CBP Officers at Detroit Metro Airport Seize $271,463 in Unreported Currency

(Tuesday, August 27, 2013)

Detroit — On August 22, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport seized $271,463 from a lawful permanent resident of the United States and his daughter, a United States citizen, after they both failed to report the currency to CBP officers.

Hekmat and Bedeel Bahnam arrived in Detroit on a flight from Amman, Jordan. They initially denied carrying $10,000 or more in U.S. currency or its equivalent in foreign currency. CBP Officers searched their luggage and discovered $271,463 in U.S. and Iraqi currency. The Bahnam’s were arrested and turned over to agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). They were charged with bulk cash smuggling and conspiracy and face Federal prosecution.

“You must report to CBP that you are carrying $10,000 or more in U.S. dollars or equivalent foreign currency or other monetary instruments when you travel into or out of the United States.” said Devin Chamberlain, CBP Detroit (Airport) port director. “There is no limit as to how much currency travelers can import or export. However, the law requires travelers to report when they carry at least $10,000 in monetary instruments. Violators may face criminal prosecution and forfeiture of the undisclosed funds.”

Travelers are further encouraged to visit the Know Before You Go page of the CBP.gov website to learn the rules governing travel to and from the U.S. ( Know Before You Go )

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.