Refusing to properly report money is risky, seizure follows

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the San Antonio International Airport seized over $34,000 from travelers arriving from Mexico.

On separate occasions, two pairs of travelers arrived to San Antonio claiming to travel alone.  All were referred to secondary to further inspection.  After CBP officers questioned the travelers, one of each pair admitted to carrying money for their counterpart.  This activity is considered structuring of currency and is not legal.

“Customs and Border Protection officers are dedicated employees and work diligently to carry out the agency’s mission,” said San Antonio Port Director Lois Hunter.  “In these cases, CBP officers relied on their experience and skills which ultimately led to the seizure of the structured funds.”

CBP seized $15,013 from one passenger and $19,642 from a different traveler for failure to properly report all currency.   Travelers report currency by completing FinCEN Form 105 and giving it to a CBP officer.  Currency is not limited to U.S. currency, but includes all negotiable monetary instruments such as Traveler’s Checks, money orders and securities.  A complete list of negotiable monetary instruments is available on FinCEN Form 105.

On a typical day in 2016, CBP seized $289,609 in undeclared or illicit currency.   Travelers may bring into or take out of the country as much money as they wish; however, if it is more than $10,000 it must be reported to CBP.  The penalties for non-compliance includes the total seizure of the unreported money.