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Prank goes wrong: Thai tourist stopped at Changi Airport for bringing in more than S$20,000 undeclared cash

The Independent logo The Independent 27/9/2022 Hana O
© The Independent Singapore

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What started as a prank ended up in detention at Changi Airport for a Thai tourist who brought over S$20,000 cash into the country and didn’t know he had to declare the amount.

A video of the incident was posted on TikTok by Sungstarwin, who went into detail about what happened to him at the airport.

Sungstarwin was with five other friends, and he offered to convert their Thai baht to Singapore dollars.

With S$23,253.92 (610,000 baht) on hand, Sungstarwin thought it was a good moment to prank his friends by keeping the money and charging them a higher exchange rate.

Photo: TikTok screengrab/iamsungstarwin © The Independent Singapore Photo: TikTok screengrab/iamsungstarwin

However, he didn’t take into account airport policies such as cash declaration.

According to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, those entering or leaving Singapore with physical currency or bearer negotiable instruments with a total value exceeding S$20,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency) must fill in the NP727 (Physical Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Report (Traveller) form).

Sungstarwin recorded himself carrying the cash and was eventually questioned by immigration officers before leading him away to a separate area.

Photo: TikTok screengrab/iamsungstarwin © The Independent Singapore Photo: TikTok screengrab/iamsungstarwin Photo: TikTok screengrab/iamsungstarwin © The Independent Singapore Photo: TikTok screengrab/iamsungstarwin

Fortunately, he was released soon after, and the group continued their journey. It is unclear if Sungstarwin proceeded with his intention of pranking his friends following the ordeal.

Photo: TikTok screengrab/iamsungstarwin © The Independent Singapore Photo: TikTok screengrab/iamsungstarwin

It appears others are unaware of such rules, based on the comments on the video, which has since gone viral with nearly 10 million views.

The NP727 form is available at all checkpoints and can be downloaded from the Singapore Police Force website.

Physical currency refers to coins and printed money, while bearer negotiable instruments include a bill of exchange, cheque, promissory note, bearer bond, money order and postal order. /TISG

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