Some P46.8-million worth of foreign currencies and gambling chips were seized by authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 on Thursday evening.
Bureau of Customs personnel confiscated some 88-million in Japanese yen, $170,000 in 100 bills, as well as Resort World’s gambling chips amounting to P1.56 million.
It took more than eight hours before customs officials could finish counting and recording the serial numbers of the foreign currencies that that were brought into the country by Takashi Koichi, Suzuki and Tereshima Seita who arrived on board Japan Airlines flight 745.
According to Customs duty collector Agnes Domines, the passengers queued at different counters manned by Customs examiners Jaypee Mabuhay, Irene Alla, and Paula Manlangit.
The money, according to the foreigners, will be used to purchase mining equipment for their copper mining business in the Philippines. The three also claimed they operate a call center business in the country.
The three Japanese nationals failed to declare the money they were carrying which is a violation of the Tariff and Customs Code.
Domines said every passenger is only allowed to bring in and out of the country an amount of P10,000 and $10,000 or its equivalent in other currencies. Any excess, especially without a Central Bank permit, is considered illegal.
Customs Police district III commander, Col. Marlon Alameda said his office last week received information from the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Services regarding several passengers from Japan who are about to bring in foreign currencies in Manila.
Alameda said that the three Japanese will be charged for violation of Central Bank ruling 308 before the Pasay City’s prosecutors’ office while the money will be at the custody of the bureau for safe keeping.
Meanwhile, some 400 passengers of two Cathay Pacific Air flights arrived without their luggage at the NAIA on Friday due to the severe thunderstorm that disrupted the airport ground operation in Hong Kong.
Passengers of Cathay Pacific flights CX-907 and CX-901 which arrived at 9:30a.m.and 11:30a.m., respectively, gathered at the Cathay Pacific booths at NAIA Terminal 1 arrival area to fill up their claimant’s certificate.
Some of them filed complaints due to inconvenience they experienced.
Ed Monreal, Cathay Pacific Air-Manila station manager, seeing the number of complaints the Manila station have been receiving, apologized to the passengers of the two CX flights.
He said that Hong Kong airport authority had ordered the ground staffers to stop from working during thunderstorm.
Benjie L. Vergara