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US Customs at Dulles Airport Seizes More Than $40,000 from Ethiopian Travelers

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.

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.

- NBC Washington

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