U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) at Washington Dulles International Airport seized $41,621 from an U.S. citizen for violating federal currency reporting regulations on April 19.
The man, who was boarding a flight to Ethiopia, was interviewed by CBP officers. During the interview CBP officers explained the currency and monetary instruments reporting requirements and asked him how much money he was travelling with. He declared verbally and in writing possessing $30,000. A subsequent search produced a total of $41,621. The $41,621 was seized with $621 being returned to him for humanitarian relief.
There is no limit to how much currency travelers can import or export; however federal law requires travelers to report to CBP amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.
CBP officers advised the traveler how to petition for the return of his seized currency.
"Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of having their currency seized, and may potentially face criminal charges," said Frances B. Garcia, CBP Assistant Port Director for the Port of Washington. "The traveler was given the opportunity to truthfully report his currency. The easiest way to hold on to your money is to report it."
In addition to narcotics interdiction, CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture products or other illicit items.