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Baltimore Customs Seizes More Than $11,000 on Private Aircraft

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have seized more than $11,000 in unreported currency from a Nigerian man who was departing the United States aboard a private aircraft. In compliance with privacy laws, the traveler’s name has not been released because he was not charged with a crime.

According to the official report, CBP officers flagged the man for a compliance examination after discovering he had previous federal currency reporting violations. The Nigerian man reportedly failed to fill out a financial reporting form and declare the cash he was carrying as required by federal law. CBP officers found and seized $11,647 in U.S. dollars, Euros, and British pounds. The traveler was released to continue his trip once the seizure was completed.

“Chartering a private flight does not alleviate travelers from the responsibility of complying with applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including federal currency reporting requirements,” said Dianna Bowman, CBP Area Port Director for the Area Port of Baltimore, in a statement. “This seizure should remind all travelers that Customs and Border Protection border security authority covers all departing and arriving international travelers, whether on commercial or private aircraft. It is one way in which CBP contributes to our nation’s security.”

Travelers are allowed to carry as much currency as they want into or out of the U.S. as long as they report monies valued at $10,000 or greater on a U.S. Treasury Department financial form. The government does not tax the currency.

“As the nation’s border security agency, Customs and Border Protection is charged with enforcing hundreds of laws and regulations at our nation’s international ports of entry,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore.” CBP plays a critical role in helping to keep our communities safe, and it’s a responsibility that we take very seriously.”

CBP reportedly seizes almost $290,000 in undeclared currency on a typical day at various ports of entry. The agency screens millions of travelers entering the U.S. and uses a variety of techniques to intercept unreported cash, weapons, narcotics, and other illicit products.

Any property can be seized by the government if it can be connected to a crime. This includes cars, airplanes, boats, bank accounts, cash, homes, or businesses. The first thing to do once your property is seized is to hire an attorney experienced with forfeiture cases. These types of cases can take anywhere from months to years to resolve, and a misstep by an inexperienced attorney can ruin your chances of recovering your property.

Has your money been seized by U.S. customs at an airport?

If your money has been seized by customs or any other government agency, then you need to hire an attorney. Contact us to set up a free initial consultation with one of our experienced civil forfeiture defense attorneys.

Source: Baltimore CBP Seizes Unreported Currency from Nigerian Man on Departing Private Aircraft.pdf

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