AN American was taken into Bahamian police custody after US Customs and Border Protection officers at the Lynden Pindling International Airport pre-clearance facility seized $63,851 in unreported currency this week.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers referred five male US citizens for a secondary inspection on Monday after they each declared they were in possession of US$9,000. They were on their way to New York - three to John F Kennedy Airport and two to Newark.
After questioning, one passenger admitted that he had divided about $52,000 among his co-travellers in an attempt to circumvent currency reporting requirements. The CBP officers were informed that the currency was the result of legal casino winnings in the Bahamas.
During the secondary inspection, CBP officers determined that the passenger who won the money also failed to declare the purchase of an $8,000 watch for which duty was assessed and collected.
“US Customs and Border Protection officers provided this traveller multiple opportunities to accurately report all of his currency,” said Area Port Director for Nassau Pre-clearance, Robert Allen Smith. “He ultimately admitted that he had divided his currency among his friends in an attempt to circumvent the law, and all of his currency was seized. The easiest way for travellers to hold on to their currency is to truthfully report it all to a CBP officer.”
The Royal Bahamas Police Force was notified of the false declaration and they arrested the offending passenger. The other four men were released.