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Ethiopia: Customs Seizes More Than $60K from Travelers at Dulles Airport

STERLING, Va. — Five travelers learned the value of truthfully reporting all currency they possessed to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers during two currency seizures totaling $60,806 at Washington Dulles International Airport this week.

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There is no limit to how much currency travelers can import or export; however, federal law requires travelers to report amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.  Consequences for failing to comply with federal currency reporting requirements include seizure of all currency, a mitigated seizure penalty, and potential criminal charges.“These seizures illustrate the importance of travelers complying with all U.S. laws during their Customs and Border Protection arrivals inspection, and the consequences for violating our nation’s laws and regulations,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Washington Dulles.

CBP officers seized $44,315 from a U.S. woman and her father who were departing for Ethiopia Wednesday.  The pair reported verbally and in writing that they possessed $10,000. CBP officers then discovered a bank envelop with an additional $20,000 in the woman’s carry-on bag, and $14,315 in the man’s jacket.  CBP officers seized all currency, and then returned $3,000 for humanitarian relief.

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On Monday, CBP officers seized $16,491 from three Vietnam nationals who are U.S. lawful permanent residents. The three were departing to Vietnam through Korea.  The trio reported verbally and in writing that they possessed $9,000.  The trio produced currency that totaled $9,526. CBP officers then discovered an additional $6,965 in three bank envelopes and a wallet.  CBP seized all $16,491, and then returned $591 for humanitarian relief.

None of the travelers was criminally charged.  CBP officers released all travelers to continue their journey.

“Customs and Border Protection is our nation’s border security agency, and currency reporting is one of hundreds of laws that CBP officers enforce every day at our nation’s 328 ports of entry,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore, the agency’s operational commander in the mid-Atlantic region.

CBP Office of Field Operations routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, currency, prohibited agriculture products, and other illicit items at our nation’s 328 international ports of entry.

On a typical day, CBP seizes $289,609 in undeclared or illicit currency along our nation’s borders. Learn more about what CBP’s accomplishes in “A Typical Day.”

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

Learn how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders at international Ports of Entry.

The Privacy Act prohibits releasing the travelers’ names since they were not criminally charged.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

NBC 4 – More than $60,000 was seized at Washington Dulles International Airport this week after travelers failed to accurately report how much money they were carrying, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Two travelers to Ethiopia and three travelers to Vietnam were found to be carrying more money than they said they were carrying. There is no limit to how much currency travelers can import or export. However, federal law requires travelers to report amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.

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The travelers to Ethiopia said they were carrying $10,000, but Customs and Border Protection officials discovered another $20,000 in a carry-on bag and $14,315 in the man’s jacket. All of the currency was seized, but $3,000 was returned for humanitarian relief.

On a different day, three Vietnam nationals, who are U.S. lawful permanent residents, were traveling to Vietnam through South Korea. They said they had $9,000 but produced $9,526 when asked. Officials also found an additional $6,965 in three bank envelops and a wallet, all of which was seized.

“These seizures illustrate the importance of travelers complying with all U.S. laws during their Customs and Border Protection arrivals inspection, and the consequences for violating our nation’s laws and regulations,” said Wayne Biondi, CBP port director for the area port of Washington Dulles.

None of the travelers were criminally charged, and all were permitted to continue on their journeys. On a typical day, CBP seizes $289,609 in undeclared or illicit currency along the U.S. borders.

Source: CBP Press Release

 

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