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27-2-2013 12:26 pm  #1


Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

 " HELP REQUIRED PLEASE "

Yesterday I came back from Fance and Belgium after a shopping trip to stock up on tobbaco, cigarettes, beer, wine, spirits and food in my car. I took a friend with me who wanted the same.

We got back to Dover and were stopped outside the customs shed and asked what we had? I told the officer we had baccy, booze and shopping, he asked how much tobbaco and I replied 150 pouches each and 200 cigarettes. He pulled us into the shed for questioning and we both stated that we had stocked-up and that it was all entirely for or own personal use and we did not intend to sell any - we repeated this statement several times.

They started to unload my car and we got a very funny look when they found a large tin of Quality Street Containing dozens of prescription drugs which belonged to my friend as he is a diabetic and has to take 14 pills a day!  Anyway there were infact 180 pouches each and 200 cigarettes (I forgot we found some extra money and bought 30 more pouches each) The officer then became angy saying that " I had Lied" about the quantity and that he was going to seize the car and its contents!

Then began a 45 minute ordeal when we were both questioned near the car. My friend took out 2 different pouches of baccy that he mixes to make his own blend as do I. The officer said that he was seizing the car and goods because they were mixed brands and he believed they were for resale - we both corrected his assumption and again told him that they were for our own personal consumption.

My friend then started to go very pale and visibely look quite ill! ( probably a mixture of the stress of the situation and his illness ) and had to sit down. after seeing this the officer said to me that we could all go into his office to make statements and do paperwork as in any event he was going to seize the goods and car and this would take up to 3 hours. He then said that I could appeal but would be pointless as I would lose and then also have to pay an extra £1500 Customs costs!

Suddenly he changed his tacticks and said:  " I can see that your friend is ill, you don't want him to be stuck here for another 3 hours do you? I can release the car so that you can be on your way and get your friend home quickly but you must leave your goods behind! "

This left me with a difficult dicision to make as the baccy was for ourselfs and I did not want to lose it but my friend was indeed ill and had to go to a side room to sit down and have a drink of water. I asked him and he said that he wanted to go.

I then told the officer that we would go. To my supprise they loaded the Belgium Cigarettes, Wine, Beer and Spirits back into the car! and I again said to the officer can I appeal to which he again replied "there is no point you will not get them back!"

So, we left after confirming that the tobbaco was entirely for our own use and we did not intend to sell any, after NOT making any statement or any addmition or confession of any kind.

I can not get my head around our treatment. Why did the customs officer decide that from a car full of  goods that only the tobbaco - not the cigarettes, wine, beer and spirits - were for resale?  This does not add up and is most inconsistant!

I really want to appeal this as  I feel that they make  the rules up as they feel fit.

PLEASE can any members point me in the right direction and how to do about appealing this seizure.
 

Last edited by Numpydumpty (23-10-2013 12:27 pm)

 

27-2-2013 1:24 pm  #2


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

Did you opt to return for an interview as is your right?
Not sure of the procedure if you did not opt for a delayed interview at the time of seizure but I would phone Dover and tell them you and your friend want to return for interview. If they say this is no longer an option as you abandoned the goods you will have to go through the appeals procedure.
Send off a notice of claim each for you and friend.
Apply for a SAR again one each for you and friend.

I assume you were not carrying our recommended paperwork and did not record the interview?
If not asap write down everything you remember of the incident as your rcollection will fade quickly.
You have only 1 month for them to receive your NOC.
Come back with questions.


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Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.

 
 

27-2-2013 1:40 pm  #3


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

I forgot to include the list of paperwork the customs issued us at Dover:

(1)  2 x HM Revenue & Customs Warning of Liability to Prosecution Forms (ENF3174)
     one signed by me and the other filled-in my the officer stating - in the signature space -
    " did not sign as unwell "

(2)   1 x UK Border Agency Seizure Information Notice (BOR156)
      Stating: " 18 kg. mixed brand tobacco "
                 "  Care - Vehicle index "                signed by me

(3)    1 x UK Border Agency Seizure of Vehicle "Restoration of Seized Vehicle on Humanitarian                
        Grounds"
                                                                    signed by me


        We did not see and were not asked to sign any Notebook.

     Thread Starter
 

27-2-2013 1:49 pm  #4


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

Standard procedure. You would not have signed the notebook as you were not formally interviewed. Nevertheless the officer would/should have recorded the stop in his notebook. This is why you need to apply for SAR, to get a copy of his notes.


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Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.

 
 

27-2-2013 1:51 pm  #5


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

Hi eezyrider.

We were never given an option to return for a formal interview.

I did not record the interview as it was not in an office but we were questioned around the car, so we made no formal statements.

Thanks, I will send a request for a SAR and Notice of claim for us both. I have just found more info about this on this site.

     Thread Starter
 

27-2-2013 1:56 pm  #6


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

If you were able to get a delayed interview you would be able to prepare your paperwork in accordance with what N2d recommends and also record the interview. Got to be worth a phonecall


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Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.

 
 

27-2-2013 1:56 pm  #7


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

Why do you think they allowed us to keep the cigarettes purchased in Belgium?

     Thread Starter
 

27-2-2013 2:00 pm  #8


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

There's never any set pattern to their actions. One shopper on here recently lost everything including his booze and car. They do seem to be on a mission though to bag as much HRT as possible.


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Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.

 
 

27-2-2013 2:02 pm  #9


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

When I phone to try for a formal interview should I mention N2d or keep that quite for now

     Thread Starter
 

27-2-2013 2:08 pm  #10


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

Numpydumpty wrote:

When I phone to try for a formal interview should I mention N2d or keep that quite for now

No. I would just say that you had to leave because your passenger was ill and you were not made aware of or given the option of a delayed interview at the time. Since you have found out you now want an interview.
You'll need to speak to customs at Dover
 


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Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.

