U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Miami International Airport (MIA) seized almost a half-million dollars being smuggled out of the United States in furniture. The shipment was destined to the Dominican Republic and was selected for examination during outbound enforcement operations.
On Sept. 3, CBP officers at MIA discovered $491,280 in unreported U.S. currency concealed inside the bottom of a cushion chair that was part of a crate containing furniture. The failure to report cash or negotiable monetary instruments in excess of $10,000 being exported from the United States is a violation of U.S. currency reporting requirements. Consequences for violating U.S. currency reporting laws may include the seizure and forfeiture of most or all of the currency, and potential criminal charges.
“Criminal organizations will attempt to export large sums of cash to launder their ill-gotten gains,” said Robert Del Toro, CBP’s Acting Port Director at Miami International Airport. “This is a significant seizure and represents the impact we can make on criminal’s profits and was the direct result of our officer’s vigilance and watchfulness.”
It is legal to carry large sums of currency into or out of the United States. However, federal law requires that travelers who possess $10,000 or more in currency or other monetary instruments must report it all to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the country.
CBP uses a variety of techniques to intercept narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products, and to assure that global tourism remains safe and strong. On a typical day, CBP seizes an average of about $207,000 in unreported or illicit currency along our nation’s borders.