Image of the seized currency, source: CBP media release website.
According to a CBP media release last Friday, CBP Officers seized approximately $28,000 in unreported currency from travelers bound for Ghana.
CBP was alerted to a women’s carry one by canine where she reported to CBP officers she was carrying $8,000. A subsequent search found $11,500 in her carry-on. The woman then admitted she was traveling with 4 other passengers and they were carrying currency for her. After searching the other four passengers, CBP officers seized an additional $16,354 for a total of $27,854. According to the CBP media release, $154 was returned to the traveler for humanitarian relief and the five travelers were released.
Besides this seizure, CBP also reported seizure of $15,415 in unreported currency from another Ghana-bound traveler.
What is humanitarian relief?
It’s a sum of money Customs can release to people who have had their currency seized. The amount varies, but it is to cover travel expenses.
Is it $10,000 per person or per family?
There is some confusion about the $10,000 requirement. Many believe it is per person, however, it is per family/group. For example, you can’t give each of your kids $10,000 to avoid the reporting requirement. In this media release, the lady admitted to asking her friends to carry the cash for her – known to Customs as “structuring” to avoid reporting requirements.
Do I have to pay any money if I carry more than $10,000 of currency with me?
No, Customs does not charge you a fee to carry more than $10,000. You can carry any amount you want as long as it is reported.
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