Government agents assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport intercepted a package containing US dollars equivalent to almost P800,000 smuggled via air cargo.
The package, shipped through FedEx from Durham, USA with some $15,700, was misdeclared as “personal documents” to mislead the subject currency from Customs scrutiny. It arrived at the FedEx Warehouse in Pasay City last Friday.
Authorities said the money was discovered when it passed the X-ray machine and through the vigilance of Customs frontliners assigned at the warehouse situated near the airport.
They, however, did not identify the sender and the recipient of the package.
Customs agents intercepted illegal foreign currency using the same scheme in August last year.
The seized package, with some $12,000 came from Arkansas, was wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in a mobile phone box that arrived at the same warehouse.
NAIA-Customs district collector Carmelita Talusan said the foreign currencies would be seized in favor of the government pursuant to the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act in relation to the New Central Bank Act and BSP Foreign Exchange Transaction Manual.
The public is advised to refrain from similar fraudulent schemes as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Manual of Foreign Exchange Transaction requires the faithful declaration and accomplishment of Foreign Currency Declaration Forms for importation and exportation of foreign currency in excess of $10,000 or its equivalent.
Talusan warned unscrupulous individuals attempting to smuggle money into the country, saying the Customs bureau would exercise its full mandate to prevent such activities.
Air travelers are banned from bringing into the country Philippine currency in the amount of more than P50,000 and foreign currency more than $10,000.
Tallusan said money entering the country illegally and without proper declaration are often used as resources to finance illegal and unlawful activities.