Customs thwarts attempt to sneak in P28-M in Postal Money Order via mail parcel

Customs officials led by Norsarem Raymond Mama-o, PSI Deputy Collector; Felipe Regencia Jr., Customs Examiner; and Joel Pinawin, OIC-NAIA Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service inspect the seized mail parcel of US postal money orders amounting to P28-Million.

Customs officials led by Norsarem Raymond Mama-o, PSI Deputy Collector; Felipe Regencia Jr., Customs Examiner; and Joel Pinawin, OIC-NAIA Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service inspect the seized mail parcel of US postal money orders amounting to P28-Million.

Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) seized a mail parcel from Africa which was declared as ‘letters and cards’ but actually contained over 600 pieces of United States Postal Money Order amounting to around P28-Million.

Customs officers opened a mail parcel containing 651 pieces of US postal money orders with a total value of US$631,470 that was mailed via Fedex courier delivery service last October 22, 2014 from Togo, a country located in West Africa.

The parcel arrived in the country last November 3, 2014 and was consigned to a certain John Secada Matters whose address was listed at Unit 710 Ferrous Bel Air Tower, 30 Polaris Street, Makati City. Each of the 651 pieces of postal money order has the same US$970 value and doesn’t bear any name or address.

The Customs Intelligence Group placed the shipment under an Alert Order after receiving a tip from French Customs officials who inspected the package upon its arrival in France en route to the Philippines. Because the package is not addressed to a French national, the French Customs allowed the package to travel to the Philippines but not before alerting the BOC-NAIA, providing the air flight number and the Air Bill reference so the parcel can be intercepted upon arrival.

The shipment was seized as it constitutes a violation of Section 2503 in relation to Section 2530 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines for misdeclaration of its content as well as violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act or Central Bank Circular 1389 as amended by Circular No. 98 Series of 1995. Customs officers will allow the proper authorities to inspect the postal money orders to verify if it is authentic or fake.

““Time and again, the continued vigilance of our enforcement and intelligence unit has proven effective. We will not stop in our active operations. We routinely conduct inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights, including air cargo, and intercepts currency, narcotics, weapons, counterfeit merchandise, prohibited agriculture products or other illicit items,” said Edgar Macabeo, District Collector for BOC-NAIA. “All balikbayan box or postal parcels arriving in the country are subject to Customs inspection and may be charged with corresponding duties and taxes.“

“We would like to reassure the public of our continued vigilance in monitoring all mail, parcels, and packages coming in and out of the country especially during this holiday season,” Macabeo added.