A 48-YEAR-OLD Chinese national has been fined by the Nadi Magistrates Court for failing to declare foreign currency totalling more than $23,000 while entering the country.
Appearing before Magistrate Keshwypa Wickaramsekara, Xinhua Cao was charged with failing to declare currency at the border.
He is the third Chinese national this month to be stopped at Nadi International Airport for carrying more than $10,000 in cash.
According to the court, Xinhua arrived on a Korean Air flight transiting Fiji while travelling towards the Solomon Islands on October 8.
The accused told Customs officers he was not carrying more than $10,000.
However, the immigration officers were not convinced and searched his luggage. In the side pocket of his suitcase, they found $23,076.
The money was seized by the authorities and the accused was arrested.
In sentencing, Mr Wickaramsekara said he was concerned that the court had once again come across a crime of this nature within a short period of time.
He ordered the accused to pay $7500 within 28 days or face a jail term.
The judge said the accused would be deported to China after paying the fine. The court also added that the seized money be returned to Xinhua after he pays his dues.
West police prosecutor ASP Anil Prasad submitted the accused be remanded in custody until he returns to China.