Feds seize nearly $4M in unreported cash from travelers
Romulus — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say its officers saw a 62% increase in the amount of unreported money seized in the last six months, with the vast majority taking place at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
Between Oct. 1 and March 31, Detroit Field Office officers seized $3,852,262 in unreported currency from international travelers, compared to $2,384,360 seized during the same time last year, federal officials said in a press release Tuesday.
"This increase clearly demonstrates our continued commitment, and that of our partners, to protect the United States from proceeds of criminal activity," said Devin Chamberlain, CBP's port director at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
Officials said they are trying to reduce bulk-cash smuggling, the act of concealing currency or monetary instruments in an attempt to transport across an international border.
"Many of our cases involve passengers failing to declare money that they have on them," Chamberlain said.
The federal department did not provide further detail on what is causing the increase.
It is not a crime to carry more than $10,000; however, federal currency reporting requirements require travelers to report currency or monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or more to a Customs and Border Protection officer when traveling.
Failure to declare may result in the seizure of the currency and possible arrest. An individual may petition for the return of currency seized, but the petitioner must prove the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.