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CBP seize nearly $18,000 from Virginia woman at Dulles Airport

A Midlothian, Va. woman is out nearly $18,000 after Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport seized her money Dec. 6 after she violated federal currency reporting regulations.

The passenger, who was boarding a flight to Paris, declared possessing $8,000. She was escorted to a private area where officers discovered $1,896 in U.S. currency and $15,850 in traveler’s checks in her carry-on bags. The final count was $17,746.

There is no limit to how much money travelers can import or export; however federal law requires travelers to report to CBP amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.

CBP officers seized the $17,746 and advised the traveler how to petition for the return of her seized money.

“Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of having their currency seized, and may potentially face criminal charges,” Christopher Hess, CBP port director for the Port of Washington said in a prepared statement. “The traveler was given the opportunity to truthfully report her currency. The easiest way to hold on to your money is to report it.”

In addition to narcotics interdiction, CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture products or other illicit items.

The Privacy Act prohibits releasing the traveler’s name since she was not criminally charged.

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