The importance of declaring whether you are travelling with large sums of cash to the immigration officer has been highlighted by the chief executive officer of the Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority, Benoit Bardouille.
Persons who are traveling with over ten thousand dollars cash must declare it on their immigration forms in keeping with the airport and international regulations.
Bardouille explained this must be done before it is found during a search of the luggage. If one does not declare that they are traveling with in excess of ten thousand dollars, the relevant agencies need to be notified.
“Then they will call you in, your flight might be delayed or you might miss your flight because they may have a few questions for you. And so we want to make sure that persons declare it, if you’re going on some special program, you have to travel with large amounts of cash in excess of ten thousand you need to make that declaration before and then you can do all of that before being embarrassed at the airport.”
DASPA, he said, on last week’s DASPA in Touch, is aware that some persons, based on the business they conduct, will need to travel with large sums of cash.
“Not everybody carrying large sums of cash may be doing so in a negative way, there may be very positive reasons why persons may be carrying, you may be a business person, you have sales of a certain amount and you carry money to go on do your transactions. The thing about it is, you make the declaration, that is dealt with, the customs and the police may ask you one or two questions but if they’re satisfied with that then you move on and then you go to your next destination.”
He continued, “Obviously there are persons who may be operating in a particular manner and for example if you come into the country and did not declare that you were bringing in more than ten thousand dollars but you leave two days later and say the security were to be going through a search and they found twenty thousand US within your bags then you would have to do some sort of explanation because you came here, didn’t make a declaration of any monies coming in and you’re now going out with a certain quantity of money, you would have to show means of earning that kind of money whilst you were here.”
This is what they would like to educate the traveler about adding that DASPA is not seeking to inconvenience travelers but rather ensuring that it complies with international laws which it is a signatory to.
Moreover Bardouille said DASPA works with other law enforcement agencies providing them with pertinent information.
“So you find that the Financial Intelligence Unit is not at the airport, but there are certain provisions of the work they have to do we have to provide then with the intelligence that is gathered based on what we observe.”