DAVAO City-based preacher Apollo Quiboloy was temporarily detained at the Honolulu International Airport after US Customs found $350,000 in cold cash and gun parts in his private jet, according to a Hawaiian news outfit.
Hawaii News Now reported on Thursday that US Customs and Border Enforcement boarded the pastor’s Cessna Citation Sovereign. Quiboloy, executive pastor of the “Kingdom of Jesus Christ” who calls himself the “Appointed Son of God,” and six others were on board the plane.
Federal agents discovered $350,000 in cash inside the private plane, with $100 bills folded and stuffed inside socks placed in a suitcase.
Hawaiian media said US agents also discovered parts of military-style rifles.
Felina Salinas, 47, who lives in Hawaii, was arrested after she claimed that the cash belonged to her.
Salinas had reportedly declared only $40,000 in her posession. She was charged with attempted “bulk cash smuggling.”
Salinas, business manager of Quiboloy’s church in Waipahu, told a local judge on Wednesday that she would hire a lawyer based in California and would appear in court again on February 27.
United States law requires anyone taking at least $10,000 out of the United States and its territories to declare the money to the US Customs and Border Enforcement.
Quiboloy held a “thanksgiving and worship presentation” in Hawaii on Sunday. He reportedly went back to the Philippines on a commercial flight, as the plane was detained in Hawaii.
He arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 at 6:35 p.m. on Thursday and did not face the media.
Quiboloy’s Kingdom of Jesus Christ started in 1985 with just 15 members. It has since grown to six million in 2015, with churches around the world, including in the US, Canada, Israel, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
In 2003, Quiboloy declared himself “the Appointed Son of God,” and on April 13, 2005, he claimed that the “Kingdom was entrusted to him.”
Quiboloy’s vast property on the slopes of Mt. Apo in Davao City was shown to American media in 2010.
His religious sect supported Gilbert Teodoro in the 2010 presidential election and Rodrigo Duterte, a former Davao City mayor, in 2016.