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June 19, 2017

Authorities seize undeclared $39,000 from woman at Philadelphia airport headed to Jamaica

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers last week seized more than $39,000 in undeclared U.S. currency from a woman who planned to take the money with her to Jamaica from Philadelphia International Airport, the agency announced Monday.

The traveler, whose identity was not revealed, learned an important lesson "the hard way" when she failed to report the $39,225 in cash she took with her to the airport, CBP officials with the Philadelphia office said.

Federal currency reporting requirements stipulate that international travelers can carry as much currency as they wish both into and out of the United States. The only condition is that they must report all U.S. and foreign monetary instruments exceeding $10,000 on a financial form from the U.S. Treasury Department.

The traveler to Jamaica initially reported she was carrying less than $10,000. When CBP officers explained the currency requirements to her, she wrote down that she possessed $20,000. Upon the completion of an official count, the woman lost all of her money.

“This currency seizure illustrates the importance and consequences of travelers complying with all U.S. laws, including currency reporting regulations,” said Shawn Polley, acting CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “The best way to keep all of your currency is to honestly report it all to a to Customs and Border Protection officers during inspection.”

Authorities say the woman will not face criminal charges and was allowed to continue her journey to Jamaica.

On a typical day, CBP seizes $289,609 in undeclared or illicit currency along the nation's borders.