Filipino from HK returns home ‘richer’ by P15m

Customs officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport  Terminal 3 seized some 259 pieces of  expensive jewelry  valued at P15 million   brought in by a Filipino traveler Saturday night.

Customs X-ray  project supervisor Eric Macaombang  identified the Filipino  as Rosemarie Clemente of Tandang Sora, Quezon City who faced charges of smuggling for not declaring the pieces of jewelry in her possession.

Macaombang said that his group in coordination with the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service  and the Customs police received information from their foreign counterpart that a certain  Filipino will bring in expensive jewelry onboard a Tiger Air   that will arrive from Hong Kong  around 11:20 p.m.   Saturday.

Macaombang said  he  alerted the Customs examiners on-duty and Customs police  to  intercept  the   cargo.

Clemente was asked by Customs examiners if she had “something to declare but she    replied nothing.”

 Customs examiners then asked Clemente to open her hand-carry luggage and found  expensive items such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other jewelry inlaid with diamonds, pearls and precious stones.  Her pieces of jewelry weighed a total of 2.1 kilos, Customs said.

Clemente had only one check-in luggage and two hand-carry items.

Clemente said that she   went to Hong Kong to meet her fiancé who had a layover flight.  She said she met a certain Lydia Cheung at the departure terminal and asked her to bring the trolley bag containing the  pieces of jewelry back to Manila.  

Clemente said that Cheung allegedly instructed her to meet another person in Manila to turn over the trolley bag. Clemente said she agreed on  Cheung’s  promise that she would receive a cellphone in exchange for the favor.  

 Customs said they would   file a  complaint   on Monday   before the Pasay City Prosecutors Office for smuggling while the jewelry had  been placed in  the BoC vault for safe keeping.

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