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Katy woman has $41K returned to her by border authorities

Anthonia Nwaorie had money seized at Bush airport last October

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HOUSTON – Weeks after filing a lawsuit against Customs and Border Protection for seizing over $41,000 from her last year, Houston resident Anthonia Nwaorie had the money returned to her by border officials Tuesday.

In October, Nwaorie was flying from Bush Intercontinental Airport to Nigeria when CBP agents seized the money and didn’t give it back even though she was never charged with a crime.

Nwaorie, a U.S. citizen who has lived in the Houston area since 1982 after growing up in Nigeria, was using $33,000 of the money to open a medical clinic in her hometown back in Nigeria, with the rest intended for relatives.

Nwaorie is additionally suing the CBP for interest accrued for the time her money was withheld and to be removed from CBP’s list of passengers subjected to additional screenings at customs.

“I’m glad to have my money back, but this isn’t over,” Nwaorie said in a release. “So many people in Nigeria have suffered needlessly because of this year-long delay in opening my clinic. I’m going to keep fighting because so many people lack the resources to fight back against injustice, and I want to make sure nobody else has to go through what I’ve been through."

The release also said Nwaorie plans to return to Nigeria in the fall to build a medical clinic in order to provide health care to vulnerable women and children.