Japanese faces charges for bringing in 20M yen
A JAPANESE tourist is facing trial for allegedly slipping in 20 million yen or about P9.6 million when he arrived in Cebu last June 12.
Sakaguchi Yuki, 32, was indicted by the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office of charges of violating the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Circular No. 922-2016.
Sakaguchi was released after posting bail of P60,000 at the trial court in Lapu-Lapu City last June 14.
Although no hold departure order was issued against him, Sakaguchi could not return to Japan since his passport was confiscated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
The court set his arraignment on Sept. 22, 2018.
Cebu District Collector Elvira Cruz said the Japanese didn’t say anything when asked why he brought a huge sum of money and didn’t declare it when he arrived at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport last week.
Last June 12, the Office of the Transportation Security personnel manning the X-ray machines found suspicious items inside the luggage of Sakaguchi who arrived from Tokyo.
When the luggage was opened by Sakaguchi at the counter, authorities found bundles of Japanese yen. The matter was brought to the attention of the BOC office at the airport. Customs officers then took custody of Sakaguchi.
A staff of the Japanese Consulate located at the Cebu Business Park said their head consul Chiharu Tsuruka was already aware of Sakaguchi’s case.
But the Japanese consular office in Cebu has not issued a formal statement about the incident.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said that under the BSP Circular No. 922-2016, a person may travel with a cash up to $10,000 or about P530,000 at an exchange rate of P53 per dollar.
But if one wishes to bring more than $10,000, the foreign visitor must declare it in writing and explain the reason for bringing such amount of money.
The form is available at the BOC desk in the arrival/departure areas of all international airports and seaports.
Lapeña said Sakaguchi did not comply with this BSP circular.
He added the arrest of the accused proved that the BOC was serious in its campaign in addressing irregularities in all ports in the country.
“This is a testament of our unified effort against smuggling and all those illegal activities,” he told reporters at the MCIA.
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