Anyone here ever been detained by Customs?

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by The Big Babou, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. The Big Babou

    The Big Babou Purple Belt

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    It's what everyone dreads when travelling, being pulled aside by Customs... what stories you got?

    It's rarely a nice experience but mine comes pretty close:

    I've been an avid scuba diver for years. When I relocated from Australia to Asia I naturally took my gear with me but I couldn't find my Divemaster's licence so I took the old Rescue Diver one with me (a lower level of certification but good enough to dive anywhere) as a backup. I landed in Taipei airport & remember waiting at the baggage carousel for ages.. maybe 2 hours... until everyone else had gone & I was the last one standing.

    I'm thinking maybe they've lost my bag & am getting pretty annoyed (getting ready to call my insurer) when finally my bag comes up the ramp & drops onto the carousel. I reached over to pick it up & as soon as I touched it I felt someone's hand on my shoulder & then on the other. I stood up, looked around & saw I was surrounded by 4 officers. I was pretty surprised but a little bemused, after all I was certain I'd done nothing wrong (but in my head I was asking myself "There's nothing to worry about... right?"). Then they escorted me to a room.

    They asked me some basic questions like where I'd come from & what was my occupation and so on, and then the chief officer asked me "Are you carrying any weapons?"... "Of course not" I replied using my best Mandarin. So then he asked me to open my gear starting with the dive bag. I pulled out the usual stuff, mask, fins, bcd, dive computer, then the wetsuit & finally the boots, inside one of which was a tiny 3" dive knife.

    "Aha" he yelled, "what's that?"... I paused & looked at him, then said in my best Chinese, "it's a dive knife". "What do you use it for?" he asked while reminding me that it was indeed a dangerous weapon. "Um, cutting things... lifting rocks..." I said, consciously trying not to make any stabbing movements while I was explaining things. They weren't buying it so then they asked me to open my other bags. I opened the last one & there sitting on top was my trusty dive licence. I thought it might be worthwhile showing it to them since they obviously weren't familiar with diving, so I gave to to the chief.

    Lucky for me "Rescue Diver" translates pretty sell into Chinese. The chief read it out in Chinese & there was a collective gasp from the officers in the room... then they all bowed & apologised. The chief officer yelled at a subordinate to pack my bags & then told another to call a taxi. It all happened so quickly so I was kind of in a state of shock, but the best part was when they all walked me out of the airport into the taxi (a limo) & then waved me goodbye like I was a good friend.

    Actually I look back on that memory quite fondly.
     
  2. MASShole

    MASShole Get it?

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    When I was 16 I flew to Japan with my little sister to visit a family friend. I had a goatee and several earrings, and I have a natural dark complexion like a South American (I'm partially Colombian). After rifling through all of my belongings, like literally going through every single item, they showed me a laminated 8.5x11 paper.

    On the front were a bunch of pictures of drugs.

    "Sir, do you have any of these?"
    "No"

    On the back were pictures of machine guns, like uzis and ak47s.

    "Sir are you transporting any of these?"
    "You just went through everything I brought. The answer is no."

    I look back and laugh at how ridiculous it was because I was so young and they had already gone through literally everything I brought so it was impossible to hide anything.


    For several years around that time, I would always be the only person in the party of travelers that would get extra checks, like the swabs for bomb residue, etc. Even when traveling with my family to CO in college, I was the only one who was pulled aside. Thankfully as I've gotten older I've gotten some of my wife's travel juju and don't have to deal with this all that much.
     
  3. SevenSamurai

    SevenSamurai Silver Belt

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    Canada. They searched every picture on my hard drive
     
  4. odog

    odog A cat trapped in a dog's body

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    No. I am white and generally well dressed.

    Edit: I forgot one story because I was exclusively picturing airports. There was one time where my friends and I were returning to Canada from a camping trip in the States. So when we drove up to customs the guy asked if we had anything to declare.

    My friend, for some unknown reason, said in the gayest way possible "Yeeeeettthh, I'm gaaaaaaayy!" He is not gay. I don't know why he said it. The rest of us were shocked but also found it hilarious, so we started laughing our asses off.

