Russian woman lost 6.5 million due to customs officer's mistake
The woman, on his instructions, went to the "green" corridor, and not to the "red"
Six and a half million rubles in Japanese yen were confiscated for the needs of the state from a resident of Kazan, despite the completed customs declaration by her. The woman got lost at the airport during a transfer and instead of the "red" corridor went to the "green" one. Moreover, this path was indicated to her by a customs officer - however, his colleague detained the passenger and accused her of smuggling.
As MK found out, tragic absent-mindedness brought a resident of Kazan, Alina (all names have been changed), to the dock and caused the confiscation of a substantial sum of money.
A Russian woman in 2005 married a citizen of Japan and most of the time she lived with her husband in the land of the rising sun. However, she regularly visited Russia, including for treatment due to health problems caused by the consequences of the Fukushima nuclear accident.
In November 2014, in Kazan, a woman had her thyroid gland and tumor removed. After that, she began to regularly come to her homeland in summer and winter. In 2020, the couple decided to finally move to Russia. The Japanese liked the country, and the family also planned to adopt a child.
During the implementation of these plans, a problem arose with the transfer of money from a Japanese bank to a Russian one. Alina had a loan at the Russian bank, which she could repay with funds from a Japanese account. However, this was not so easy to do: when making an online transfer, the bank did not guarantee that the funds would be credited to the account. Then Alina decided to bring cash in yen and exchange it in Russia for rubles.
The woman contacted a representative of the Russian Customs Service in Japan for a consultation. The specialist said that she can freely import up to 100 thousand US dollars, for this it is enough to fill out a declaration. When importing more than one hundred thousand, confirmation of the source of these funds is required. Alina did just that. She bought an air ticket on the route Tokyo - Moscow - Kazan. Then she withdrew 11,000,000 Japanese yen and three dollars from her account - at the exchange rate, this amounted to a little less than 100 thousand dollars. I downloaded a declaration form from the Internet and filled it out in advance at home before departure. At the Tokyo airport, she filled out a declaration for the export of money and officially registered it.
Alina flew without incident to Sheremetyevo and began to look for a passage to domestic flights in order to get to Kazan. It turned out to be difficult: many passages were blocked due to covid restrictions. The woman began to wander around the airport in search of the right path, asking for help from employees. Approaching the "green corridor", she turned to the customs officer with a question about how to get on a domestic flight. The employee waved towards the "green corridor" with the words "here" and immediately left.
Alina went into the corridor. According to her, she walked no more than two meters and saw another employee. She asked him the same question about flights, in response he asked if she was carrying money. The woman confirmed that she had currency and a completed declaration with her. The employee was very surprised and asked her to show the money and the document, which Alina did.
After that, she was invited to the inspection room, where she was accused of illegally transporting money to the territory of the Russian Federation and detained for 10 hours, canceling her ticket to Kazan. The fact that the passenger crossed the line of the "green corridor" was regarded by the customs officers as a criminal intent to transport money from abroad to Russia. Without declaring, you can import no more than $10,000. This amount was returned to her, the rest - equivalent to 6.5 million rubles - was confiscated.
A criminal case was opened against Alina, which was considered in the Khimki court. The woman tried to convince the servants of Themis that a ridiculous mistake had occurred. Witnesses, including airport staff, corroborated her claims that she had gotten lost and approached staff for help. And CCTV cameras confirmed that the customs officer himself actually showed her the way through the "green" corridor "without further questions.
However, the judge considered that the passenger's ignorance of the process of submitting the declaration does not relieve her of guilt for violating the law. Alina was found guilty, and as a punishment, she was sentenced to a restriction of freedom for a period of 1 year. During this period, a woman cannot travel outside of Kazan without the consent of the special agency; cannot visit places of mass, entertainment events. She is also forbidden to leave her place of permanent residence at night from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. And 6.5 million rubles in Japanese yen were confiscated as state revenue.