US Customs seize $15k in unreported currency from Ghana-bound American traveler

File photo: Traveler with a bag on the speedwalk

A man [name withheld] traveling to Ghana had his $15,000 seized from him over his failure to declare it to Customs.

US laws have it that travelers to and from the Washington Dulles International Airport must truthfully report all currency they possess to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during inspection.

While working a departure gate at Dulles airport, a CBP currency detector dog alerted to a carry-on bag that a U.S. citizen man carried. Officers explained the currency reporting requirements to the man and the man reported verbally and in writing that he possessed $8,000. An examination revealed that the man possessed $15,415. Officers seized the currency and returned $115 to the man as a humanitarian release, and then released the traveler.

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.”

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,” it said on its website.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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