Gransnet forums


UKBA (Customs) Targeting the elderly at Airports

(126 Posts)
Muggedagain Wed 21-Dec-11 10:49:22

It would seem the UKBA (Customs) are targetng the senior citizens at Marine ports and Airports, The concept is the elderly are easy to intimidate, They have poor memory and they could well be dead before any appeal is heard or the case comes before a civil court (Usually 2 years after the seizure).
If they take even a small amount of legally purchased goods from an old person, And that person has their car (even a Motobility car) at the Airport or Sea port car park they will seize the car as well, The elderly victim can moan all they like, But will eventually be turfed out on the street, by force if necessary, Rain.hail, snow or full blown blizzard, It maters not to the Thugs of the UKBA.
Read an old mans struggle for JUSTICE

UKBA will get the most expensive solicitors money can buy, The Elderly won't even get LEGAL AID


JessM Wed 21-Dec-11 11:24:13

You have not tempted me to click on your link. You just left me thinking - if you were bringing something in illegally and you got caught, well whose fault was that? It would not surprise me for instance if there were not phalanxes of over 60s thinking they could get away with bringing in drugs because only the young are searched. Lot of over 60 year old dopeheads around. And then there is the vast market in cigs. All of them are young too aren't they.
I wonder if you are advertising something. People who post for the first time and invite one to click on a link make me a tad suspicious. Sorry.
I'm sure if you shared your story coherently on the forum itself you would get some interest...

glammanana Wed 21-Dec-11 11:28:53

When travelling abroad and purchasing any goods you must be aware what goods can and cannot be brought back with out tax being paid on it,We have always kept within the guidelines and the only time I have witnessed people who have gone over these guidelines are the ones who deliberatley try and bring in excess of say cigarettes and tabacco,on one occassion a lady had a full suitcase so she had not just gone on a holiday she had gone on a money making trip,and why should the people who purchase their goods legally here in shops and pay the tax have to fund the likes of this woman and those like her,so if you don't want the force of the Customs down on you stick to the rules.

glammanana Wed 21-Dec-11 11:31:11

jessM well said I will not try and follow link.

em Wed 21-Dec-11 11:45:55

Instead of writing such an emotive first post, did you consider telling us just what happened and why? Your name Muggedagain implies that this is not the first time you've had problems. You'll find this a sympathetic and comforting place but it isn't full of naive old ladies who think that the authorities are out to get them.

glammanana Wed 21-Dec-11 12:23:21

Well girls my DH looked at the link and I would advise no self respecting lady to view it,the comments are totally disgusting and I am reporting to HQ.please do not try and link under any circumstances.

MrsJamJam Wed 21-Dec-11 12:44:18

Sorry to be dense, but how could you have anything seized at the border unless it was illegal? And isn't it your responsibility to know what the rules are and stick to them?

absentgrana Wed 21-Dec-11 12:54:15

MrsJamJam In the past, plenty of people who have gone on so-called booze cruises to Calais have had tobacco and alcohol, on which duty has already been paid in France, confiscated. Customs & Excise, as it used to be, set an arbitrary limit on what it regarded as an allowable quantity for personal use, although this had no status in law. It wasn't very high – not as much as, say, a six-month supply of cigarettes for a 20–30-a-day smoker. However, there was a fair old fuss about this and I thought times had changed, but I don't know for certain as I don't do booze cruises.

Muggedagain Wed 21-Dec-11 13:42:20

Trouble with your argument is that all EEC citizens are entitled to purchase goods for their own use in any other full member EEC country, It is their RIGHT under EEC cross border shopping regulations, NOTHING ILLEGAL in purchasing a bargain.
However it would seem that the law changes with the shift change, One UKBA officer may see making a purchase of Tobacco, Wine or spirirs quite legal, another may see it as MAFIA type smuggling, No evidence needed,, Just an opinion.

Muggedagain Wed 21-Dec-11 14:05:08

Again and again we have the posters jumping to conclussions, People who are elderly AND NOT ELDERLY are losing their purchases every day due to not being aware of the tactics used by UKBA to seize the property, TheIR totally legaly purchased and tax paid property.
There was once a TV Game show called Mr & Mrs, some of the contestants were partners for 25 + years and they never got all the questions to corroberate each others answers.
Now if 70 year old Mr and Mrs Smith come back from a week in Benidorm to be questioned regarding having under the guidelines of ,Say, 600 Cigarettes he guidelines which was 3,200 each, The goods genuinly purcased for their own use or as gifts for family (This is legal) but the Smiths are separated and questioned, One gives an incorrect answer as to something like, "What is your weekly pension income" Perhaps because they dont know or they have their pension paid into a bank account, Then that is considered being evasive and the 70 year old are branded LIARS and Smugglers simply on that question alone. They will not only lose their legally purchased tax paid goods, If their vehiCle is at an Airport car park, They lose that as well.
Would these men and women in smart white shirts and black ties tell lies

I ONCE THOUGHT LIKE YOU PEOPLE, iF I STICK TO THE RULES, DON'T GO OVER THE GUDELINES THEN I WILL HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR. I respected the office of these officers, I found out differently.
And for your information, my wife and I are in our 60s, We have never been stopped or questioned in 40 years of Spanish travel, just wait until it happens to you, UKBA policy is that if a pensioner on benefits has a foreign holiday they are up to no good, WATCH THEM.

