Revenue Generators: Feds Steal $27K from Traveler and Keep It Forever, Even Though No Charges Were Filed

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Top Tier Gear USA


The Feds have a great little business going. At this rate, it’s beyond me how we have any money problems.

US Customs and Border Patrol confiscate money like it’s their job.

That’s because, well…it is.

You know how you hear those stories about shifty Customs agents in dark Third World airports, rifling through luggage, stealing things from innocent travelers, and setting them up for crimes? Well, as it turns out, they’ve got nothing on the good old USA. Billions are “generated” every year as Customs taxes and/or steals from those entering the country.

A couple visiting the US from Ghana had an encounter with Customs officers at the Philadelphia International Airport that they won’t soon forget.

The couple failed to report the full amount of cash they were bringing into the country. Upon a search of their baggage, it was discovered that they had $27,431.30  in different currencies, as opposed to $16,000 as the man had reported.

Customs seized the money but was kind enough to return $500 for “humanitarian purposes.” That was big of them, wasn’t it?

In a statement, Tarance Draft, US Customs and Border Patrol port director for the area port of Philadelphia expressed his great sadness at what the officers were forced to do.

“CBP derives no great pleasure from seizing travelers’ currency. However, there are consequences for failing to comply with U.S. currency reporting laws.” (source)

I’m sure that Draft and his friends at CPB were really broken up over the theft…um…confiscation.

It’s interesting to note that the US Customs and Border Patrol steals…oops, that word again….seizes…over $30 billion dollars annually. By their own admission, Customs has a big role in “strengthening the economy.” On a typical day, they collect $105 million in fees, duties, and tariffs — equalling over $38 billion last year.

Somehow I think that tempers their regret at confiscating nearly $27,000…but that’s just me.

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  • Erin Tarn

    Surely there were only good reasons/intentions for bringing so much varied currency into the country. There’s NO way that it was part of a laundering scheme. Though I don’t agree with permanent confiscation, the travelers should have had an excellent explanation for transporting so much cash. And before you claim that I’m for the establishment, you’ll find many countries that have similar currency reporting requirements.

    • h5mind

      Many countries have multiple exchange rates for their currency, which do you choose? Dollars and Euros are easy enough, but what if you have a wad of Venezuelan Bolivars, which have 2-3 ‘official’ exchange values and yet another actual street rate? If we wanted to stop money laundering we would have to start prosecuting banks, who are far and away the largest offenders. The fact this is ignored says all we need to know about whose side these border goons truly work for.

    • Jason Vega

      Circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because Circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works because Circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works

  • OldPoorRichard

    So they declared $16,000 and there was actually $27,000 so the thugs took it all, rather than the undeclared $11,000? Meaning if the couple declared $27,000 and there was actually $27,005, then they thugs could take it all in that case, too.

    The USA is a completely rogue and capricious police state run by craven lunatics.

  • Undecider

    When encountering government, you have to remind yourself that you’re dealing with armed thugs.

  • anybodysguess

    Whenever I see the word “Homeland” in the term -Dept. of Homeland Security, I immediately think of Nazi Germany, brownshirts, SS, death camps, and Hitler.

    • Cracker122049

      That’s because the shoe does fit those traitorous pieces of trash!

  • h5mind

    This is wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to begin. Suffice to say, if I wanted to smuggle cash into a country for whatever purpose without declaring it, I sure as heck wouldn’t carry it on a commercial carrier. Regardless, seizure of anything- life, liberty, or property- without due process (i.e. presumption of innocence and a jury trial) is illegal no matter what country you’re from. The fact these DHS thugs pretend otherwise doesn’t make it so. Notice to international travelers: if you need to transport wealth, buy gold or silver jewelry and wear it on board. There are thousands of legitimate jewelers who are happy to pay spot price per ounce for any precious metals. Forget pawn shops, who will try to rob you almost as badly as the Border Patrol.
    Another point not mentioned: dual exchange rates. For what it’s worth, this Ghana couple may well have declared the full currency value at street rate (i.e., what they paid for it) as opposed to what the various countries ‘official’ rate would have valued it. Any country with difficulty in obtaining foreign currency has this problem. For example, in my wife’s native Venezuela, the government has 2 or 3 ‘official’ rates of exchange to the dollar, depending on the purpose of your purchase. This is juxtaposed with a street rate (the amount most people pay) which is 10 times more. I seriously doubt we have any Border Patrol agents versed enough in FOREX to understand this issue.

  • viction

    this song came out in what 1964 and it is still relevant to day

  • Jason Vega

    its like a third world country

  • Building Seven

    Typical statist answer. Government employees will always side with their master who pays and feeds them. Read the Constitution, and by the way what people do with their money is none of your damn business. There you are trying to say you were doing something good, lol brainwashed.

    • I work there

      The truth is you are looking at the small things Customs has been doing this since the nation was founded the constitution gives certain exemptions from the 4th amendment in order to protect the country at the borders if we did not inspect and enforce trade regulations your children would be chewing on lead laced plastic toys and products you buy could cause havoc.Once you leave the border nexus then its absolutely wrong to search without reason, but you have to realize that its necessary in order to keep trade and commodity’s under control.Before the IRS was created Customs was the only source of income for our government the way it was designed to be. Is the government overstepping their boundaries yes is it at the border NOPE its been this way for 200 plus years find another rabbit hole.

  • whiteaglesoaring

    The US “government” is a for-profit corporation masquerading as the legitimate government of the United States of America under The “District Clause” in Article I, Section 8 and incorporated in 1871. Its board of directors are members of Congress, the executives of the corporation are the President and his Cabinet. The revenue of the US Corporation is not generally available to the public but is reported to the board of directors in what is sometimes called the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report or CAFR.

    As a money-making business entity, the US Corporation has fund managers who have access to inside information that makes possible profit-taking on down markets as well as up markets.

    The US Corp is the largest corporation of all the corporations and is the originator of all of them. Corporations incorporate in states that are incorporated in the US Corp. Schools, churches, universities, foundations, counties, cities, water conversation districts, are incorporated in their respective state corporations.

  • James Michael

    Confiscation is theft, just look up the definition in Blacks Law…it is the taking of something without lawful authority…These are armed robbers, posing as protectors, oh, and traitors also….

  • Burrow Owl

    1. Fuck the IRS. (And all other .gov entities)

    2. Why they had the cash is nobody elses damned business.

    3. See answer number 1.

    4. See answer number 1.

    As for your last point:
    It doesn’t really matter what sort of lame excuse was given. Theft is theft… and dressing up in a government clown suit won’t change that simple fact.

  • desertspeak

    These men are nothing but CRIMINALS with badges!!!
    The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, NOR BE DEPRIVED OF life, liberty, or PROPERTY, without DUE PROCESS OF LAW; nor shall private property be taken for public use, WITHOUT JUST COMPENSATION.”

  • stk33

    This is quite shortsighted to imply that this is unique to USA. USA only complies with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force ( ), an international organization. For example, New Zealand also had to strengthen their anti-money-laundering measures recently in order to comply with them.

    The author (and all but few commenters) might want to do a little research and compare the practices of US customs with those in other countries. Chances are, he would find that we are still on the “liberal” side.