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Tajik Officials Detain Chinese Man, $150,000 In Cash

KHUJAND, Tajikistan -- Tajik authorities say they have detained a Chinese businessman at Khujand airport and confiscated $150,000 in undeclared money that he was carrying, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Khujand airport's customs service spokesman Abduvosit Mamajonov told RFE/RL on November 23 that the Chinese national was carrying the money in a briefcase and that an investigation is being conducted to determine the origin of the money.

Mamajonov said that last month a local businessman was detained for having $700,000 in undeclared cash in his luggage.

Tajik customs laws allow Tajik citizens to carry up to $10,000 in undeclared cash with them, while foreigners can have up to $3,000 when traveling.

Any sums exceeding those amounts must be declared and have supporting documents showing the origin of the funds.

Banks in Tajikistan charge 1.5 percent of the declared amount for these documents.

Tajik financial expert Ayub Egamov told RFE/RL that businesspeople are often afraid of declaring their money because they fear that corrupted officials, police, or customs officials will seek bribes from them.