June 30, 2017
Officers seized $90,000 from a family headed to Qatar on a flight from Philadelphia International Airport, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Wednesday.
The family, which included a man, woman and five children, reported it was taking $12,000 in U.S. currency aboard the flight. But U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said they caught the family with more than $90,000 in cash.
"Officers explained the currency reporting regulations to the family and the father reported verbally and in writing that they possessed $12,000," CBP said in a statement. "During the inspection, CBP officers discovered a combined $93,393 concealed on the man’s, the woman’s, and their adult child’s bodies.
Travelers entering or leaving the country can bring along as much money as they'd like, but all cash totaling $10,000 or more must be reported on a U.S. Treasury Department financial form.
Because the family didn't truthfully report how much money they were taking, agents confiscated $90,000 of it, CBP said.
"Consequences for violating federal currency reporting requirements are severe," the agency stated. "CBP may seize the violator’s currency, and file criminal charges."
Agents returned $3,393 to the family before sending them on their way. No charges were filed.
A spokesman for the agency told NBC10 that Qatar was not the family's final destination, but he declined to discuss what the family told agents at the airport because they could petition for their money back.
The station also reported that the family was from Michigan.
Citing federal law, the agency would not release the travelers' names since they weren't criminally charged.
The incident comes two weeks after Philadelphia Customs and Border Patrol agents seized more than $39,000 in unreported cash from a traveler bound for Jamaica.