Sterling, Va. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) seized $29,000 Monday from a Ghanaian woman for violating federal currency reporting regulations.
The passenger, who arrived to Dulles from London, declared possessing less than $10,000. While examining her bags, CBP officers discovered a large sum of U.S. currency in a zippered compartment of her handbag. The final count was $29,000.
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 seized the $29,000 and advised the traveler how to petition for the return of her 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 Christopher Hess, CBP port director for the Port of Washington. “The traveler was given the opportunity to truthfully report her 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.
Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP’s Travel website to learn rules governing travel to and from the U.S.
The Privacy Act prohibits releasing the traveler’s name since she was not criminally charged.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection 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.