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Sunday, July 22, 2001, updated at 09:53(GMT+8)

Attempts to Illegally Carry Huge Amount of Cash Overseas Balloon at Customs

Attempts to illegally carry huge amount of cash overseas have ballooned at Shanghai Customs.

Shanghai Customs discovered 151 such cases within the first six months of this year, twice as many as that of the same period last year. The amount of money illegally carried increased by 157 percent, amounting to 45.9 million yuan, which indicates an average of 304,000 yuan per case.

Early this July, Pudong International Airport, Shanghai, penalized two passengers for trying to carry US$400,000 and HK$500,000 overseas respectively without declaration in advance.

China's relevant regulations stipulate passengers should carry no more than six thousand yuan into and out of the territory, non- resident passengers can carry no more than US$5,000 and resident passengers US$2,000. They should declare the exceeded amount to customs for approval.

A customs expert grouped the reasons underlying the multiplication of violations into three categories.

Firstly, some people carry huge sums of foreign cash outward to invest in the domestic B-share market because present regulations prohibit using foreign currencies in cash to conduct B-share deals, while granting those who have cash deposits in domestic commercial banks to conduct the B-share deals.

Secondly, the collections of interest tax, combined with a recent decrease in the interest rates of foreign cash deposits, have stimulated people to seek profits by making deposits in foreign banks, which pay a higher interest rate.

Thirdly, tight cooperation between the Customs and Shanghai Bureau of Foreign Exchange have greatly reduced the possibility of getting foreign cash out of the territory via paper forgeries, making trespassers turn to other channels such as carrying money in person and utilizing postal services.

Shanghai Customs has so far discovered over 30 cases of stuffing cash in postal items this year, totaling 5.5 million yuan.

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Attempts to illegally carry huge amount of cash overseas have ballooned at Shanghai Customs.

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