Two men caught carrying millions of NT dollars to mainland China

TAIPEI - The Kinmen customs office caught two men trying to transport NT$8.55 million (S$355,000) and NT$5.94 million in cash, respectively, to mainland China, violating the central bank's regulations not to transport over NT$60,000.

The amount of cash seized by customs was the highest in record since the opening of the "small three links," which regulates the limited direct, postal, transportation and trade links between China and Taiwan.

Up to NT$60,000 may be carried out by an individual, based on the central bank's regulations governing cash issue. As such, cash up to the limit of NT$60,000 was returned to the two men, surnamed Yu and Wu, and no fine was levied on them.

Yu and Wu were about to take a ferry bound for a port with the destination of Fujian province on May 4. However, they were caught carrying five and four bags of luggage each, containing milk powders and bundles of New Taiwan dollar notes, by the customs office. The two men denied to be knowingly transporting cash and said they were carrying the luggage on behalf of others.

While Yu is a native of Shanghai, Wu is a native of Taiwan. The cash carried by the two men was mostly in NT$100 notes. The two men were suspected to have been carrying the cash to Fujian province for currency exchange purposes. There is a need for new Taiwan dollar bills, sources said.