Malaysian held for ‘bulk currency smuggling’

A MALAYSIAN national was held by Bureau of Customs (BoC) personnel on arrival past 9:00 p.m. on Friday night at the Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after P1.1 million was found in his baggage.

In a statement, the BoC said that Gan Kang Hsiang, 32, is now under investigation for ‘bulk currency smuggling’ as the amount is in violation of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Circular 922, series of 2016. His two unidentified companions, however, were allowed to leave the airport.

The circular limits the bringing in and taking out of Philippine currency without need of having it declared to only P50,000.00.

Atty. Lourdes Mangaoang, NAIA head for passenger services, explained that the importation or exportation of Philippine currency is regulated by the BSP.

“Under the BSP Advisory on Cross-Border Transfer of Local and Foreign Currencies, a person may freely bring in and out of the Philippines not more than P50,000.00.

“Any amount  exceeding  P50,000.00 will require authorisation from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) prior to importation or exportation,” she added.

She added that Gan failed to present the BSP authorisation when asked by airport customs personnel.

Mangaoang further explained that while the cross-border movement of the Philippine peso is highly regulated, any person bringing in (or out) huge amount of the US dollar would only have to disclosed them to the BOC.

“Actually pareho ang policy sa buong mundo. Any passenger can bring in as much foreign currency subject only to declaration when in excess of US$10,000.00

“The passenger needs only to fill out the Foreign Currency Declaration Form when bringing in more than ten thousand dollars,” she added.

Mangaoang made the policy clarification after it was bared that more than US$370 million in cash had already entered the country since last year with the couriers not being apprehended or questioned by the BOC.