31 USC Sec. 5332 01/05/2009
TITLE 31 - MONEY AND FINANCE
SUBTITLE IV - MONEY
CHAPTER 53 - MONETARY TRANSACTIONS
SUBCHAPTER II - RECORDS AND REPORTS ON MONETARY INSTRUMENTS
Sec. 5332. Bulk cash smuggling into or out of the United States
(a) Criminal Offense. -
(1) In general. - Whoever, with the intent to evade a currency
reporting requirement under section 5316, knowingly conceals more
than $10,000 in currency or other monetary instruments on the
person of such individual or in any conveyance, article of
luggage, merchandise, or other container, and transports or
transfers or attempts to transport or transfer such currency or
monetary instruments from a place within the United States to a
place outside of the United States, or from a place outside the
United States to a place within the United States, shall be
guilty of a currency smuggling offense and subject to punishment
pursuant to subsection (b).
(2) Concealment on person. - For purposes of this section, the
concealment of currency on the person of any individual includes
concealment in any article of clothing worn by the individual or
in any luggage, backpack, or other container worn or carried by
(b) Penalty. -
(1) Term of imprisonment. - A person convicted of a currency
smuggling offense under subsection (a), or a conspiracy to commit
such offense, shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years.
(2) Forfeiture. - In addition, the court, in imposing sentence
under paragraph (1), shall order that the defendant forfeit to
the United States, any property, real or personal, involved in
the offense, and any property traceable to such property.
(3) Procedure. - The seizure, restraint, and forfeiture of
property under this section shall be governed by section 413 of
the Controlled Substances Act.
(4) Personal money judgment. - If the property subject to
forfeiture under paragraph (2) is unavailable, and the defendant
has insufficient substitute property that may be forfeited
pursuant to section 413(p) of the Controlled Substances Act, the
court shall enter a personal money judgment against the defendant
for the amount that would be subject to forfeiture.
(c) Civil Forfeiture. -
(1) In general. - Any property involved in a violation of
subsection (a), or a conspiracy to commit such violation, and any
property traceable to such violation or conspiracy, may be seized
and forfeited to the United States.
(2) Procedure. - The seizure and forfeiture shall be governed
by the procedures governing civil forfeitures in money laundering
cases pursuant to section 981(a)(1)(A) of title 18, United States
(3) Treatment of certain property as involved in the offense. -
For purposes of this subsection and subsection (b), any currency
or other monetary instrument that is concealed or intended to be
concealed in violation of subsection (a) or a conspiracy to
commit such violation, any article, container, or conveyance
used, or intended to be used, to conceal or transport the
currency or other monetary instrument, and any other property
used, or intended to be used, to facilitate the offense, shall be
considered property involved in the offense.
(Added Pub. L. 107-56, title III, Sec. 371(c), Oct. 26, 2001, 115
Stat. 337; amended Pub. L. 108-458, title VI, Sec. 6203(h), Dec.
17, 2004, 118 Stat. 3747.)
REFERENCES IN TEXT
Section 413 of the Controlled Substances Act, referred to in
subsec. (b)(3), (4), is classified to section 853 of Title 21, Food
Another section 371(c) of Pub. L. 107-56 amended the table of
sections at the beginning of this chapter.
2004 - Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 108-458, Sec. 6203(h)(1), struck
out ", subject to subsection (d) of this section" before period at
Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 108-458, Sec. 6203(h)(2), struck out ",
subject to subsection (d) of this section," after "may be seized
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 2004 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 108-458 effective as if included in Pub. L.
107-56, as of the date of enactment of such Act, and no amendment
made by Pub. L. 107-56 that is inconsistent with such amendment to
be deemed to have taken effect, see section 6205 of Pub. L. 108-
458, set out as a note under section 1828 of Title 12, Banks and
BULK CASH SMUGGLING INTO OR OUT OF THE UNITED STATES
Pub. L. 107-56, title III, Sec. 371(a), (b), Oct. 26, 2001, 115
Stat. 336, 337, provided that:
"(a) Findings. - The Congress finds the following:
"(1) Effective enforcement of the currency reporting
requirements of subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 31, United
States Code, and the regulations prescribed under such
subchapter, has forced drug dealers and other criminals engaged
in cash-based businesses to avoid using traditional financial
"(2) In their effort to avoid using traditional financial
institutions, drug dealers and other criminals are forced to move
large quantities of currency in bulk form to and through the
airports, border crossings, and other ports of entry where the
currency can be smuggled out of the United States and placed in a
foreign financial institution or sold on the black market.
"(3) The transportation and smuggling of cash in bulk form may
now be the most common form of money laundering, and the movement
of large sums of cash is one of the most reliable warning signs
of drug trafficking, terrorism, money laundering, racketeering,
tax evasion and similar crimes.
"(4) The intentional transportation into or out of the United
States of large amounts of currency or monetary instruments, in a
manner designed to circumvent the mandatory reporting provisions
of subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 31, United States Code,,
[sic] is the equivalent of, and creates the same harm as, the
smuggling of goods.
"(5) The arrest and prosecution of bulk cash smugglers are
important parts of law enforcement's effort to stop the
laundering of criminal proceeds, but the couriers who attempt to
smuggle the cash out of the United States are typically low-level
employees of large criminal organizations, and thus are easily
replaced. Accordingly, only the confiscation of the smuggled bulk
cash can effectively break the cycle of criminal activity of
which the laundering of the bulk cash is a critical part.
"(6) The current penalties for violations of the currency
reporting requirements are insufficient to provide a deterrent to
the laundering of criminal proceeds. In particular, in cases
where the only criminal violation under current law is a
reporting offense, the law does not adequately provide for the
confiscation of smuggled currency. In contrast, if the smuggling
of bulk cash were itself an offense, the cash could be
confiscated as the corpus delicti of the smuggling offense.
"(b) Purposes. - The purposes of this section [enacting this
section] are -
"(1) to make the act of smuggling bulk cash itself a criminal
"(2) to authorize forfeiture of any cash or instruments of the
smuggling offense; and
"(3) to emphasize the seriousness of the act of bulk cash