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Customs agents seizing more money from international travelers in Michigan

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

There’s been an uptick in money being seized by U.S. Customs officials in Michigan.

U.S. Customs agents at Michigan’s international airports and border crossings have seized $4.4 million since last October. That’s an 8% increase over the same period a year ago.

Ken Hammond is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman. He says the law requires an international traveler carrying more than $10,000 in cash and other currency to declare it.

“The laws were intended to stop cash smuggling, drug traffickers, terrorist financiers, things of that nature,” says Hammond.

But Hammond says people who are carrying money for legitimate purposes, like international students carrying money for college tuition, can also have their money seized.

He admits he doesn’t have an explanation for the recent increase in moneyseized.

For more information on federal regulations on bringing money into and out of the country, follow this link:


Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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