Last updated: 01:42 PM ET, Tue July 07 2015

Passenger Has $75K in Carry-On Cash Seized at Richmond Airport

Impacting Travel | Transportation Security Administration | Patrick Clarke | July 07, 2015

Passenger Has $75K in Carry-On Cash Seized at Richmond Airport

Photo via Twitter

Travelers might want to think twice about passing through airport security with $75,000 in cash. 

Last week, the Transportation Security Administration's public affairs spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein posted a photo to social media of a passenger's luggage filled with thousands of dollars in cash at Richmond International Airport.

While Farbstein came under fire on Twitter for posting the location of the passenger and their money, the massive amount of cash had been deemed suspicious and therefore seized by airport police, according to Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post.

Richmond airport spokesman Troy Bell told the Post that he doesn't "believe the person was issued a summons or a citation," instead stating that the "traveler was allowed to continue on his way."

Since there's nothing illegal about checking a bag with a large sum of cash when traveling domestically, it's unclear whether the traveler will face any charges or be reunited with their money.

In an email reply to the Post, Farbstein said that "the carry-on bag of the passenger alarmed because of the large unknown bulk...When TSA officers opened the bag to determine what had caused the alarm, the money was sitting inside. Quite unusual. TSA alerted the airport police, who were investigating." 

While the TSA recommends that passengers traveling with large sums of money request a private screening, Ingraham points out that this case appears similar to past civil asset forfeiture cases in which travelers have had large sums of money seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration on suspicion of involvement in drug trafficking.

In many of those cases, no charges were filed. 

Ingraham reports "this is all legal under the laws governing civil asset forfeiture, and there's no question that carrying large sums of cash is unusual. But many critics of the practice, including some in Congress, are calling for a major overhaul of civil forfeiture, saying too many people have had their assets seized inappropriately."


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