Be Careful and honest.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by haganap, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Heres a little story I heard about last evening sat at teh dock side. Not a tall tale but a true story told separately by man and wife and I hope have encouraged both another funster and a letter to MMM. Some may already know this but perhaps not the consequences.

    First things first, this is true, I promise yo I have an eye and an ear for this so just know so, if anyone would like to add a question I will try my best to answer as I know I would of asked the chap the same question in an attempt to ensure my source.

    This is the story of a gentleman who is not particularly hard up but a little bit of a jack the lad even though probably knocking on late 60s, Owning a very nice 32k motorhome he arrived back in to Dover nearly 3 years back. He had with him a couple of Gs worth of fags and Bacca. Being a non smoker he was stopped and asked at customs about it. Basically this is where it all went wrong. Instead of saying he had it and it was for personal use and he was a heavy smoker along with his wife bla bla bla, he said he had none. However searching through draws garages etc, customs officers found some. He was then offered the opportunity to say if he had any more, he said he never did and low and behold a further search of the van revealed plenty more.

    This gentleman was then questioned for several hours, given all his tobacco back and a number of a local driver/van hire bloke to transfer it all back to his house. However, his motorhome and all in it was seized.

    To this day he has not been able to get this overturned. he has been to high court and above, and says it is very unlikely he will see it again. He has spent further 1000s getting lawyers involved to no avail. It seems like that's that. The chap was really good fun and philisopical about the whole thing and had bought a more expensive newer motorhome but was obviously still shaken by the event.

    He was not after sympathy, in fact very matter of fact on blaming himself for it but I thought a story well worth sharing.
    The fall down was the fact that once asked you MUST declare what you have, to my knowledge and what I was told, it could even of been a gift for others providing it was not for sale. That is not smuggling, however, hiding it away and denying you have it is smuggling and can and DOES in cases lead too vechile siezures.

    amazing story that Nikki and I were told and thought it worth sharing. :Eeek:
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    i do believe this to be a true story paul, but i find it hard to believe they allowed him to keep the contraband tobacco.
    its usually confiscated as well if duty isnt paid on it.

    could it have been east europeans looking for a new van :Laughing:

    why do you think the tobacco tourists/baccy barons use beaten up transits....'cos they know if stopped it'll be confiscated and ultimately crushed.

    it has also been known for customs and excise to stop suspect vehicles once they've left the port and on the motorway.
     
  3. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    All I can say is he got what he deserved. Why lie to them? They're going to find the stuff so tell them and be upfront about it.

    D.
     
  4. Dalek

    Dalek Read Only Funster

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    He knew what he was doing so why lie! He obviously got you believing his story :Eeek:
     
  5. niggle

    niggle Banned - Rule 1

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    :Rofl1: yes you must declair if asked,,:thumb: yes the law says we have the right to seize your vech or the vech you are trav in weather you own it or not ie coach or lorry,also after un stated contreband goods are found we have the right to strip/examine veh,,,, sorry :Doh::Doh:
     
  6. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Definitely got what he deserved. Smuggling is theft - from all of us. For every pound that smugglers avoid paying a pound has to be raised through alternative taxation and that comes from the rest of us.

    Graham
     
  7. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    A stupid person

    What does he think the customs officers are there for? it is to make sure you pay the correct duty on the items you buy. (if they can catch you). We all have brought in more than we are allowed I suspect at one time or another. I have I know. Mainly parts for my RV in my carry on bags... the odd extra bottle of spirit.

    The differance is when we get a large van, be it a transit or a motorhome that is loaded full with contraband..That is what it is... I have even seen Motability cars ceased by HM Customs and Revenue where they think that the car cannot be ceased.. it can and they are (they are then returned to Motability leasing for disposal and no they do not get another car)... I have seen the vans that are loaded up and if they get caught then that is rightly fair in my mind.

    Remember the Customs are doing a job.. looking mainly for illegals and drugs and those that try to bring contraband in to the UK, as another post says it is all of us that pay for this by more taxes. I accept the odd infringement, but not the truck full or the camper full. I doubt they would have allowed him to keep the goods even with an offer to pay the duty as the offence has been carried out when he lied.. so everything goes. Rightly so.

