BALTIMORE (WJZ/CBP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport seized a Nigerian man’s money after he failed to report it.

The passenger arrived to BWI from London, declaring possession of only $8,000 or $9,000.  While examining the passenger’s luggage, CBP officers discovered $14,930 in U.S. currency and three endorsed checks totaling $18,059 for a total of $32,989.

Though there is no limit to how much currency and other monetary instruments travelers can import or export, federal law requires travelers to report amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency.

“Travelers who refuse to comply with federal currency reporting requirements run the risk of having their currency seized and may potentially face criminal charges,” said Dianna Bowman, Acting CBP Port Director for the Port of Baltimore. “The traveler was given multiple opportunities to truthfully declare his currency. The easiest way to hold on to your money is to report it.”

CBP officers seized $32,989 and returned $930 in U.S. currency to the passenger for humanitarian relief.  CBP officers also advised the traveler how to petition for the return of his seized money.

The Privacy Act prohibits releasing the traveler’s name since he was not criminally charged.

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