A report in the Houston Chronicle on May 31, 2010 stated that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, seized $253,294 in cash and $159,382 in gold and silver in 14 separate seizures during the month of May.
Keep in mind this report involves only one of many international airport and other entry and exit points in the U.S., so those figures can be multiplied many times over.
Also understand that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have virtually unchecked power to seize any unreported (see below) currency or precious metals under civil forfeiture laws, at which point their victim must begin a lengthy and costly legal battle to prove the confiscated property was legally theirs.
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
Of course this sort of police power is based on the unconstitutional assumption that everyone with cash or gold valued at over $2500 is guilty of some crime until they can prove their innocence.
At the Houston Airport during May officers seized one bar of gold, two silver bullion bars and three bottles of gold nuggets because, they said, travelers failed to file a Shipper’s Export Declaration. This automated U.S. Census Bureau declaration is required when transporting a commodity out of the country valued at least $2,500.
Failure to file a shipper’s export declaration can result in the commodity’s seizure. The consequences for stating incorrect information on the Shippers Export Declaration form are severe and may result in a fine up to $10,000 and/ or imprisonment.
It would appear from the above that anyone planning to transport gold or other precious metals in or out of the U.S. had better accompanying it with an SED, and it might even be better to have an appraised value document certifying the value as well.
Otherwise Big Brother’s greedy confiscation agents will grab your property — and you may never get it back. Such is the state of “freedom” in America today.
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