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CBP officers seize $101,000 in unreported currency

U.S. Customs seizes over $100,000 in unreported currency
U.S. Customs seizes over $100,000 in unreported currency(U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
Published: May. 16, 2021 at 12:46 PM MST|Updated: May. 16, 2021 at 12:47 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly $102,000 from a French citizen and Cameroon resident on Saturday, May 15, at Washington Dulles International Airport.

A CBP officer referred the man, whose name is not being released because he was not criminally charged, to a secondary examination after the man arrived on a flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Officers say the traveler submitted an inaccurate travel authorization and declared that he possessed agriculture products. Additionally, the man declared that he possessed $2,000.

The traveler then admitted that he had $2,300 before CBP officers initiated a secondary baggage examination. Officers discovered a plastic bag that contained bundles of currency that the traveler admitted to being about $100,000. Officers verified the amount to be $101,995. The currency consisted of $100,050 in U.S. dollars and 1,600 Euros, which converted to $1,945 U.S. dollars.

CBP officers seized the unreported currency and returned the equivalent of $1,995 to the man for humanitarian purposes. Officers determined that the man was not eligible for admission to the United States as a Visa Waiver Program violator and placed him on the next flight to Ethiopia.

CBP agriculture specialists examined the man’s baggage and discovered prohibited plums, eru and mangos, which they detained and destroyed.

“Customs and Border Protection officers are always on the alert for travelers who deliberately violate our nation’s currency reporting laws and carry large amounts of unreported currency to or from the United States,” said Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “We have observed that bulk currency loads like this are often proceeds from illicit activities, including financial fraud and narcotics smuggling, and seizing unreported currency disrupts transnational criminal organizations.”

Although there is no limit to the amount of money that travelers may carry when crossing U.S. borders, federal law [31 U.S.C. 5316] requires that travelers report currency or monetary instruments in excess of $10,000 to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the United States. Read more about currency reporting requirements.

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