Mon, Jul 10, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Customs seizes US$400,000 at Taoyuan airport

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

US bank notes confiscated at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Saturday night from two Taiwanese men returning from Macau are displayed in Taoyuan yesterday.

Photo: Yao Chieh-hsiu, Taipei Times

Customs officials yesterday said that two Taiwanese men were detained on Saturday night after US$400,000 was discovered in their luggage after they arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on a flight from Macau.

A 26-year-old man surnamed Chiang (江) and a 23-year-old surnamed Chen (陳) were detained for questioning after customs inspectors found US$200,000 in each of their suitcases that had not been declared as required by the recently amended Money Laundering Control Act (洗錢防制法).

During questioning, Chiang and Chen said they had gone to casinos during their trip to Macau, where they met a man who asked them to help carry some of his winnings back to Taiwan, and they agreed.

The pair refused to identify the man or to say what they had been offered to carry the money, customs officials said.

An investigation into the source of the money has been launched.

Officials yesterday said they were trying to determine if the cash was part of a money-laundering scheme linked to criminal activities and they are trying to identify the man that Chiang and Chen said they met.

Officials said they returned US$10,000 each to the pair, but confiscated the rest of the cash.

Customs officials last week issued a statement to remind the public that when entering and departing Taiwan, customs declarations must be made when carrying valuable articles, “controlled items” and cash or negotiable securities over certain amounts to avoid penalties and confiscation.

Previously, only foreign cash and negotiable securities were subjected to cross-border controls, but as of June 28 New Taiwan dollars, Hong Kong dollars and Macao patacas, along with gold, diamonds and jewelry were added to the list of controlled items.

Cash exceeding NT$100,000, or 20,000 Chinese yuan or other currencies worth more than US$10,000, negotiable securities with a total face value of more than US$10,000, gold valued at more than US$20,000, and diamonds, precious stones and/or platinum jewelry with a total value of more than NT$500,000 that are not intended for personal use are required to be declared “regardless of whether they are carried by passengers, or shipped as general cargo, express consignments, or postal parcels.”

Customs officials said undeclared cash, gold and other controlled items would be confiscated if found during inspection at airports and seaports.

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