminally charged.
The couple arrived from Germany and was referred to a secondary inspection. The man verbally reported possessing $6,000. After CBP officers explained federal currency reporting requirements, the man then wrote down that he possessed $16,000. During a baggage examination, CBP officers discovered multiple envelopes that contained U.S. currency, British pounds, Swiss francs and Ghana cedi. Officers verified the total currency as $27,431.30. Officers returned $500 to the couple for humanitarian purposes and seized the remaining $26,931.30. Officers released the couple to continue their visit.
There is no limit to how much currency that travelers can bring into, or take out of the United States. Travelers are required to formally report amounts of $10,000 or more in U.S. dollars, equivalent foreign currency, or other monetary instruments.
“CBP derives no great pleasure from seizing travelers’ currency. However, there are consequences for failing to comply with U.S. currency reporting laws,” said Tarance Drafts, acting CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “We hope that all travelers are honest with CBP officers and truthfully declare the total currency they possess or other things that they are bringing from overseas to the U.S.”
Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP’s Travel website to learn rules governing travel to and from the U.S., prohibited and admissible items and what they must declare to CBPupon their arrival.
CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international passengers and cargo, and searches for terrorist weapons, illicit narcotics, unreported currency, counterfeit merchandise, and prohibited agriculture and other products.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.