For Improper Currency Declaration At
By Mike Mitchell
April 1, 2011 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
officers turned over an
CBP officers arrested Libious Asefa, 42, of
routinely conducts random currency inspections of inbound and
outbound travelers. There is no limit to how much currency
travelers can import or export; however 31 U.S.C. 5316 requires
travelers to declare amounts exceeding $10,000 in U.S. dollars
or equivalent foreign currency.
to report the transportation of more than $10,000 into or out of
the United States is smuggling," said John P. Torres, special
agent in charge of ICE HSI in Washington, D.C. "ICE works
closely with CBP and our state, local and federal partners to
ensure that those who attempt to smuggle currency in excess of
$10,000 are identified, encountered and arrested."
officers turned Asefa over to HSI special agents. CBP routinely
works with HSI on a variety of cases with the primary
responsibility of carrying out the initial seizure at a port of
entry. HSI special agents conducted an in-depth interview of
Asefa after his apprehension by CBP officers and presented the
criminal matter to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern
District of Virginia for prosecution.
Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia filed a
criminal complaint against Asefa, charging him with making a
false statement, which carries a maximum penalty of five years
who lie when reporting their currency risk losing it and may
face criminal charges," said Christopher Hess, CBP port director
According to court
documents, CBP officers explained to Asefa the federal currency
reporting requirement and had him read it. Once Asefa acknowledged that
he understood the reporting requirement, CBP officers asked Asefa to
write the amount of currency in his possession on the form and to
initial the form. Asefa allegedly maintained that he possessed $12,500.
Court records indicate that CBP officers discovered several envelopes
that contained a combined $18,525.
conducts random inspection operations on arriving and departing
passengers searching for narcotics, currency, weapons and other
prohibited or illicit products.
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