    Now who has filled up with cheap fuel on the way back? that in it's own way is trying to beat the system.. Yes we all do.

    Bob:Eeek:
     
  8. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    he agrees with you Dave, he feels the punnishment does not fit the crime. One thing he was not is a 5 trip a week smuggler in the true sense of the word., more of someone whom spotted what he thought was an opportunity.

    I think you need to re read the post. He never got me believing his story in any sense other than to say he was stupid for thinking he could make a few quick quid like MANY PEOPLE INCLUDING ON HERE DO. As said above does the punnishment fit the crime?
    As Papajohn says, if he was a true smuggler he would be using a 15 yr old transit. He made an error of judgement.

    The purpose of the post was not to condem the man, trust me hes done enough of that himself, it was merely to make people aware of what not to do if your stopped with a few too many fags on board for auntie flo and uncle Harry which does happen.
     
  9. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Personally I doubt it happened that way:RollEyes:
    Giving him the baccy back makes nonsense of it
    Surly if a crime had been committed then the baccy would have been evidence:Eek!:
    ergo no evidence, no crime, no confiscation of vehicle
    To give him it back would also make HM revenue and customs complicit in the crime
    prehaps Bob can comment
    Geo
     
  10. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    This chap was wrong in what he did, he knew it before he did it. He accepts the consequences and thats that.

    It is a good warning for the minority of people who may not be aware of the consequences of their actions.

    I do find it a bit rich for people to complain about them having to subsidise this mans actions through having to pay extra tax.

    If these bleeding hearts had their way smoking in this country would be totally banned and then they would have to dig a bit deeper to pay our taxes. Tobacco is one of the highest revenue earners in the country. You cant have it all ways so make up your minds.

    I know of one poster in this thread who earns his money from the taxpayer in a totally immoral way. Look inside your own dark closet before rushing to condem others, thats my opinion.
    Jim
    :Smile:
     
  11. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    I did think that Geo, and as said in the initial post asked the question.
    He attempted to even prove that he smoked and he and his wife were attempting to roll cigarettes in front of them. :Rofl1: so, he said to me that the customs office have a number of a company that will come and collect all the goods for you and transport them home when your vechile is seized. So in his words its a "normal" thing to happen, something about being able to prove that you used the vechile to transport the goods in illigally but unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt what your intentions were with the smuggled goods. I hope that makes sense or again I wonder if bob would be able to offer some extra on it?
    Still something worth knowing if you have a locker full of baccy for your kids separate from your own.
     
  12. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    Just being a dumb blonde from the popular jokes I won't be giving an in depth answer but the first thing that springs to mind for me is that he is in fact being fined £32,000 for his misdeed ... and when you look at what people get fined for beating up innocents then it seems ridiculous.... but that doesn't mean to say he wasn't in the wrong.

    Secondly, completely aside .... please Slobberdobadob will you explain the American thingy on the bottom of your post cos I have sat for ages trying to work it out.:Sad: Thank you.
     
  13. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    Customs and Excise law unto themselves


    It is a bit like VATman the (read Customs and Excise in general) have untold powers.. far in excess of police. They can do what they want in effect and you have some recourse in law but not a lot. I personally doubt the goods were given back, not as evidence but that is a valid point, but more that it would allow an appeal to the non retention of the vehicle. Which is limited. I have in the past years - way back seen many car and vans being sold at auction minus fuel tanks etc., that have been ceased at ports with drugs found in them Customs and Excise always sell them in the end.. money to the crown. Contraband is burnt or disposed of and not resold. I have never heard of goods being returned and the car or van kept. There is nothing I can see in the law books that says it cannot happen, but I cannot find any referance to it ever happening either.

    It sounds like a shaggy dog story that has been past on and on and changed as it moves from one person to the next. Any idiot that uses a motor home, given the value that risks this is mad. It is often the cheap transit, or more often now a hire car - new and less likly to attract attention unless it is sitting on the floor due to the load weight. But it is not a wise thing to do.

    Do remember that if it is coming from the EU and the local duty has been paid on the goods then the allowance is fairly high in most items so this would have had to been well over the limits to get customs to act the way it is told.