 
 

27-2-2013 2:10 pm  #11


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

Numpty, sounds to me like you got off incredibly lightly (its very rare for them to restore a seized vehicle on humanitarian grounds -the officer must have really been convinced that your friend was ILL!). Its also unusual that they let you keep the cigarrettes, although there is little profit in smuggling ciggys from Belgium so maybe they have finally recognised that fact. 

Of course that doesn't excuse the way you were treated and the unfair seizure. But 2 blokes in a car, an inaccurate declaration of amount, with no SOT, one of them probably on DLA if he is taking that amount of 'scripted drugs, and each carrying 9 x the MIL......

...well you can see where the Officer was coming from.

You MUST however appeal as in a few weeks you will be , almost certainly, getting a large bill/penalty demand in the post! A demand for several hundred pounds!

So follow the advice given already. Notice Of Claim and an SAR to start with.

Last edited by The Blocked Dwarf (27-2-2013 2:13 pm)


"I, uh, let her out the trunk...heard what, err, She snarled at THEM...."

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png
 

27-2-2013 2:32 pm  #12


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

Numpty, this doesn't help you at all right now but thisvideo shows you for next time how to do it , taken at in that very same Sked Shed at Dover two months ago(and also two blokes in an old car with 'humanitarian' grounds for needing to get home asap).

....and if you could try to sound more intelligent than I did (in the vid) that's a win to!


"I, uh, let her out the trunk...heard what, err, She snarled at THEM...."

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png
 

27-2-2013 4:04 pm  #13


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

Numpydumpty wrote:

We did not see and were not asked to sign any Notebook.

In FoI 19924 it is stated that the note "be made either at the time of the stop or at the earliest opportunity afterwards". It is favourable for yourselves that it is unsinged!

 

27-2-2013 4:09 pm  #14


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

shopperleighonsea wrote:

Numpydumpty wrote:

We did not see and were not asked to sign any Notebook.

In FoI 19924 it is stated that the note "be made either at the time of the stop or at the earliest opportunity afterwards". It is favourable for yourselves that it is unsinged!

Agreed, burnt documents are of little use!
 


http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png We don't do nice ... we do right!

It's not that l have something to hide ... it's l have nothing l want to show you.
 

27-2-2013 5:51 pm  #15


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

Good video BD.  Well done!

 

01-3-2013 8:25 am  #16


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

Just an update.

I phoned Plymouth yesterday to get the correct number for Dover to request a delayed interview.
The chap at Plymouth gave it to me saying that there might be an answerphone but to leave my details and someone would call me back to arrange the interview.

Sure enough it was an answerphone so I left my details and request - NO CALL BACK YET

I have finished our requests for a SAR and am posting them today.

I am in the middle of writing our appeals and should be able to post them to Plymouth on Monday.

     Thread Starter
 

01-3-2013 8:56 am  #17


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

Remember all postage should be made recorded delivery and you should track it so that they cannot lie about when it was received. Small point but you wouldn't be the first person to forget that they may just say, 'Never received it'. THEY ARE LIARS.

 

01-3-2013 2:25 pm  #18


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

Numpydumpty wrote:

Just an update.

I phoned Plymouth yesterday to get the correct number for Dover to request a delayed interview.
The chap at Plymouth gave it to me saying that there might be an answerphone but to leave my details and someone would call me back to arrange the interview.

Sure enough it was an answerphone so I left my details and request - NO CALL BACK YET

I have finished our requests for a SAR and am posting them today.

I am in the middle of writing our appeals and should be able to post them to Plymouth on Monday.

might be worth your while getting your phone bill on 'itemised' or printing off from your BT online account 

If you phone them once a day every day until they get back to you then you might have one more thing to beat them with if it goes to court  "if it please your Worships , my client had to  make 15 phone calls to even get a reply from the UKBA *holds BT bill aloft*"

It is a very good idea to record every call with them as well. 


"I, uh, let her out the trunk...heard what, err, She snarled at THEM...."

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png
 

04-3-2013 8:07 am  #19


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

celticmanx wrote:

Remember all postage should be made recorded delivery and you should track it so that they cannot lie about when it was received. Small point but you wouldn't be the first person to forget that they may just say, 'Never received it'. THEY ARE LIARS.

Hi, should I include my "travel history" in my Notice of Claim? - I think it might help matters?

Between 2003 and 2012 I did not travel outside of the UK ( infact between 2009 and 2012 I did not have a  valid passport!)

In 2012 I traveled to the EU 3 times and once in 2013 when this seizure occured.

the dates in 2012 were:
26/02/13 - Day Trip - Me and Friend (seizure)
30/11/12 - Day Trip - Me only ( Christmas shopping trip, lots of boozein car, briefly stopped outside shed, sent on way no search)
19/09/12 - 4 Day Trip, romantic hotel stay in lovely Bruges with girlfrriend (not stopped on return)
22/05/12 - 4 Day Trip, romantic hotel stay at the Hotel Zanzibar Dunkerque - day trip to Bruges and day trip to Boulogne (not stopped on return) 

It shows that I am not a regular day tripper, shopper, "smuggler" 

My friend last travelled in 2006 to spain to visit his sister.


It has just occured to me on writing this that they target people more on day trips!?!?!
 

     Thread Starter
 

04-3-2013 8:30 am  #20


Re: Crazy Seizure at DOVER - Had to leave goods as Passenger taken ill !

Numpydumpty wrote:

It has just occured to me on writing this that they target people more on day trips!?!?!
 

I think that's just coincidence as they don't know your travel details unless you tell them.

As we've seen before they assume, often incorrectly, that you carry a similar amount of baccy each trip.


Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force may use your posts here as evidence against you in court.
 

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