The Story of a Saudi abroad: Traveling around is like bagging the experiences of all sorts. One learns a lot of goods, the bad, and the harshness of unexpected laws abroad. The worst of the scenarios occur if the country does not have your Embassy, the things get worse and one really feels what its like to be “discriminated”.
Today’s story is about a harsh experience a Saudi Citizen is currently facing only because he was unaware of the immigration laws of the country he traveled to.
Cash Limit to carry: There certain universal laws one must follow during travel, and monetary affairs are to be specially taken care of. The maximum amount of cash you can carry with yourself during a flight or checking in any country is $ 10,000/.
This law is followed in many foreign countries as they reserve the rights to confiscate the sum of cash amount you are carrying with you. Recommended: How much Cash can I take out of Saudi Arabia?
Fahd-Al-Ahmadi is a Saudi citizen who was traveling from Los Angeles and stopped at Panama for a small trip with his son. Panama is one of the regions where Saudi Arabia does not operate its Embassy nor does have any office of government level, so the discrimination done is understood.
The Saudi Citizens have often been through bad experiences while traveling to and from Panama as their customs officers are not only ill-mannered but also biased towards the Saudi Citizens. One such incident occurred to Fahd-Al-Ahmadi.
He mentioned the amount he was carrying: While checking in and filling the form at the airport, he ticked on the box with an option that he is carrying more than $10,000. The customs officer was surprised, she called the security officer, gave him their passport and detained them in a small room for more than two hours before they came and started to search in their bags.
They confiscated all his money: Fahd-al-Ahmadi said, “They underwent a detailed search to the level that they even took small coins from the pockets that we carried from Los Angeles. They collected $21,000 in total from me and my son and confiscated claiming that I did not specify the exact amount I was carrying and just ticked that I was carrying more than 10,000.”
Fahd told them that it was a clear theft and he would contact his embassy. He justified that the half of the amount is for his son’s education in Japan and also that he had to carry large amount because he was traveling in the countries where credit card cannot be used but they refused all the excuses and also they refused to give a receipt of the amount they confiscated saying that his lawyer will know the amount that will be seized.
They asked for an additional $4,000 for lawyer’s fee: He was banned from traveling which was not less than a shock for him. He was left alone without money, a lawyer and even without Saudi Embassy who could help him. Fahd said, one of the officers gave me the contact number of a good lawyer and on calling him, he knew who I was and came to my hotel to meet me and asked for $4,000 in advance warning that I may only get half of the money.
I replied that your friend seized all the money including the coins. He left me saying that there will be two sessions in the court and before that I should arrange some money.”
The Conclusion: Fahd contacted the Saudi Foreign ministry with the Saudi embassy in Washington. The embassy assigned Peru embassy, the closest to Panama to look in this case. Fahd lost $11,000 as the government of Panama confiscated the money and returned him back only $10,000 out of which he had to pay the lawyer’s fee of $4000.
Source: Saudi Gazette