Muggedagain Wed 21-Dec-11 14:15:54

And it even worse under the CON-LIBs

Horror story - it happened in New Labour Britain, will the coalition stop this nonsense?
August 2010 - Controls we should be ashamed of. Where are our MP's?

"I am a 67 year old pensioner who has been visiting 100's of cities in Europe for the past 49 years including behind the Iron Curtain pre 89.

A few weeks ago I was kept in a small 9x9 foot room(1 table 2 chairs) at Hull Ferry Terminal, I had a small bag with the guidance 3 Kg of rolling tobacco with receipt.

3 hours 48 minutes and 28 pages of questions, not about the tobacco, which was accepted as OK within 30 minutes. No, the further questions were an attempt to trip me up with statements about my state pension being unable to finance my 6 or 7 trips a year abroad. I had to explain to the interrogator, the reason I buy my tobacco(for my wife and myself) abroad was the fact that I could not afford to buy it in the U.K..

I was allowed to keep the goods, with a warning. The next officer may not be so lenient. Compare this little episode with when I was held for 3 hours by East German(DDR)Volkspolizei and Soviet Red Army State Security Agents at Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie in 1973. My crime? Having a copy of the Sunday Telegraph in my holdall. The Vopos let me smoke, gave me a bottle of beer and a sandwich. In Hull, zilch.

In short, this land for which our fathers, grandfathers and ancestors fought for and died for has become an insult to their sacrifices. For half a century I have held my head up high as a Briton abroad, now it hangs in everlasting shame."


"After answering the questions the officer went away with our passports and came back 10 - 15 minutes later with a small notepad with his questions and our answers on and asked us to sign it. We refused because this list of Q and A had been compiled in another part of the airport away from us. The senior officer came out to us and said that if we didn't sign, then he would! He wasn't present when the questions were asked so how could he sign it to say it was completely accurate? We found this a breach of our rights as it should have been written down it word for word face to face, and totally unacceptable that a senior officer would sign something that he hadn't witnessed. The tobacco was confiscated and we were given a seizure note of the amounts confiscated.

The officer told us that they were taking it because we were `over the limit`. We asked `what limit?` as we had been told that there is no limit if for own use or gifts which was what ours was, half for my husband and half a gift for our son. We produced the receipt for these goods confirming that tax duty had been paid on them. We are appealing.

Many thanks for your excellent and informative site"

We agree - please let your MP and MEP's know your feelings.

Muggedagain Wed 21-Dec-11 14:32:01

So instead of lining up to HANG all cross border shoppers as Tobacco /Wine or spirit smugglers, Pleast seek information on what is really happening in our country.
HMRC who run the UKBA let multi Nationals away with £20,000,000 in unpaid taxes but hound the elderly ove some tobacco under the UKBA own guidlines, Not because the 68 year olds have broken any laws, But rather they found preforming complicated mathmatical calculations difficult at 1 am after a long day, Being asked to vacate their hotlel room at 10 am (Which is normal) hanging about with their luggage until 8 pm and a three hour flight back to Scotland.
One of the questions was "How long would a packet of 20 cigarettes last" The answer is the same as "How long would a jar of coffee last" Until it's inished, But not good enough for the UKBA. they want hours, minutes and seconds or the traveller is accused of being an evasive smuggler and lose their legally purchased goods and their vehicle if they have one.

REMEMBER The real SMUGGLERS know the ropes the A-J questions, They have prepared well, It's the innocent traveller who is facing the injustice.

Muggedagain Wed 21-Dec-11 14:43:41

Sorry Mrs Jamgran, Your living in another world and possibly another Universe, Still it's nice to know there are some innocent Granny's still about.
This is all about keeping up numbers to justify the civil Servants being there. a few packets of cigarettes taken from a traveller won't cure the Nations debt problems, Letting Multi Nationals away with unpaid tax of £20,000,000 thats twenty million pounds may help a bit, But if the civil servants can justify the numbers who have goods seized, It keeps them in a cushie job.

glammanana Wed 21-Dec-11 14:55:38

As to the confiscation of vechicles that belong to the people who smuggle over the limit goods into the country in my opinion they should loose their vechicle and if it is on a mobility scheme then surely the if the driver is fit enough to drive abroad on a regular basis they do not need the use of a mobility car and should have it confiscated if not by UKBA then by the DWP as it is not being used for general every day mobility.
As a long term resident in Spain and a holder of spanish residentia I know only to well all the scams that the so called holiday makers get up to in arranging transport of taxable goods back to UK and they then squeal like mad when they caught out.

