Monday, January 7, 2008

US Travel Precautions for Fellow Filipinos

Hi Everyone a friend of ours forward this message to us. This is a very important information for us Filipinos who are soon to travel to the Philippines.

This information is very alarming and I think it's worth sharing to save you from trouble and embarrassment. A Filipino friend shared this email. His friend who works for Homeland security as Immigration Inspector at LAX ( Los Angeles International Airport) called him yesterday to share the information that happened last weekend. A FIL- AM citizen who was flying to the Philippines for vacation was apprehended by an Airport Immigration agent while she was checking in her baggage and going throughthe X-ray machine. For some reason, she was randomly checked 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 envelops were opened, a total of $11,000 cash was discovered. They asked the traveler if she knew the contents of the envelope. She said no, because all the envelopes are just "padala" and the senders didn't tell her whether or not there was 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 prevent the possibility of supporting terrorism. She was fined $500, her name was "red labeled" by Immigration (means every time she enters and exits the airport, she will be searched 100%),and she also missed her scheduled flight to the Philippines for being held almost 5 hours. Hard to believe that departing passengers from the U.S. are also subject to the policy but looks like it is being strictly enforced now.
The lessons learned is before you accept any "padala", make sure the envelopes are open and you physically see the contents of it or just plainly say "sorry but I can't accept any padala" for your own safety.

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