Customs agents can steal your money if you don’t report it accurately.
The traveler, a U.S. citizen male who CBP is not identifying because he was not criminally charged, verbally reported to officers that he possessed $20,000 and completed a U.S. Treasury Department form for his reported amount. During a baggage examination, CBP officers discovered a total of $33,868. Officers seized the currency and released the traveler.
OK, there is such a crime as structuring, when you play games with bank deposits and withdrawals to avoid reporting large sums that might be taxable, or suggestive of criminal activity — that’s what got Kent Hovind sent to prison for 10 years. That’s naughty. It’s a red flag. So it’s fair to regard under-reporting with suspicion.
But note: “he was not criminally charged.” They just saw a discrepancy and used that as an excuse to promptly rob this guy in plain sight. Maybe he was a bad guy, we don’t know, because there was no investigation and no trial — for all we know, US Customs just ruined a man’s vacation on a whim. They make no other explanation, other than to prominently note that he was going to Egypt, one of those Islamic nations, so Republicans will assume he’s fair game.