Muggedagain Wed 21-Dec-11 15:06:29

ln just 1 year ...68,765 people had their tobacco/cigs seized by UKBA/HMRC
On top of the 68,765 people who had their tobacco/cigs seized, 5618 of these poor souls had their vehicles seized,

The figure of the number who had goods seized is even higher in reality as when people who are intimidated into leaving their goods without an interview by UKBA/HMRC there is no documented record of this unless the UKBA/HMRC chooses to do such. UKBA/HMRC are not obligated to record such an incident immediately ... they can do it at their convenience. Heh heh, so these seized goods that there is no record of will ALL be documented at a later date by said UKBA/HMRC officer? Answers on a postcard please.

So, to the facts we've got through an FOI for seizures in the period 2008/9.

Firstly we'lll look at Maritime Seizures. These include all the ports AND get this ... the Channel Tunnel at Coquelles in France. Creative accounting? smile This total is 4,712 seizures. Oh l forgot! there's an extra 2836 seizures (the only ONE they put in their annual performance report). These 2836 seizures are cross-channel seizures ... perhaps they don't know cross-channel is Maritime.

Next we have Air seizures which total 41,765 seizures

Then we have Inland seizures which total 1,477 seizures

Muggedagain Wed 21-Dec-11 15:22:39

To Glamgran, Madam I don't know if you live in Spain or not, Personally it maters not one iota if you do reside in Torrevieja and attend endless ex pat meetings regarding your Spanish hosts not being English and not being civilised.
Nothing on my blog or on this forum suggests I am in favour of Tobacco smugglers or Drug smugglers or even people smugglers, If some decide to purchase goods in another EEC country for commercial reasons then they should declare their purchases and pay the relevant UK taxes.
My warning is directed to persons like myself who have been branded a liar and smuggler on no evidence other than an opinion of a UKBA officer, No photos, No video, No clandestien voice or phone taps, Just a UKBA ciivil servant's opinion.
If you don't like the warning I give, Don't shoot the messanger, Just get on with slagging off the Spanish planning departments for knocking down your life savings because the villa was built illegally.
We all know about the FAG RUNNERS and their 4 day trips to the Costas to top up for themselves and their pals, They know all the ropes and seldom lose their goods, It's the Mr & Mrs Smiths whom I am directing my warning

Muggedagain Wed 21-Dec-11 15:41:30

Just another point Glangran.
The holiday makers are the life blood of the Costas, Without them the resorts will return to fishing ports, The higher price of Tobacco and the greed of some British bar owners have driven the British holiday makes away from the Costa del Sol for example, The usually busy Montemar in Torremolinos is like a ghost town, except for the DUTCH, The normally British Benalmadena is dead and dying, just like the elderly Ex Pat residents have, Fuengirola is now mostly German and Dutch.
We know the first thing the retired English do when they arrive in Spain and still claiming their £200 winter fuel allowance is get a dog, Not for security or companionship, but to make a statement "LOOK! I'm not a holiday maker" but forget to scoop up what comes out of the dog on the pavement.
OK So I have stero typed you like you stereo typed me.
If Turkey gets into the EEC Spain will lose big time.
By the way, The Germans, French, Dutch, Fins or Sweedish don't have to run the gauntlet of over zellious UKBA drones when visiting Spain, Open borders for all except the BRITS and Paddies

nanachrissy Wed 21-Dec-11 15:49:16

I'm bored now!

Elegran Wed 21-Dec-11 15:50:33

My, you are cross. Sit down and have a brew

Elegran Wed 21-Dec-11 15:52:07

Nanachrissy Can't be bothered wading through any more vitriolic drivel from this person. I think I will leave this thread now.

JessM Wed 21-Dec-11 16:02:35

Ignore this. Someone has reported - GN central presumably on their xmas party today.

Muggedagain Wed 21-Dec-11 16:03:19

In that case Madam, Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy new year.
Reading forum posts are not compusory.

jingl Wed 21-Dec-11 17:01:05

I don't think Muggedagain has said anything he shouldn't. I clicked on the link and it's quite interesting. (Especially about Vince Cable) smile

I doubt whether all border officials are saints. From what I've seen on tv, some of them can be pretty unpleasant.

glammanana Wed 21-Dec-11 17:15:10

Just a final note, my DH and I certainly did not live on one of the Spanish Costa's that you mentioned we lived in a small totally Spanish town where we could converse with our neighbours in their own language and inprove our own language skills,do you speak Spanish after visiting the Country for more than 40yrs if not why not?
My DH and I where not old enough to apply for Winter fuel Allowance and where not old enough for state pension,our income came from our own business and savings amassed by our careers before we moved to Spain.The only reason we came back to UK was our 2DSs after their many tours of duty in HM Forces decided to move back to UK with their partners,as for my DH and I after our yrs abroad we now are entitled to a reduced Spanish pension due to the fact that we paid our taxes and employment taxes and our communidad payments for the whole time we where there,how many ex-pats do you know who keep their heads above the legal requirements ?

glammanana Wed 21-Dec-11 17:19:36

jingls It is from the link scroll down underneath I think prestwick a/port report, or am I being super sensitive ?