SINCE January this year, the Bureau of Customs-Port of NAIA had confiscated a total of P29.8 million in undeclared currencies, whose owners tried to sneak into the country by concealing them inside the pages of magazines or simply misdeclared packages.
BoC-NAIA District Collector Ma. Carmelita ‘Mimel’ Talusan said her office had so far issued warrants of seizure and detention against various packages containing US dollars with an aggregate equivalent value of P29.8 million as of latest count only.
In the past couple of weeks alone, the BOC-NAIA has intercepted packages containing a huge amount of US dollar bills which were concealed inside magazines.
All these seized foreign currency shall be subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings in violation of Sections 1400 (Misdeclaration) and 1113 of R.A. No. 10863 (CMTA) in relation to the R.A. 7653 (New Central Bank Act) and BSP Foreign Exchange Transaction Manual.
The latest confiscation, whose total amount was US$38,700, was found inside packages in the Fedex warehouse. They arrived on November 2, 2020 and were misdeclared as “documents.”
All were sent in three different packages by the same sender, a certain “Jacqualine Paas” from the United States of America and consigned to different persons all with addresses in Poblacion, Muntinlupa City.
About a week prior to that, the BOC-NAIA similarly intercepted undeclared foreign currencies in two packages also at the Fedex warehouse, amounting to US13,500.
According to Talusan, the said packages were misdeclared as “correspondence/no value”, which arrived on October 23 and 29, 2020, respectively. Both were sent by the same sender from Jefferson City, USA, and consigned to the same person also from Poblacion, Muntinlupa City.
Upon thorough or 100 percent physical examination, the first package was found to contain 75 pieces of $100 bills. The other package, on the other hand, contained 150 pieces of $20 bills, 20 pieces of $50 bills, and 20 pieces of $100 bills. Again before this, just last September, Talusan said the BOC-NAIA similarly intercepted US$8,000 also concealed in the pages of a magazine.
According to Coll. Talusan, a 2015 report of the ‘Financial Action Task Force (FAFT) on Money Laundering Through the Physical Transportation of Cash’ had identified concealment of cash in cargo and mail as one of the techniques being utilized in money laundering.
In view of these developments, Coll. Talusan once again reminded the public that under the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Manual of Foreign Exchange Transaction, there are certain rules regarding importing foreign currencies.
An importer simply needs to declare the amount intended to be imported using the prescribed Foreign Currency Declaration Form.
Amid all these, Coll. Talusan vows that the Port of NAIA under Commissioner Rey Leonardo. Guerrero, will continue to be diligent in carrying out the bureau’s mandate of strictly implementing regulatory laws and rules in the country’s borders.
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