    Needless to say they were not amused. We were held there for hours and they thoroughly searched the car. Then it wasn't funny. But now it's funny again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  5. Zer

    Zer Gold Belt

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    I got picked out in Vancouver airport. They thought I was smuggling drugs. I wasn't really mad. I could understand since I was a young guy coming back from Asia on my own. But I think they just kept me in the room as the token white guy so all the minorities they were pulling in wouldn't feel there was any racial shit going on

    I just had to sit there for an hour listening to them explain how badass they were whilst they went through my luggage
     
  6. neverwas

    neverwas bondage belt

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    Going into Australia,customs guy said to me,do you have a criminal record. I said no,and I didn't think you needed one to get into Australia anymore.needless to say,he didn't find it amusing,took me 2 hours to get out of the airport.

    Another time coming back from Amsterdam,the drug dog tried humping my leg,so I got the ,are you transporting drugs or have you used any in the last 48 hours. I was absolutely wasted after a weekend of partaking,finishing off with the hash cakes on the way to the airport. I could barely talk.so they searched my bags,found a shit load of sex toys I'd brought for the wife. Troubled was it was a female officer that searched it.talk about embarrassing.
     
  7. ConsiderThis

    ConsiderThis Black Belt

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    This summer I went to China. On the way back they found a pair of pliers in my luggage that I forgot about in the Chinese airport and asked me what it was. I was pretty petrified, but after I explained that it was an accident, they scanned my bags again and let me go. I was thinking while waiting in the San Francisco airport what would have happened, as the employees there seemed much more brash and rude.
     
  8. Doughbelly

    Doughbelly αlpha-nerdette, action scientist

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    Really?
     
  9. Iroh

    Iroh The Dragon of the West Platinum Member

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    They could at least trade you for collection.
     
  10. tkotom

    tkotom Fedor belt

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    Imagine if they hadn't bought your story, they'd be waving to you right before they executed you.

    lmao
     
  11. robotsonic

    robotsonic Brown Belt

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    Wut?
     
  12. Juventud

    Juventud Black Belt

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    I travel quite a lot and always used to get stopped by customs and drug searched.

    I've stopped wearing metal band shirts LOL.

    I try and dress as colorful as possible. (no homo)
    To avoid getting stopped.
    Usually because i'm always late for my plane.
     
  13. jefferz

    jefferz Gold Belt Platinum Member

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    When I was 19 I was going up to Canada for the weekend to party, I did it almost every weekend, and forgot I had a bottle of vodka in my trunk. Customs lady found it and made me go sit in her office. She was threatening to bring me up on a bunch of charges but then her supervisor came in the room. He said to let me go, took my vodka, and told me to have a safe weekend. I never seen the lady at the border station again after that.
     
  14. Plutoburn

    Plutoburn Alpha booze head

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    On a layover from Taipei to Toronto in Vancouver when I was 22 or 23, I forgot to fill in the form that I had zero cigar/cigarette/tobacco with me, I left it blank instead. (I was told it was the reason I was being searched) The person doing the search noticed I look nervous, and I was. He kept asking if there is anything he should know while he was going through my luggage. And then there was a pile of pirated porn CDs that I bought (10cds for $3 USD) for my personal use. Some stuff weren't vanilla porn so it was a bit embarrassing as the inspector goes through the cover of each.

    I was glad it was over when it was over as I couldn't wait to gtfo of the search area.
     
  15. Josh

    Josh Guest

    Coming home to Vancouver after traveling in SE Asia. I had just sold my house and was between work, and when the customs guy asked me what I did for a living, I said 'nothing'. I guess that's a red flag.

    They kicked me aside and went through all my shit. The guy kept saying 'where are the roaches man, where's the pot, just tell me where it is'. Looked through all the pictures on my camera too. Then he found some shuriken I bought in Thailand. Didn't know they were illegal in Canada, so he seized them and made it really clear that he could arrest me for having them, but he didn't.

