SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized over $74,500 in unreported currency in three separate incidents last weekend.
In the first incident, after arrival at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport from St. Thomas on October 2, 2015, a canine alerted to a passenger’s belongings. CBP officers interviewed him and his traveling companion. An inspection revealed over $15,000 of unreported currency, on their person and hidden within a suitcase. The currency was seized.
That same day, CBP officers were conducting outbound inspection on a flight destined to the Dominican Republic and interviewed three passengers after a canine alerted to their luggage. During inspection, $29,700 of unreported currency was discovered, which they later claimed someone paid them to transport to the Dominican Republic. The money was seized.
On another incident, a passenger arriving at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport from Bogota, Colombia on October 4 was selected for CBP inspection. Currency reporting requirements were explained multiple times and the passenger gave conflicting amounts, finally claiming he was carrying $20,000. Currency verification revealed a total of $29,280 hidden in separate places on his belongings. The currency was seized.
There is no limit to how much currency travelers or persons can import or export; however federal law requires that it be reported to CBP if the amount equals or exceeds $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.
The currency was seized under bulk cash smuggling laws. Failure to report may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.
“Transportation of currency is not illegal. However, if carrying more than $10,000 through our borders, the currency must be reported to CBP,” said Juan Hurtado, San Juan Area Port Director. “Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of having their currency seized, and may potentially face criminal charges.”
If your currency has been seized by U.S. Customs when you were arriving or leaving the U.S. the Law Office of Rose H. Robbins, J.D. can help you petition for the return of your money. We have over 25 years of experience in filing petitions with US Customs & Border Protection seeking the return of seized currency.
We handle cases of currency seizures at all international airports and border crossings. Please contact us by telephone at: (954) 946-8130 OR by submitting the simple form below to set up a free consultation to see if we may be of assistance to you in the return of your seized currency.