CBP seizes $351k of 道具专用 money from China.

Seized 道具专用 money from China., source: CBP.gov

I previously posted on this blog back on May 23rd about seizure of $252k in cash that was marked in red Chinese letters with the words道具专用. Which is loosely translated as “for prop use only”. Earlier this week, CBP seized an additional $351,000 in prop currency from a shipment from Shanghai, China and headed to a residence in Milwaukee.

Upon further examination, Customs seized the counterfeit currency, noting the bills all were marked with the same serial number, lack of red and blue fibers and missing the embeded watermark. Customs also noted on the back were Chinese letters on back of bills in red.

CBP only posted the image above so I do not know for sure what Chinese characters were on the back, but the words were probably the standard 道具专用, meaning “for prop use only”. While labeled for prop use only (such as in movies), CBP considers these “foreign currency notes” as counterfeit and will destroy them. One such reason is because the prop money has been successful used in all major cities at multiple retailers.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs, contact customs seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

$252,000 in “prop currency/money” seized by Customs.

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Image of seized bundles of “prop money”, source: CBP.gov

In Mid-May, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Ohio seized counterfeit $100 bills totaling over $252,000. The shipment was from China to an address in Oklahoma. The package was selected for examination and an x-ray of the package showed what appears to typically be bundled currency.

Upon further inspection, CBP officers found $252,300 in cash (photo above is the actual seized currency). The currency was determined to be fake because it was printed on regular paper and had the same serial number for every bill. Additionally, on the back of the currency were the words in simplified Chinese: 道具专用 (see photo below of the actual image released by Customs).

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Image of simplified Chinese writing on the back of the $100 bill, source: CBP.gov

As an aside – simplified Chinese is the writing used in mainland China. Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan all use the traditional form of writing Chinese characters.

The CBP media release explained the Chinese words as foreign writing and did not translate the words in Chinese. The words in Chinese roughly translate to “for prop use only”.

CBP says these notes are “Foreign Writing Notes” and are against Federal law and considered contraband. Sometimes they are also referred to as “motion picture, foreign writing notes”. While the currency is noted for “prop use only”, the currency is seized as the foreign notes are frequently passed off as real currency.

Just my thoughts:

  1. My guess is the person in Oklahoma was going to use the fake money for a video or movie and purchased the play money through a China-based e-commerce portal.
  2. I have never held this kind of prop currency, but maybe the writing in Chinese is erasable? The Secret Service is concerned about the importation of foreign writing notes, and probably has seen many people pass off these notes as real – perhaps the writing in Chinese can be removed?
  3. The CBP media release did not say this importation was referred to the Secret Service or HSI, CBP probably will seize the currency, issue a seizure notice. Without a referral to HSI, CBP has probably determined there was no criminal activity on the part of the importer of record in Oklahoma.

If you have had funny money, or any other of your goods seized by Customs – contact David Hsu if you have any questions – you can call/text 832-896-6288 or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP seizes unreported currency from South Korea.

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Image of seized currency, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized $11,097 in reported currency from a passenger who arrived from South Korea to Washington Dulles International airport.

According to the media release, the passenger reported she was carrying $500. As usual, CBP officers will explain the reporting requirements. After explaining the requirements to her, she changed her declaration to $6,000. The media release doesn’t mention it – but she likely filled out the FinCen 105 form.

And as usual, after you sign the FinCen 105 form, CBP will search everything – in this instance, CBP discovered $11,097 in her baggage. CBP seized all her currency and did not give her any back for humanitarian reasons.

The reason she did not get anything back was likely because she was arriving home – CBP usually gives some money back for humanitarian reasons if the traveler is going out of the country.

If CBP has seized your currency, contact experienced currency seizure attorney David Hsu at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com or phone/text to: 832-896-6288.

Puerto Rico seizes counterfeit goods and currency.

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Counterfeit Nike shoe, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP Officers and Import Specialist seized over 130 shipments of counterfeit goods in January – including stacks of counterfeit currency.

As usual, the counterfeit goods included watches, jewelry, bags, clothing and sunglasses featuring brands such as Nike, Pandora, LV, Gucci, D&G, Rolex, Adidas and Cartier. If authentic, the total value of the entire seized shipments is $4.2 million. An image of the seized counterfeit Nike shoes is pictured above.

The currency seizure involved a  mail package from China labeled as “cards”, but upon inspection, CBP officers found the package contained counterfeit $100 bills.

If you are an importer and have had your shipments seized, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Dulles CBP officers seize $32,000 in unreported currency.

