U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Dulles Airport have seized $77,586 from travelers allegedly violating federal currency reporting regulations in recent weeks.
On Saturday, $20,211 were confiscated from an Ethiopia-bound couple who had first reported carrying $8,000, and then $11,600. A CBP currency canine alerted and CBP officers discovered additional currency in envelopes in a carry-on bag and purse, and in wallets each possessed.
On July 27, $33,796 were seized from a Burundi woman who arrived on a flight from Ghana. She reported $9,000, but CBP officers discovered $32,765, 483 Ghanaian Cedi and 50 UAE Dirhams for a total equivalent of $33,796.
On July 24, $23,579 was seized from a mother and son bound for Sudan. They verbally reported “less than $10,000,” and then wrote down $9,800. CBP officers discovered an additional $4,000 in a laptop case and multiple envelopes in a purse that contained a combined $10,579 for a total count of $23,579.
Travelers may carry as much currency as they wish into and out of the United States. Federal law requires travelers 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 officer during inspection,” stated Wayne Biondi, CBP 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 include seizure of the violator’s currency and criminal charges, although none of these travelers was criminally charged. Instead, CBP provided them with a humanitarian monetary release so that they could continue their travel.
CBP officers have recorded several other currency seizures recently at Dulles, including more than $48,000 in two seizures and a $25,000 currency seizure during July.