    Just my view

    Bob:Eeek:
     
  14. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    That's right. I think you can take 3000 fags in these days.
     
  15. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    only if over 18

    Yes each person has there own allowance for PERSONAL USE so age comes into it.

    Bob:Eeek:
     
  16. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    It comes from an American advert for Jeep

    No such thing as a dumb blond in my book, they are pretty smart on the whole... the signature is based on an American Advert sometime back about jeep cars.

    As I drive an American Winnebago it applies to that... I actually have the words on the side locker of the RV... A lot of European and UK motor home owners do not understand what we see in an American motorhome... may be it is all the mod cons... or the big fuel bill for the V10 6.8 petrol engine?

    Bob:thumb:
     
  17. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    I hope that is not me you are talking about?


    Jim I do hope you do not mean me:RollEyes::RollEyes: I am now retired so I do not get paid by the Legal Services Commission (Old Legal Aid Board) these days - funded by yes the tax payer and me as I paid taxes as well. - Immoral? well I have been call somethings... but immoral is a new one to add to the list. Normally it is based on the jokes, but being a shark is one I heard a lot. or last week by a police officer when I was doing a statement to support a prosecution for criminal damage of a phone box by 5 youths.. he hated Police Station lawyers...as I said to him it is just a job.

    But Jim I would have defended you like anyone else, I was not fussy. Cab rank rules first come... crime did not matter we were appointed to represent...

    These days if I do anything I charge at the going rate, but then I do little ... free advice often which it is up to the individual to decide if they want to accept or not.. lead a horse to water but you cannot make hime drink.

    I take it you smoke -- hence your attack on those that said tax loss. It is up to you if you want to kill yourself smoking. Personal choice. But we could have a long argument on what tax should be paid on anything.. we all pay VATon our fuel, we all pay vat (often without knowing) on buying the motorhome if from a dealer and on the bits we buy for them.

    HMG has to get the revenue from somewhere. The allowance to me is silly we should not have any duty free (form elsewhere in the world) we all pay local tax in Europe.. so in some ways it is a double tax if customs charge you.... just the bad system of belonging to the EU. anyway off my hobby horse. I do not want to have bad feelings at Bath & West or Lincoln or here.. just an exchange of views, everyone has them, some more strongly than others... but please, I am not Imorral Jim. At least I was not when I last looked.

    Bob:Blush:
     
  18. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    How dare you insult me:Angry: do you honestly think I would post some shaggy dog story from persons to another,? Its not a shaggy dog storry, it happened, it was the horses mouth, from seperate horses told the same to even the solicitors involved, so I would kindly ask you take that comment back, I only ever post to my best of knowledge factual information. :Angry:


    Geo, Nikki just informed me that I had this bit wrong, It was not his Baccy he got back but all the belongings from inside the van. Nikki also says that the lady did not know that he could get back Baccy for friends as gifts otherwise she would of said that.
    Perhaps this makes the "story" more correct for you Bob, I apologise for my angry comment but this was never about the rights and wrongs but to point out to those that perhaps do not understand the system correctly the facts :thumb:
     
  19. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    even I have trouble understanding sometimes

    If we all understood the the rules, regulations, law then I would never have had a job. Often the facts get mislaid, or out of line with events. Its a bit like chinesse wispers (ever played it?) unless I have heard it from the horses mouth which ever horse that was - lost count now, and I am not re reading all the posts again...sorry... :Blush: but the moral is know what you can and cannot bring back home after a trip. The customs and excise issue we could talk that round uyntil the cows come home and then we would still never understand what makes a customs man tick (or a lawyer for that matter).

    The trouble with the written word is it can be taken in the wrong context.. despite using the smile symbols it still can get out of hand. what seems simple in the first post opens up bags of worms and misunderstanding. I always prefer the telephone.. but that is not possible in this media.. but round the camp fire if you follow me, it is something you can often deal with a a few words or a look.:thumb:

    Bob
     
  20. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    Thanks Slobberdob,:thumb:

    I thought it was something like the 'Paddle Faster I hear Banjoes' saying.

    Joy
     
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