Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Philadelphia CBP Officers Seize Nearly $53k in Underreported Currency

Philadelphia – Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly $53,000 from a Las Vegas-bound Israeli man Sunday after the man violated federal currency reporting regulations.

The man, who was not arrested, declared possessing only $5,000, but allegedly showed the CBP officer a wallet with visibly more currency than $5,000. During the secondary inspection, CBP officers discovered four additional bundles of U.S. currency in the man’s luggage. Total amount of currency was $53,181 in U.S. dollars. CBP seized $52,681 and returned $500 to the man for humanitarian purposes.

There is no limit to how much currency travelers can import or export; however federal law requires travelers to declare amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.

“When it comes to carrying currency, we only ask that passengers simply be honest with us and make truthfully declarations,” said Allan Martocci, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “There are serious consequences for failing to comply with federal currency reporting requirements, as this passenger has learned.”

Before inspecting the man’s luggage, CBP officers explained the federal currency reporting requirement and had the passenger read the Hebrew-language CBP declaration form. The passenger acknowledged understanding the regulation and wrote on the declaration form that he possessed $13,000.

CBP officers provided the man with information on how to petition for the return of the seized currency, and released him to continue his trip.

The passenger arrived from Tel Aviv, Israel around 6 a.m. Sunday.

CBP officers routinely conduct random inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts currency, narcotics, weapons, prohibited agriculture products or other illicit items.

Travelers are encouraged visit CBP’s Travel website to learn rules governing travel to and from the U.S.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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