An aide of Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder Apollo Quiboloy was charged before a United States District Court in Hawaii for allegedly trying to smuggle to the Philippines more than $300,000 in cash.
A U.S. District Court accused Felina Salinas, a U.S. citizen, of attempted bulk cash smuggling after inspectors found $335,000 in her carry-on bag during a flight en route to the Philippines on February 13.
According to the complaint, Salinas only declared carrying $40,000 and P1,000. But when inspectors opened her carry-on bag, they reportedly found $335,000 and AUD $9,000 in cash hidden in socks inside a black bag.
“None of that money was reported by Ms. Salinas to the CBPO (Customs and Border Protection Office),” the complaint read. U.S. law requires individuals to declare the cash they’re taking out of the country if it’s over $10,000.
Salinas was released on a $25,000 bond. The preliminary hearing on her case is set on February 27.
According to media reports, Quiboloy, who was on board the private plane with Salinas, was detained briefly at the Honolulu airport over the incident but later took a commercial flight to the Philippines. The private plane was sequestered in Honolulu.
But Quiboloy’s spokesman, lawyer Israelito Torreon, clarified that the religious leader was not “detained” in Hawaii.
“I have to clarify everything. Detention implies that he committed a crime and that he violated US law. He was not detained, he did not violate any U.S. law and as a matter of fact, he is back in the Philippines,” Torreon said.
Torreon also said that Quiboloy arrived in Manila at 6:30 p.m on February 15. This was confirmed by the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
BI spokesperson Ma. Antonette Mangrobang said Quiboloy arrived on board a Philippine Airlines flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. She, however, denied that BI personnel “escorted” him out of the airport.
“Quiboloy underwent immigration arrival formalities. In light of the expected deluge of media upon his arrival, BI deemed it best to process his arrival in our office to avoid any commotion in the immigration area and affect other arriving passengers,” Mangrobang said. (Dana Sioson/AJPress)