CBP Seizes $42,000 in Unreported Currency from Ghana-bound Man

STERLING, Va., — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized more than $42,000 from a man boarding a flight to Ghana Tuesday at Washington Dulles International Airport.

The man, who CBP has not named because he was not criminally charged, initially reported to officers that he possessed $8,000. After officers advised the man of U.S. currency reporting regulations, the man wrote that he possessed $15,000 and he completed a financial reporting form.

A CBP currency detector dog then alerted to bulk currency in the man’s carry-on baggage. The man then produced $2,480 in U.S. currency and 240 Euros from his jacket, $10,216 from his backpack, and $710 from his front pants pocket.

CBP officers then discovered a package that contained $8,000, an envelope that contained $8,000, and an additional $13,200 inside a pouch, all concealed inside his backpack. The total amount of currency the man possessed equaled $42,606 in U.S. dollars and 240 Euros.

Travelers may carry as much currency as they wish into and out of the United States. Federal law requires that travelers must 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.

“Customs and Border Protection encourages travelers to be completely honest when reporting all their currency during an inspection with a CBP officer, or be prepared to face severe consequences,” said Elmer Jarava, CBP Acting Port Director for the Area Port of Washington Dulles. “The best way for travelers to hold onto their currency is to fully comply with our nation’s currency reporting laws.”

Following the currency seizure, CBP officers returned $406 in U.S. currency and 240 Euros to the man and released him to continue his journey.

This is the second significant currency seizure from a Ghana-bound traveler in two months.  On September 23, CBP officers seized $150,228 in unreported currency at Washington Dulles International Airport.

“As the nation’s border security agency, Customs and Border Protection is charged with enforcing hundreds of laws and regulations at our nation’s international ports of entry,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore, the agency’s operational commander in the mid-Atlantic region.  “CBP plays a critical role in helping to keep our communities safe, and it’s a responsibility that we take very seriously.”

SOURCE: U.S. Customs and Border Protection