This information is very alarming. A FIL-AM citizen who was flying back to the Philippines for vacationwas apprehended by an Airport Immigration agent while she was checking in her baggage and going through the X-ray machine.
For some reasons, she was randomly check and was told to open all the envelopes inside her carry-on coach bag. They found 10 envelopes addressed to different people in the Philippines.When all the envelopes were opened, a total of $11,000 cash was discovered. They asked the traveler if she knew the contents of the envelop. She said no, because all the envelops are just “padala” and the senders didn’t tell her whether or not there is money inside.
Immigration agents showed her a policy and guidance stating that it is illegal to import and export over $10,000 in any Asian countries to avoid the possibility of supporting terrorism.
She was fined $500, red label her name by Immigration (means everytime she enter and exit the airport, she will be search 100%) and she also missed her scheduled flight to the Philippines for being held almost 5 hours.
Its hard to believe that departing passengers from the U.S. are also subject to the policy but looks like it is being enforce now. The lessons learned is before you accept any “padala”, make sure the envelopes are open and you physically sight the contents of it or just plainly say sorry but I can’t accept any padala for your own safety.