NEWSFLASH

TOO MUCH CASH

MANILA, January 9, 2003 (STAR) Customs authorities stopped four Hong Kong-bound passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after they were caught with P1.6 million in cash concealed in their pockets.

The passengers, identified as Cecilia Lukkanit, 44, Emilio Lukkanit, 30, Leticia Lukkanit, 30, and Nathaniel Mangibong, 32, all of Sadanga, Mt. Province, had just passed inspection at the pre-departure area of Terminal 1 when examiners noticed their bulging pockets.

They were brought to a Customs inspection room and ordered to take out the contents of their pockets which showed bundles of P1,000 bills.

The passengers, who claimed they are engaged in the "ukay-ukay" trade (selling of second-hand clothing) in Baguio City, said the money was intended for the purchase of goods in Hong Kong to expand their flourishing business in the City of Pines.

They said that they were not aware of a Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) regulation that prohibits a person from bringing out of the country more than P10,000 in cash.

Customs officials said the passengers would be charged for violating the BSP regulation and confiscated the money for safekeeping until appropriate charges are filed against them at the Pasay City fiscal’s office. – Rey Arquiza


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