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Seized currency from Ghana bound traveler, source: CBP.gov

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: attorney.dave@yahoo.com or official work address: dh@gjatradelaw.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.

Treasury Department no longer designates China a currency manipulator.

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Two days prior to signing Phase One of the US/China trade deal, the Treasury Department announced they were removing China’s designation as a currency manipulator.

The Trump administration designated China as a currency manipulator in August 2019 when Trump accused China of intentionally weakening their currency to make their goods cheaper for sale overseas in light of the then-new tariffs.

Since August, the Treasury Department claims China has made promises to stop devaluation and to promote transparency and accountability.

While the August 2019 label as a currency manipulator received bipartisan agreement, this new move has received criticism from Democrat Senators who argue the label of “currency manipulator” should not be used as a bargaining tool in the ongoing US/China trade war.

As the signing date of Phase One approaches, I expect the Trump administration to release further details in multiple parts.

Feel free to contact David Hsu directly by phone/text at 832-896-6288 to discuss your China, trade and import/export related issues or send an email to attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com

Customs seizes $21,000 in unreported currency.

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Image of seized currency, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers seized $21,255 in unreported currency from traveler headed to Pakistan departing from Washington Dulles International Airport.

The passenger was headed to Pakistan through Turkey and was stopped for further inspection prior to boarding the plane. The traveler reported she had $6,000 and also told Customs officials she understood the currency reporting requirements.

Most of the time, Customs will make a traveler sign the FinCen 105 form before conducting a more detailed inspection.

After the traveler declared she had $6,000, a subsequent search by officers revealed she was carrying a combined $21,255. Customs returned her $255 for “humanitarian purposes” and seized $21,000 for violation of currency reporting requirements.

Depending on the amount seized, Customs may or may not return some money to the traveler for “humanitarian purposes” and the amount is discretionary.

Customs may or may not issue civil and criminal penalties for violation US currency requirements – in this instance, HSI was not involved so I do not believe Customs will pursue any criminal penalties.

If you have had your hard-earned currency seized by Customs, call experienced currency seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com. There are certain deadlines that must be met to ensure your seized currency is not forfeited.

Customs seizes $25,000 in unreported currency.

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Photo by David McBee on Pexels.com

According to a Customs media release, CBP officers at Dulles International Airport seized $25,151 in unreported currency from a U.S. couple traveling to Accra, Ghana.

As you are aware, all travelers must report all currency more than $10,000 to a CBP officer when entering or leaving the country. 

Here are the other currency reporting requirements:

-There is no limit how much money you can bring into or out of the US.

-However, if you or people you are traveling with have more than $10,000 in currency or negotiable monetary instruments, you must fill out a “Report of International Transportation of Currency and Monetary Instruments” FinCEN 105 (former CF 4790).

-If you are traveling with a family, then count everyone, everyone in your traveling party.

-You can obtain a FinCen 105 form before traveling or when going through CBP. If you have questions, CBP officers can assist you.

Do you have a question about the CBP currency reporting requirements? Contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

$72,000 in undeclared currency seized from traveler.

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According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) press release, CBP officers at Orlando International Airport (MCO) seized over $72,000 in currency from a traveler who failed to declare the entire amount of the currency they were carrying.

The traveler initially said they were only in possession of $15,000.00. CBP officers then presented the traveler with a Fincen form in which the traveler wrote the amount of $51,000. After further inspection, CBP officers discovered additional bundles of cash inside a backpack – leading to a seizure of $72,000 in currency.

If you are ever presented with a Treasury Department Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) form, you must write down the accurate amount of currency you are carrying (including checks, money orders, foreign currency and other monetary instruments).

Violations of the reporting requirements typically lead to a seizure of the currency and may lead to involvement by HSI – resulting in your arrest. If you have had your currency seized by CBP, contact experienced currency seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

China currency move believed to be in response to tariff threat.

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According to the Washington Post, China let the exchange rate for the yuan to fall below seven per dollar. A weak Chinese currency has the effect of increasing the country’s exports, hurting foreign competitors.

The WP further quotes People’s Bank of China blaming the decline on “trade protectionism,” a reference to the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China. The remainder of the article lists the various markets world wide and the subsequent decline since China’s announcement.

As previously blogged, China will take other measures in response to the trade war besides imposing their own duties on US imports. China has currently imposed duties covering 110 billion US goods, and can only impose an additional duty on $50 billion before China covers all of the $160 billion in US goods last year.