Filipinos Smuggling Money in Choco Pie Wrappers

On May 9th, two were booked (without detention) and two others were detained by police for violating foreign exchange law in Korea. The police followed them in Itaewon going inside a money exchange place. They were asked for their identification and checked their homes. One of the men busted in the smuggling money operation is in his 40s. He entered Korea on September 11, 1996 as an industrial trainee (the EPS replaced this system) and has stayed here illegally for 20 years. He has been using the ARC of an EPS-worker or an E-9 visa holder.

Smuggling Money in Choco Pie Wrapper

According to the police, they used bags of choco pie to hide money inside. From five to 30 bills of 100 USD are inserted inside one bag and sealed with double sided tape. The aluminum packaging is used as a foil when the bag passes through the airport scanners.

Nabbed for smuggling money (screencap from MBN)
Nabbed for smuggling money

The police said the group has smuggled up to 1.37 billion won (1.15 million USD) since January 2009 collected from 690 people. The money is mostly from illegal workers who couldn’t send money back home to the Philippines through legal remittance. Some are also from those who’d like to avoid the high remittance fee charged by financial institutions. When sending money through a bank, one has to open and designate a bank for remittance and an identification is required. They buy dollars at the Itaewon Tourist Zone, exchanging anywhere from 30 to 50 million won at a time. Then one person travels to the Philippines smuggling money up to 100 million won (about 85,000 USD) in its American dollar equivalent sealed in choco pie wrappers.
The police also got hold of a notebook containing names and contacts of those sending money through this group. It is believed that many of them are illegal workers. The police are still investigating other individuals or groups involved in smuggling money out of the country.

Sending Money to the Philippines

When sending money to the Philippines, the legal way is still the best. If you don’t want to send through the bank because of their high remittance fee, you could try alternative channels like SENTBE ~ a legal remittance company based in Seoul.
A few years ago, Filipino flight attendants were also caught smuggling money for Filipinos in Korea.
So what will happen to the money sent to them? They will be used as evidence by the police. And the notebook with names and contacts? Your guess is as good as mine.
Watch this video from MBN…

And NoCut News…

Newsis – 초코파이 봉지에 500달러씩 밀봉…137억원 밀반출한 필리핀인 일당
KBS News – 초코파이 봉지에 넣어 137ì–µ 원 밀반출한 필리핀 일당 검거
MBN – 초코파이에 100 달러 넣어 137ì–µ 밀반출
News1 – 초코파이 봉지에 달러 숨겨서…130억대 필리핀 밀반출 일당

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