A Syrian man detained as a potential national security threat after he tried to cross the border into Surrey with nearly $1 million and a ring emblazoned with a Hezbollah logo has been freed from custody.

Khaled Nawaya, 34, says he is still in shock and he thanked God for his release after the Immigration and Refugee Board allowed him out of custody.

Lawyer Phil Rankin says Nawaya, who tried to cross into B.C. from the United States on Oct. 6, lied about the coins and cash because he didn’t want to be taxed.

Officials from the Canadian Border Services Agency, who had earlier successfully argued for his detention on terrorism-related grounds, agreed to the release.

Rankin says the ring and other suspicious items, including 9-11 conspiracy DVDs, were nothing more than a sign that Nawaya is sympathetic toward the situation in the Middle East.

Nawaya, who’d lived in the U.S. for 16 years and had been approved to immigrate to Canada, says he got most of the money he was carrying as the result of a lawsuit in the U.S.