Declaration systems are discussed in this "Asset Search News Roundup" because they can be used at border crossings to detect / search for illicit assets concealed by cash couriers or others.  The Financial Action Task Force’s "IX Special  Recommendation" even mentions that countries should use declaration systems against cash couriers to detect the physical cross-border movement of currency or bearer negotiable instruments. 

An important part of a declaration system at a border crossing can be the use of forms which require travelers to disclose their possession of currency or monetary instruments.  At its borders, Singapore requires some travelers to execute an NP727 form / "Physical Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Report", as is more fully set forth by the Singapore Police.  Travelers crossing at U.S. borders similarly fill out FinCEN Form 105 / "Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments".  A traveler making a U.S. border crossing fills out this form to report that $10,000 or more in currency, (or monetary instruments), is being transported. 

A case involving a FinCEN Form 105 just arose at New York City’s JFK Airport about a week ago.  A traveler had arrived at the airport from Korea and then used his FinCEN Form 105 to indicate that he was carrying more than $10,000 dollars.  At a secondary baggage exam by U.S. Customs and Border Protection it was apparent that the traveler actually possessed two supposed $100,000 U.S. Gold Certificates like the one pictured at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s website.


Although $100,000 dollar Depression-era gold certificates had once been used by Federal Reserve Banks, they were never publicly circulated. The traveler’s two $100,000 Gold Certificates were therefore deemed counterfeit and seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  Afterward, they were ultimately turned over to the U.S. Secret Service for further investigation.  As mentioned by an April 7, 2009 press release, the traveler lacked criminal intent and has not been criminally charged. 

Copyright 2009 Fred L. Abrams