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13-10-2015 7:08 am  #1


tobacco taken.

My friend and I were stopped on the weekend and had 60 kilos HRT and my car seized. We said it was half each and was for the personel use of us, partners and family and gifts. No reason for seizure was actually given and we have never been stopped before. I know its a large amount but when you say 50 packs per family member to last a year it actually breaks down to just that. Not holding out much hope for a resolution in our favour but is there anything we can do to limit the amount they are going to hit us with. We wasnt given a reason or offered the chance to pay any duty at the time so does this equate to an illegal seizure. Any help will be appreciated greatly

Last edited by heavy smoker (13-10-2015 7:23 am)

 

13-10-2015 8:26 am  #2


Re: tobacco taken.

Employ a direct access barrister. You're already on for a hit of around 20k with the cost of your baccy so another couple of grand won't make much difference.


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13-10-2015 10:27 am  #3


Re: tobacco taken.

Do I go through the process of asking for goods to be returned and saying it was an illegl seizure???? I cant afford a barrister and 10 grand each is an amount neither of us can get any where near paying. Really dont know which way to turn here.
I have heard not claiming is an admission of guilt and claiming can cost up to 2500 in their costs alone it just looks like what ever you do it will just cost more and more and I just dont have that sort of money.

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13-10-2015 11:49 am  #4


Re: tobacco taken.

heavy smoker wrote:

Do I go through the process of asking for goods to be returned and saying it was an illegl seizure???? I cant afford a barrister and 10 grand each is an amount neither of us can get any where near paying. Really dont know which way to turn here.
I have heard not claiming is an admission of guilt and claiming can cost up to 2500 in their costs alone it just looks like what ever you do it will just cost more and more and I just dont have that sort of money.

You are correct in your summarisation.

You are not going to convince anybody that 60 kgs is for own use or to give away especially when you say you can't afford the penalties. A huge amount like that would have previously meant criminal proceedings but nowadays they would rather have your money.

The best you can hope for is to go for restoration. You should have Notice 12A with your paperwork which details the process. If and when the duty demands arrive you may be able to argue nothing is due owing to the goods having been destroyed. This is a recent development though and not yet verified. If the car is of value it may contribute towards the duty. If it is of little value it will be crushed.
 


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13-10-2015 12:26 pm  #5


Re: tobacco taken.

I will go through the restoration road and argue the the duty the car is worth about 1500 which isnt much but hopefully will go some way to helping. I will give updates of any progress as such a big seizure and its outcomes will, Im sure, be of interest to many of the forum users as well as the admin team

     Thread Starter
 

19-1-2016 9:58 am  #6


Re: tobacco taken.

Well I have had restoration refused. However the decision was made by a single BF officer. We have a copy of the seizing officers notebook. The notebook was signed but one and a half pages stating we declined an interview and what was seized has been added after we signed. The officer states we had no smoking paraphanalia, also in book after we signed. We did have smoking stuff on us as we were smoking out side the search bay. We were not offered an interveiw and we werent searched to see if we had smoking stuff with us. Also the guy who filled the notebook out was only ever present when we were first questioned. The next time we saw him it was over an hour later after car had been searched and goods taken. All he did was say we have seized the goods and you cant go until you sign this.
Can he legally add to a signed statement and how can he say things he cant have known as he wasnt there??? Also I thought the restoration was judged by independant people not a single officer????
I have raised these points with Peter Hastings as he was recommended on this site but havnt had much back from him at all about if these are legal mess ups on Border forces part.
 

Last edited by heavy smoker (19-1-2016 10:06 am)

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19-1-2016 12:56 pm  #7


Re: tobacco taken.

The restoration decision is normally made by an officer who is dealing with your case. If you then want to request a review of that decision it should be made by an independent officer not connected with the case. All this is in Notice 12A which you should have been given with your paperwork.

Signing the notebook is not the same as signing a police statement. You are simply verifying that it is a true record of the interview. Officers are required to add certain things after the interview such as the reasons for the stop which they will not let you know. The notebook may be regarded in some circumstances as little more than an 'aide memoire'.


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