By Minka Klaudia Tiangco
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) announced on Sunday that it has observed an “influx of suspicious large amounts of foreign currency” arriving in the country.
This after some lawmakers raised concerns over an alleged money-laundering scheme involving Chinese visitors with connections to Philippine government officials.
Several groups of passenger-couriers declaring huge amounts of foreign currency have been identified by the BOC through monitoring.
The Customs bureau said it was already working with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies including Congress to combat illicit financial flows in the country.
“The Bureau of Customs vows to continuously intensify its efforts on border protection and prevent the illegal movements of illicit money or capital to and from the Philippines,” it said in a statement.
Under Philippine law, amounts exceeding $10,000.00 in value are allowed to be brought in and out of the country as long as it is declared.
Eric Go Yap of the Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) partylist recently called for an investigation into the alleged money-laundering scheme involving Chinese tourists.
Senator Richard Gordon earlier claimed that some Chinese nationals have brought millions of dollars into the country from December to February.
Citing records from the BOC, he said the Chinese nationals claimed that they would use the money they brought for travel, casino, or investments.