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U.S Customs seizes $143,000 from three Ghanaians

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have indicated that they will not release the names of the travellers because none of them was criminally charged.

Two of the men were leaving for Ghana and one was arriving from Ghana.

CBP officers have indicated that they will not release the names of the travellers because none of them was criminally charged.

A press statement said that they were caught during outbound inspection operations Sunday.

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“CBP officers seized $100,111 from a man destined for Accra, Ghana, who initially claimed that he possessed $2,000.  CBP officers discovered $10,000 in each of 10 bank envelopes in the man’s backpack.”

“Earlier Sunday, CBP officers seized $20,031 from a man who arrived from Ghana who initially reported that he possessed $10,000.  During an inspection, CBP officers discovered an additional $10,000 wrapped in a t-shirt in the man’s carry-on bag, plus another $31 in loose pocket currency,” it added.

The statement further indicated that “on Saturday, CBP officers seized $23,826 from a man bound for Ghana after a currency detector dog alerted to his carry-on bag.  The man initially reported that he possessed $5,000.  A baggage exam revealed $23,826 in a suit jacket and a camera bag.”

Even though travellers are allowed to carry as much currency as they wish in and out of the United States the federal law requires that the carrier must report all U.S. and foreign monetary instruments totalling $10,000 or greater on a U.S. Treasury Department financial form.  None of the currency is taxed.

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CBP Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington Dulles, Daniel Mattina said: “Customs and Border Protection encourages travellers to be completely honest when reporting all their currency during an inspection with a CBP officer, or be prepared to face severe consequences.”

“The best way for travellers to hold onto their currency is to fully comply with our nation’s currency reporting laws.”

Following each currency seizure, CBP officers provided a humanitarian monetary release of $1,111 to the man who departed the U.S. on Sunday, $826 to the man who departed on Saturday, and $831 to the man who arrived at the U.S. on Sunday.  CBP released all three men to continue to travel.

“CBP officers not only ensure that inbound travelers and cargo comply with U.S. laws and regulations, but they also conduct outbound examinations to safeguard the revenue of the U.S.  These inspections protect against unreported exportations of bulk U.S. currency, which often can be proceeds from alleged illicit activity,” said Casey Owen Durst, Director, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore “These significant currency seizures are a direct reflection of our continuing commitment to enforcing federal currency reporting requirements.”

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Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP’s Travel section to learn more about the CBP admissions process and rules governing travel to and from the U.S.

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