Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator
JAMAICA customs officials have confiscated more than US$200,000 or approximately J$18.5 million from a Jamaican national who attempted to clear customs through the 'nothing to declare' channel.
Customs officials say the seizure was made at the Sangster International Airport, St James, on Monday. The money discovered was concealed in his luggage.
This is the second major seizure by Jamaica Customs in recent times. In September, customs officials confiscated €313,500 or approximately J$37.6 million at the Norman Manley International Airport. The money was taken from a foreign national.
"Our success rate of seizure has been significant," Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reese told The Gleaner while adding, "I want people to know that it is not business as usual."
In Monday's incident, customs officials said the Jamaican national, who had arrived on a flight from New York, made a false declaration by indicating on the customs declaration form that he did not possess money exceeding US$10,000.
Jamaica Customs notes that making a false declaration is a breach of the Customs Act. The department also said the trafficking of money over US$10,000, or its equivalent, through the airport should be declared, after which a form must be completed outlining proof of funds with the requisite evidence to substantiate said claim.
Reese told The Gleaner yesterday that if the man contests the seizure, "he will have prove to the court how he got the money".
Reese said the Customs Department has seized over $1 billion worth of illicit items at the island's air and seaports since the start of the year.
The seizures include significant quantities of narcotics, guns and ammunition, counterfeit cigarettes, and various articles associated with the lottery scam, including debit and credit cards.