A FILIPINA outbound passenger was held by customs authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and slapped with currency smuggling after P400,000 in Philippine currency was found in her possession.
The sketchy statement released by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) yesterday made no mention of the suspect’s name, age, occupation, other personal details, where she was headed or at what terminal she was apprehended last Wednesday.
The statement merely claimed the Filipina has been charged in violation of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Circular No. 922, series of 2016.
The circular penalises any person with a fine or imprisonment, subject to the dissection of the court, for trying to bring in or out of the country, Philippine currency in excess of P50,000without prior approval by the BSP.
Last March 6, a Malaysian national, Gan Kang Hsiang, 32, was also apprehended by Customs NAIA on his arrival at Terminal 3, after P1.1 million in undeclared Philippine currency was also found in his possession.
The BoC’s intensified vigilance against currency smuggling came after it was bared that the agency allowed the entry into the country of a group of Filipinos and Chinese nationals who brought in a total of more than US$370 million, without even a need for an explanation.
The incidents are now being investigated by the Senate. Meanwhile, BOC spokesman, Atty. Vincent ‘Jett’ Maronilla, vehemently denied and branded as ‘no true,’ reports that the agency is withholding the release of imported face masks, amidst the growing supply shortage due to the ‘COVID-19’ scare.
“The Bureau of Customs has received reports that the release of imported masks are allegedly being held at Customs.
“We would like to ensure the public that this is not true.
“At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Commissioner of Customs gave specific instructions to all ports and concerned offices to expedite the clearance and release of masks and other emergency supplies,” Maronilla said.