Money changer racket at Naia gets 4 cops in trouble

Money changer racket at Naia gets 4 cops in trouble

MANILA, Philippines-The Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group (PNP-Avsegroup) is investigating the alleged involvement of four security personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) in the foreign currency black market.

According to Avsegroup director Chief Supt. Pablo Francisco Balagtas, they were looking into the alleged "money changing on the side" racket of two policemen from the PNP and two from the airport police.

"We are conducting an investigation. They (policemen) have been disarmed and relieved," he told reporters.

"I have requested General (Vicente) Guerzon for a review of the CCTV footage showing their alleged activities," Balagtas added, referring to the Manila International Airport Authority assistant general manager for security and emergency services.

He said that two PNP personnel were previously relieved for their involvement in a similar racket.

A source requesting anonymity for lack of authority to speak on the matter said the four security personnel had long been involved in money changing.

"They usually stayed in the arrival lobby with a clutch or belt bag and waited for overseas workers who might not have any Philippine currency and needed pesos to get home," he said.

The source said the illegal money changers had "pointers" who tipped off overseas workers on where they could have their foreign currency converted into pesos.

He said the four headed off the arrivals before they could get to the bank outlets and legitimate money changer kiosks in the arrival lobby.

Foreign exchange dealers and money changers are required to register with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) before they can operate. Engaging in foreign exchange activities without BSP registration merits a fine of up to P200,000 (S$6,009) or imprisonment of up to 10 years or both.

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