    Told me I was red-flagged and I would get searched every time I came back to Canada, the prick. My tax dollars at work.
     
  16. Milgrim

    Milgrim Australopithecus - not your average hominid Platinum Member

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    We will send you some compensation porn to make up for it.
     
  17. Troublesome10

    Troublesome10 non serviam belt

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    I got looked upon with suspicion and had to wait around while they cleared me with the higher-ups over the phone when I was going to SE Asia from Toronto. She wouldn't tell me what was up, I only managed to get out of her that it was "something with your name".

    I can tell you what was going on though- my dad is Guyanese, but he has a very common Muslim name- one he probably shares with some obscure Muslim terrorist. He gets harassed nearly every time he flies. Been stripped to his socks, had his laptop completely searched and in general been treated like shit. This is the outcome of the phony "war on terror", where every Muslim is automatically guilty, and it trickled down to me, even though I'm white and not Muslim. Because he travels so much, it had become such a nuisance that he had to write to the attorney general's office to get himself cleared in the future. The last few times he's been treated more-or-less like a normal citizen and human being, but it took a lot of effort to get there.
     
  18. SevenSamurai

    SevenSamurai Silver Belt

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    OK, here's the story for my Canadian Detention.

    At the Ottawa airport, they searched my bags and pulled out my laptop and 4 hard
    drives (each 500GB to 2TB). I was travelling with these drives with the intention of organizing and tagging my old SLR transfers and DSLR photos (I had a least 20,000) and consolidating while traveling.

    Now, mind you these are Mountee Soldiers with guns and they were real serious -not like in the US with the TSA -so you don't mess around.

    They asked me if on the hard drives I had any:
    1)pornography
    2)pictures of naked children
    3)or depictions of pain (????)

    dead serious

    but I didn't want to lie to soldiers so I said I didn't think I had any real porn (I didn't really know where the line was) -I know I had lots of funny GIFS that might have tits or something. I also said I had plenty of baby pictures and I am certain some are naked. And the only pain pics I could think of were videos of me skateboarding and snowboarding..

    Anyways, 4 Royal Mountees take me into a room and hook my hard drives to a terminal and begin scrolling and checking through every thumbnail and exploding ones they thought were suspicious. Mind you -they ran NO software which could have scanned for skin tones -all manual.

    They were real hard asses for the first hour -I was really nervous -as pictures of my nefarious 20s were on there (drug pics, partyin, etc) -but then they got to all of my band/studio/touring pics and then got real friendly, excited, and asked me if what kind of guitars I had, where I had played, had I ever met.... I dropped into the conversation some of the Canadian bands I had worked with or knew too...It suddenly got real casual and all of the sudden we were buddies (these mountees were only 21 or so) and descended into me narrating each pic they thought was cool. after almost 3 hours they were like old friends -they had seen my whole life...and my life has been pretty wild,....lulz

    they found a few clips on my CPU that could be considered porn (by only a 80 yr old grandmas standards) but because it was not perverted it was ok or something like that. They found several of baby pics which were like 1st bath type of shots and that was fine of course. and they watched me wreck in the super pipe at buttermilk Aspen over and over laughing -as I had a great clip of me rolling up the windows on a big air.

    So I was stuck for almost a half day with Canada's finest.
     
  19. Josh

    Josh Guest

    I had my stuff searched on the chunnel train from London to Brussels. I had about 80kg of climbing and mountaineering gear. They confiscated two small pocket knives because they had locking blades and I guess that's illegal in the UK. They obviously felt foolish taking the small knives but letting me board with ice axes, crampons, snow-saw etc.

    And just this spring I had a novel confiscated in Lhasa, Tibet at Chinese customs. It was considered prohibited material because it mentioned the Dalai Lama. Paranoid weirdos imo.
     
  20. Troublesome10

    Troublesome10 non serviam belt

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    Our neo-Con Prime Minister is quite happy to push us towards an authoritarian Big Brother state at the US' behest. It's getting pretty ridiculous.
    I know, I know, "they're just doing their job", but where is the line?
     

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