Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized nearly $21,000 of unreported currency Friday at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).
A Nigerian couple, who arrived on a flight from London, reported to CBP officers that they possessed $15,000 in currency. Officers discovered an additional $5,850 in the woman’s purse.
Officers seized $20,850 and then released $4,990 to the couple as humanitarian relief. Officers released the couple to continue their visit.
It is perfectly legal to carry large sums of currency in or out of the United States. However, federal law requires that travelers who possess $10,000 or more in currency or other monetary instruments must report it all to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the country.
“Customs and Border Protection officers are highly trained to uncover illicit activity and they are committed to enforcing the laws of the United States,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore. “Unreported currency often can be proceeds from alleged illicit activity, or used to fund transnational criminal organizations and I commend our officers on this interception”.