(CBP – STERLING, Va.) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized $68,000 in unreported currency from a Nigeria-bound family at Washington Dulles International Airport today.

There is no limit to how much currency or other monetary instruments travelers may bring to or take out of the United States. However, federal law [31 USC 5316] requires travelers to report all currency of $10,000 or greater to a CBP officer and complete U.S. Treasury Department Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments [FINCEN 105]. Read more about currency reporting requirements.

CBP officers conducted outbound inspections of passengers departing on a flight to Cairo, Egypt, when they encountered the family. Officers explained U.S. currency reporting laws and asked the family how much currency they had in their possession. The father reported that the family possessed $10,000 and signed the FINCEN 105 form formally reporting that amount.

During a subsequent inspection of the family’s carryon bags, CBP officers discovered currency in multiple envelopes, in addition to the currency that the family presented to the officers. The total currency amounted to $68,216.

Officers seized the currency and remitted $216 to the family as a humanitarian release. CBP officers released the travelers to continue their journey.

“Seizing a traveler’s currency is a very serious consequence, but one that can easily be avoided just by the traveler truthfully reporting to a Customs and Border Protection officer all of the currency they are taking with them,” said Marc E. Calixte, Area Port Director for CBP’s Area Port of Washington, D.C.

Travelers who fail to truthfully report all of their currency risk severe consequences, including missing their flight and interrupting vacation plans, to seeing all their currency seized by a CBP officer, to facing potential criminal prosecution for bulk currency smuggling.

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