According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized $32,000 from a traveler headed to Ghana for violating currency reporting requirements.
While stopped by CBP, the US citizen and resident of Liberia made verbal representations he was in possession of $15,000. Additionally, the media release claims the traveler also declared in writing that he was only carrying $15,000. Not mentioned in the media release – but Customs will ask you to sign the Fincen form. If you are asked to sign this form, be sure to report ALL the currency you are carrying and include all the travelers in your group.
It is important to write the actual amount you have and anyone you are traveling with. Our clients have had their money seized for under reporting by just $8 dollars (yes, not a typo – eight dollars).
After the verbal and written declaration, CBP officers did a baggage examination and found a total of $33,040.
What’s not written in the article is the incredibly invasive nature of the baggage examination – CBP will take you and your luggage to a room and go through everything: unzip everything, check every pocket, check every sock, check every single item of clothing and open anything that can be opened. This will take a long time and you will miss your flight.
In the instant seizure, CBP returned $750 as a “humanitarian release” and allowed the traveler to continue on his way. The humanitarian release is a discretionary amount that does not have to be provided to the traveler and the amount returned can be nothing to several hundred. This humanitarian release of $750 is fairly generous for a single traveler –
If you have had your hard earned cash and currency seized by Customs, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text for immediate assistance – my number is 832-896-6288 or you can email me at my catch-all email: firstname.lastname@example.org or official work address: email@example.com.
If you have received a seizure notice, don’t delay, time is running from the date of the letter and you must take action.