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Manuel

Getting illegally earned money out of China?

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889

"The legal limit to bring into the US is 10k USD dollars cash, check, etc."

 

It's not a "legal limit." You simply must declare amounts over the limit. (And the limit only applies to checks if they are essentially cash equivalents, for example payable to bearer or already endorsed in blank by the payee.)

 

Note well that trying to avoid the reporting standards with serial deposits, etc below the limit is in itself a crime in the U.S., called layering. Much better that you bring in a sum just over the limit and declare it: take steps to avoid problems, not create them.

 

It depends on your bank and your relationship with it, but in the U.S. -- where banks are extremely cautious these days -- it'd be surprising if a series of deposits of US$8,000 or so doesn't attract attention. Remember, if the bank files a Suspicious Activity Report with the Government about your deposits, they do not (indeed, they can not) tell you.

 

Finally, be aware that Hong Kong now requires a declaration when you bring in cash or equivalent of HK$120,000 or more.

 

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NinjaTurtle
13 minutes ago, 889 said:

It's not a "legal limit."

 

That is good to know. But the Bank of China and others will not change more per day than that.

 

13 minutes ago, 889 said:

it'd be surprising if a series of deposits of US$8,000 or so doesn't attract attention.

 

I was wondering about that too. But I have made such deposits twice a year to my American bank and so far no one has said anything. I always tell them I work in China, this is my salary, and the tellers at my bank always seem to be happy with that.

 

On the other side of the coin, if someone tried to do this every month, I am sure this would raise suspicion.

 

Another point is that I always get my "W2" from my school every year. (Yes, they have them and will give them if you ask for them. Salary earned and tax paid is clearly listed.) I am always ready to show it if needed. This has never come up. (I guess I just don't look suspicious enough...)

 

 

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889

But like I said, if they've reported you to the Government, they can't tell you.Truth is, in America unless you're in a cash business like a cab driver, US$16,000 is a lot of greenbacks to hand over the counter in a year. Normal people don't walk around with that kind of cash.

 

However, you might at some point get a phone call from their know-your-customer department asking about your sources of income. This could come out of the blue months after your deposit. Useful to have a phone number on file with your bank that rings in China.

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NinjaTurtle
14 minutes ago, 889 said:

Normal people don't walk around with that kind of cash.

 

Normal people don't teach English in China hahahaha.

 

14 minutes ago, 889 said:

you might at some point get a phone call from their know-your-customer department asking about your sources of income.

 

So my "W2" from my school would not be sufficient?

 

To Manuel the OP; if all this worries you, you might even consider keeping such "large" amounts of money "in the mattress", in a locked box somewhere in your house in Canada. (I keep my stuff in America in a locker in a commercial storage facility which works great.) I have a fishing tackle box that can take a combination lock.

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Shelley
2 hours ago, NinjaTurtle said:

To Manuel the OP; if all this worries you, you might even consider keeping such "large" amounts of money "in the mattress", in a locked box somewhere in your house in Canada. (I keep my stuff in America in a locker in a commercial storage facility which works great.) I have a fishing tackle box that can take a combination lock.

Thats fine once they get it there.

 

You are allowed to take any amount of money you like through US customs. You just have to DECLARE it if it is over $10,000. If they ask you where did it come from just tell them. All you have to say is I have been working as a teacher in china for 2 years and this is my pay, no problem. If you have pay slips even better.

They just don't like you SMUGGLING it through. Declare all and you will be surprised how smoothly it can go, if you have as much paperwork as you can get and are honest and aboveboard it all helps.

 

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陳德聰

A *friend* of mine carried about $60k in CAD out of China on their person, and into Canada recently. This is obviously more than the amount Chinese regulations allow to leave the country in cash, but I suppose nobody was looking particularly hard and the cash was hidden in various compartments of the carry on. On arrival in Canada, the cash needed to be declared, and because the cash had been exchanged to CAD in China at a BOC, there were Chinese bank slips for the entire amount, and customs went very smoothly just as Shelley suggests above.

 

I believe when it was put into an account here, the financial institution is required to report it to anti-money laundering agencies, but frankly right now that is a bit of a joke because our prosecution and police force has flubbed some very high profile money laundering cases as of late.

 

When exchanging the cash to CAD, it will depend on the city, but some places need to order foreign cash if they don’t carry it regularly. You may also want to go to several different branches to do the exchanges. I agree that if you don’t try to do anything above the limit in China you will probably be fine. The problem is that if you try to do the same transaction too many times at the same branch, it may actually trigger a request for documentation.

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imron
15 hours ago, NinjaTurtle said:

the Bank of China and others will not change more per day than that.

You're talking about different things.  You mentioned the amount BoC will exchange in a day.  889 is talking about the amount you must declare to US customs.

 

13 hours ago, Shelley said:

You are allowed to take any amount of money you like through US customs.

Just be wary of civil asset forfeiture.

 

 

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Lu

It really depends on how much money we're talking about. If it is enough to fund years of studying back home... I don't even know where to start. Also it's seriously risky to keep that much money at home. What if the house is broken into or catches fire?

 

As to exchanging RMB to other currencies: regular foreigners are only allowed to exchange a small amount per day. Diplomats are allowed to exchange much larger amounts (I forgot the requirements for this I'm afraid) and Chinese citizens as well. If your friend knows a Chinese person he trusts with large amounts of money, the fastest way to exchange is asking this trusted Chinese person to do it for him. Or if your friend happens to know a trusted diplomat, that also works. (I am aware most people don't know diplomats, just adding the information for the people who do.)

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Shelley
4 hours ago, imron said:

Just be wary of civil asset forfeiture.

Yes this is always a problem but in the article in the link I think they had "cause" to seize it because of the marijuana traces found and they could argue it was proceeds of crime ie dealing drugs.

Thats why I said be honest and above board and I would add "have clean hands"

 

The article also says:

"They still seized the cash they found there."

 

The operative word here is "found" which makes it sound like he didn't declare it before they found it. Before you land you get given a card which asks you many questions about what you have in your luggage, food, drink and Money. You need to tick yes in the box for money. This is your safeguard.

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imron
1 hour ago, Shelley said:

I think they had "cause" to seize it because of the marijuana traces found and they could argue it was proceeds of crime ie dealing drugs.

That's hardly cause to rob someone of $11,000.  Also, a Google search for "civil asset forfeiture u.s. customs" will turn up plenty of other cases where no "traces of marijuana" were in play.

 

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Shelley

Oh I agree it not a good thing, all I was pointing out was that the squeaky cleaner you are the less chance of trouble, but there is no accounting for the fickle nature of customs and governments.

Once again I will draw your attention to the use of the word "found" which implies it was not declared and so this is another reason even without the traces to seize your money.

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mungouk
On 4/28/2019 at 6:32 AM, 陳德聰 said:

The lol is because giving vague advice on an online forum is not aiding and abetting anything.

 

Well, in my defence (as if anyone cares really) I was more thinking of the OP and that fact that they had expressed their intentions openly on a very public forum.

 

Maybe some folk don't really care about their online privacy, but it's very easy to leave trails of data online without realising it.  It's wonderful that these forums are so easily findable online, but on the other hand, IMHO, users really need to be aware of what they are putting out there.  

 

OK that's my bit.  I'll leave you all to your discussions of international money laundering and asset-confiscation due to drug smuggling... :)

 

 

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