ucanews.com reporter, ManilaUpdated: February 16, 2018 06:44 AM GMT
Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, founder and leader of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, as pictured on the religious group's website. (ucanews.com photo)
A Filipino pastor dubbed by his followers as the "appointed son of God" was temporarily detained in Hawaii this week after authorities found US$350,000 in cash and rifle parts in his private plane.
Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, founder and leader of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, was later released after U.S. citizen Felina Salinas, a follower of the pastor, claimed ownership of the cash.
He arrived back in the Philippines on Feb. 15 on board a commercial flight, leaving his private plane in, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Israelito Torreon, the pastor's spokesman, denied a report that suggested US authorities were still holding the pastor was not true.
"I just talked to him a few minutes ago after he and his companions arrived in Manila," Torreon said in a radio interview in Manila.
A TV report by Hawaii News Now said US Customs and Border enforcement agents boarded Quiboloy's Cessna Citation Sovereign Plus aircraft on Feb. 13, and found the cash and gun parts.
Quiboloy, a long-time friend of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, has once offered his private jet and a helicopter for the president's use. Duterte did not accept the offer.