Executive Council spokesman Leong Heng Teng said on Thursday that the government was proposing that cash and bearer negotiable instruments of 120,000 patacas (about US$15,000) or more should be declared to customs officers.
During a special press conference at Government Headquarters, Leong announced that the council, the government’s top advisory body, completed its discussion of a government-drafted bill on the supervision of the cross-border transportation of large quantities of currency and bearer-negotiable instruments.
“The bill aims to combat money laundering,” said Leong, adding that the government has the duty to implement such a law as a member of the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF).
According to the bill, violators will be fined 1 to 5 per cent of the amount exceeding the 120,000 pataca limit, ranging from 1,000 to 500,000 patacas.
A system of red and green channels has been set up at all the city’s border checkpoints since October, according to Macau Customs Service Assistant Director-General Ng Kuok Heng, who stood next to Leong when he made the remarks.
Ng insisted that the bill would not affect the city’s free movement of capital protected by the Macau Basic Law as the bill only requires a declaration without imposing a limit on the amount.
Macau is a free port and separate customs territory.
The bill will be submitted to the legislature for debate and vote.