Dulles CBP Rings in New Year by Bagging a Ghanaian Impostor

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STERLING, Va. — While many of us recovered from celebrating New Year’s Eve and waited on two of the biggest college football playoff games to start, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport scored a win of their own Monday, over a Ghanaian man who tried to enter the U.S. pretending to be a U.S. citizen.

The man, whose name CBP is not releasing since he was not criminally charged, arrived on a flight from Ghana and presented a U.S. passport to a CBP officer for admission.  The officer compared the photo in the valid U.S. passport to the man who stood before him and suspected the man to be an impostor.  The officer escorted the man to a facial recognition booth, which validated the officer’s suspicion.

During a secondary examination, the man was unable to answer simple questions.  The man then admitted that the passport was not his, and that he was not a U.S. citizen.  A biometric examination revealed the impostor’s true identity.  Computer systems checks revealed previous U.S. travel visa denials in 2013 and 2016 due to fraud.

 “The U.S. government offers foreign nationals a means to lawfully immigrate to the United States, but using another person’s identity documents is a very serious violation of U.S. immigration law that could result in criminal prosecution,” said Daniel Mattina, CBP Acting Port Director of the Area Port of Washington D.C.  “Customs and Border Protection officers remain ever vigilant to intercept those who violate our nation’s laws or pose potential harm to the U.S.”

In a second case Monday, CBP officers assessed a $500 zero tolerance penalty to a U.S. man following a narcotics detector dog alert.  Officers discovered drug paraphernalia and marijuana residue in the man’s baggage.  Possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia remains illegal under U.S federal law.

“Customs and Border Protection’s inspections of arriving and departing international travelers and cargo is one way in which CBP contributes to our nation’s security, and it’s a responsibility that CBP takes seriously,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore, the agency’s operational commander in the mid-Atlantic region.

CBP officers routinely examine passenger manifests on arriving and departing international flights, and identify travelers who may require additional inspectional scrutiny.  On a typical day, CBP officers processed the admission of more than one million passengers and pedestrians at our nation’s 328 air, land and sea ports of entry, and refused admission to 350 inadmissible persons for violating U.S. immigration laws.

View CBP Snapshot to learn more of what CBP achieves ‘On a Typical Day.’

Learn how CBP's Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders at international Ports of Entry.

Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP’s Travel website to learn more about the CBP admissions process and rules governing travel to and from the U.S.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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