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SOURCES SAY: PNP exec held in Russia over P7.5M cash

Posted by Abi Kwok on October 15, 2008

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 21:40:00 10/14/2008


MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE 2) A ranking official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) was briefly held by airport authorities in Moscow over the weekend for allegedly carrying about P7.5 million worth of euros, sources privy to the incident said Tuesday.

The sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter, said former PNP Director for Comptrollership Eliseo dela Paz, who was with some members of a top-level PNP delegation to the Interpol Assembly from October 7 to 10 in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg, and their spouses, was invited for questioning by Russian Customs officials on October 11 after he was found carrying 120,000 euros ($162,967), far exceeding the $3,000 allowable limit.

It was not clear who the other officials were with Dela Paz but the other members of the PNP delegation were Deputy Chief for Administration Director General Emmanuel Carta, Deputy Chief for Operations Director General Ismael Rafanan, Directorate for Plans Director Romeo Ricardo, Director for Human Resources and Doctrine Development German Doria, Zamboanga regional director Jaime Caringal, Director for Operations Silverio Alarcio Jr., and a Superintendent Elmer Pellobello.

The sources said some members of the delegation parted ways with their companions after the Interpol conference. Dela Paz and those with him were reportedly on their way to another European city.

Dela Paz was released after presenting documents the money was a contingency fund for the “expenses of the PNP delegation,” one of the sources said.

“The case has been resolved,” the source said.

When reached for comment, several officials, including Dela Paz, declined to give a statement.

Dela Paz confirmed that an “incident” happened at the Moscow airport but declined to give further details.

Ricardo said he was unfamiliar with the details of the incident while Carta denied the incident altogether.

The spouses of the PNP officials, including the wife of PNP Director General Jesus Verzosa, reportedly shouldered their own expenses for the trip, the source said. Verzosa was not part of the PNP delegation. tried to contact Verzosa but he was not available for comment. One of the sources said Dela Paz was still in Russia.

In a text message to, one of the sources, a close friend of Dela Paz, said, “The money in question is about 120,000 Euros or less than P1 million [the amount is actually more than P7.5 million; 1 euro = P62.98]…the matter has been resolved after the PNP furnished the Russian authorities with the official report.”

BSP Circular No. 507 series of 2006 states that “Any person bringing foreign currency and other foreign exchange-denominated bearer negotiable monetary instruments (including traveler’s checks) in or out of the Philippines in excess of $10,000 or its equivalent, must accomplish a Declaration Form which may be obtained from, and after accomplishment submitted to, the Customs Desk in the Arrival or Departure Areas. Failure to do so is subject to sanctions.”

“Also, the bringing in or out of the country of legal tender Philippine notes and coins, checks, money order and other bills of exchange drawn in pesos in an amount exceeding P10,000 without authorization by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is prohibited,” the circular stated.


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