The Recent TSA Tweet Was Worse Than We Thought

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On Tuesday, TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein posted a picture of a passenger’s suitcase, which contained $75,000 in cash, on Twitter.

TSA 75K cash in luggage tweet

Turns out the passenger lost more than their privacy, they also lost their property.

Per this Huffington Post article, because the amount of cash was “unusual” TSA alerted other law enforcement who promptly seized the cash.


…the TSA did indeed alert airport police, who then notified federal agents of the stash of cash. Now, he says, the money becomes part of an asset forfeiture case, which Bell says is not uncommon at airports, but also not an everyday thing.

The worst part is officials seem rather proud of the fact the passenger was not charged with a crime and was allowed continue their journey. Completely minimizing the fact that the money was confiscated and the passenger probably never get it back even though they weren’t charged with a crime, thanks to asset forfeiture laws.

The $11,000 life savings of a college student confiscated at the Cincinnati airport last year has 13 agencies fighting for a cut. I can only imagine how many are interested in making sure this $75,000 isn’t returned.

So if you’re bringing anything valuable in your carry-on or checked bag be prepared to lose it if someone thinks its suspicious or thinks their agency could put it to better use. If you’re interested in seeing what states are the worst for civil asset forfeiture, the Institute for Justice has put together a report.

IJ state forfeiture grades

And of course this still doesn’t answer the original troubling question as to whether the TSA has the right to post pictures/details of passenger’s belongings…

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