Travelers warned against carrying large cash

March 08, 2020

CUSTOMS authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) warned travelers that huge amounts of money they are carrying, inbound or outbound, without necessary permit will be seized.

According to the office of Atty. Lourdes Managaong, Customs Deputy Collector for Passenger Services at the premier airport, a person may bring into or take out of the Philippines foreign currency, as well as other foreign currency-denominated bearer money instrument, amounting to not more than USD10,000 or its equivalent.

And, a person importing or exporting such foreign currency (or monetary instrument) shall declare the same in writing and furnish information on the source and purpose of the transport of such currency or monetary instrument.

If a person is carrying an amount exceeding USD10,000 (P50,000) he must request prior written authorization from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The reminder of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) came after authorities at the NAIA Terminal 3 intercepted over the weekend a Malaysian national who brought into the country some P1.1 million pesos cash without permit from the BSP.

Mangaong, in her report to NAIA customs district collector Mimel Talusan, said a Malaysian passenger from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia brought to the country the huge amount of money in P1000 and P500 bills placed in his hand carry bag.

Customs duty examiner Edgardo Cabanillas Jr. spotted the Malaysian national identified as Gan Kang Hsiung, a passenger of Air Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur, with two other,   try to avoid the X-ray machine for hand-carry bag and seemed tense while carrying his bag as he looked for the exit.

Cabanillas  asked Gan who was about to exit if he had anything to declare and he answered “no”.

The examiner noticed that Gan had ticked the “yes” box of the baggage declaration indicating he was carrying with him Philippine pesos amounting to P1 million and asked the Malaysian if he had a permit from the BSP to which he replied “none”.

Gan was invited to the customs office at NAIA terminal 3 for inspection and counting of the money to be witnessed by the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Services (CIIS).

The Philippine currency was seized for violation of Republic Act No. 10863 (Customs Modernization and Tariff Act) in relation to BSP Circular No. 922 s. 2016 on Cross-Border Transfer of Local and Foreign Currencies.

Gan was turned over to the Customs Enforcement Security Services for further investigation and filing of charges.