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Customs execs train on currency smuggling detection, other border security practices in U.S.

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Philippine Customs officials led by Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio have trained on currency smuggling detection, contraband interdiction, and other border security practices in the United States.

In a news release, the U.S. embassy said that from June 24 to 28 this year, the U.S. Department of State’s Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hosted an exchange visit in Los Angeles, California, for Customs officials to discuss and share best practices on port security and operations.

Rubio led the Philippine delegation that visited various CBP ports and facilities in L.A., including the Long Beach Seaport, L.A. International Airport (LAX), U.S. Coast Guard Marine Base, and the Air and Marine Operations Center in Riverside.  

“The best practices we have observed and the discussions we had with our U.S. counterparts will help us when the Bureau of Customs formulates new policies and improves operational guidelines when we go back to the Philippines,” Commissioner Rubio said.

One of the key topics of the exchange visit was helping the Philippines improve its currency smuggling detection and contraband interdiction. Customs officials also had the opportunity to exchange information on enforcement and investigation with special agents from the LAX-based Homeland Security Investigations office.

“Our Philippine visitors benefited from the expertise of CBP officers in airport currency smuggling detection and enforcement, which was all arranged under the EXBS program.  In the future, we are planning to bring CBP experts to the Philippines to assist the Bureau of Customs in identifying travelers with undeclared currency entering and exiting the country,” said Ransom Avilla, the Regional EXBS Advisor assigned at the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

The EXBS program, under the Export Control Cooperation Office of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, provides several training workshops for partner countries like the Philippines that feature CBP experts and investigators from the Homeland Security Investigations office. 

The security exchange program includes training in international air cargo interdiction, seaport interdiction, and counter proliferation investigation.

Through the EXBS program, the United States continues to support the Philippine government in improving its border security capabilities, strengthening its strategic trade management system, and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Other Customs officials who joined the visit included Deputy Commissioner for the Assessment Group Vener Baquiran, and District Collectors from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila International Container Port, and the ports of Clark, Manila, and Cebu.

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