According to a Customs media release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Dulles seized currency from two different travelers as they left the US.
In the first instance, a Cameroon man boarding a flight to Belgium was detained by CBP. The traveler first reported he had $26,000 in cash but a subsequent search of the traveler’s backpack and carry-on revealed a combined $35,688 dollars. CBP is allowed to return some of the seized money for “humanitarian purpose” and in this instance returned $1,688 to the traveler.
In the second seizure, CBP seized $17,122 from a family headed to Sudan. The family first reported they had $11,000 until a subsequent search found $16,500. Oddly, CBP only released $621.00 to the family whereas they returned $1,688 to the lone traveler in the first instance.
CBP allows you to carry as much cash or monetary instruments – the only caveat being the entire amount must be declared. Many travelers do not know, but you would have to declare this amount regardless of whether you are leaving or entering the US or even if you are transiting through the airport.
If you are ever asked by CBP how much cash or monetary instruments – it is best to report and declare everything. Be sure to write the correct amount if presented with a “FinCen” form.
If you or anyone you know has had currency seized at the airport – contact experienced currency seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.