‘Euro general’ wife Maria Fe dela Paz charged



MANILA, Philippines—The Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday filed before the Sandiganbayan criminal charges against a retired general and his wife for violating bank regulations and retirement rules of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the infamous “Euro Generals” case in 2008.

Acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro ordered separate charges filed against former PNP comptroller Eliseo dela Paz and wife Maria Fe for allegedly smuggling 105,000 euros (P6.9 million) during an official PNP trip to Russia in October 2008.

The Dela Paz couple was charged with violating Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Circular No. 507, which requires domestic and foreign travellers to declare foreign currency equivalent to $10,000 when entering or leaving the Philippines.

The retired general was also charged with “prolonging the performance of duties and powers,” penalized under the Revised Penal Code. The Ombudsman said Dela Paz pushed through with an official trip even while he was due to retire within the travel date.

The Ombudsman’s investigation showed that the Dela Paz couple “did not declare [euros] in their possession” as they left the Philippines with a PNP delegation attending the 77th Interpol General Assembly in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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