PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WHTM) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized more than $200,000 in unreported currency from a Nigeria-bound New Jersey man at Philadelphia International Airport on Sunday night.
According to Customers and Border Protection, the U.S. citizen bound for Port Harcourt, Nigeria claimed he possessed $11,000.
During a search of his luggage officers found $200,068 in U.S. dollars, and the equivalent of $251.54 in Nigerian Naira for a total of $200,319.54.
The USCBP says this is their third largest unreported currency seizure in the Area Port of Philadelphia since the agency’s inception in 2003.
CBP officers seized the currency and remitted $1,251.54 to the traveler for humanitarian purposes and released him without any criminal charges being filed.
Homeland Security Investigations initiated an investigation and will examine the origins of the suspected illicit proceeds.
“This is a significant amount of unreported currency for any traveler to be carrying, especially with today’s electronic systems that make transferring currency much easier,” said Joseph Martella, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “The most important lesson international travelers can take from this seizure is to truthfully report all currency in their possession to Customs and Border Protection officers when they arrive to or leave the United States.”
Federal law requires travelers to report all currency of $10,000 or greater being transported to a CBP officer. There is no limit on how much currency may be brought in or out of the country.