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Rodeo
08-12-2013, 17:47
We've been stopped once in the jeep when coming back from France ,Eurotunnel. got sent to one of those sheds with roller shutters on...asked us lots of Q's,and sent us on our way. Got swabed for drugs when on the trike ,gloves off,helmet off to check passport pic ,asked us Q's about our destination etc.Got swabed another time for bombs! Im always a bit wary ,especially now Ive bought another vehicle ,that may have been in contact with drugs at some point before buying it.Would be a bit of a kerfuffle explaining that lot! Of course I believe in the checks .SWMBO says the problems occur cos I wear my rasta hat when driving!
Just wondering if anyone has been stopped in a motorhome and searched in the van,panels etc?

That post^^^ makes me sound like some sort of hippy..well I s'pose there is a bit of that in me(!),but just so theres no misconception here...I dont 'do' drugs of any sort,never have,and never will! Havent even smoked..well only when Im on fire!

chrisinbrighton
08-12-2013, 17:53
I was stopped years ago when I had my VW camper they took all the door panels off left me to put them back on then threatened to nick me coz I was holding up the queue there was nowhere I could have gone with the camper in that state

Rodeo
08-12-2013, 17:57
Yeah,I was told they can strip it,but dont have to replace anything themselves! Nice!

n brown
08-12-2013, 18:01
as a long haired waster in a ropey old home made camper I got stopped every time !,but my vans were so full of stuff that they usually only had a bit of poke around,mainly looking to see your reaction !when I came back from morocco their little faces looked sooo excited,till I demanded a dog be put in the van.that stopped them in their tracks ! they did bring one,hoping I was double bluffing ,but I was haranguing them all the time -- every bloody time I come through,it's so dumb to pick on the most obvious type ,when all the suits were going through in BMW's with loaded door panels !


getting off the ferry back into spain they had a nice little trick.. they tell you to go park over there,in a deserted corner. then you're left on your own,not a soul in sight,for about 10 mins-what's going on you wonder? then a door bangs open and a customs cop comes marching right up to you,reaches through the window and puts his hand on your heart !!! better not be beating TOO much ! in my case I'm glad to say,he just looked disgusted and waved me on [ta mr valium !]

chrisinbrighton
08-12-2013, 18:03
Also I found when I used to go over in my vw polo with my brother we were stopped everytime when we went in his merc we were never stopped

vindiboy
08-12-2013, 18:05
We have been pulled in and searched a couple of times no hassle, always polite as I am to them only doing their jobs, we all want our Country drug free and Terrorist free , and this is a small price to pay for it I think.

Seannachie
08-12-2013, 18:38
I've been stopped twice in my old Merc T1 self-build, once coming back into France from Andorra and once arriving in Dover Eastern Docks and twice in my new commercially built 'branded' 'van, once leaving Eastern Docks for France and once at Calais Ferry Port coming back.

Each time the officials were polite and the look-over perfunctory.

The only time I had anything in excess of allowances was coming from Andorra as I had 6 bottles of Anis Del Mono, which most of the Spanish and and my French friends call Chinchon (which not only tastes fabulous but has a magnificent creature on the label - see HERE (http://www.anisdelmono.es/)) but I didn't know that one was limited to 3 bottles, or so the Gendarme told me after I declared it to him. His response: 'Ce n'est pas grave' and let me go on my way with a smile and a wave.

At Dover, often the Customs are up on Jubliee Way with powerful night glasses watching vehicles come through the Eastenr Docks and they often stop them in one of the many lay-byes on the A2 after the drivers think that they've 'got away with it'. You can normally tell the chancers, they're the ones in the white vans so heavily laden that their headlights point into the sky. :D

chrisinbrighton
08-12-2013, 18:45
Yes I think customs have a 17 mile zone round the ports where they can stop anything and everything at any time whether you have just come back from France or not

n brown
08-12-2013, 18:52
because of strange laws in France concerning exit points across the country,which could be a small airfield for example,you can stumble into stop and search teams in tiny,seemingly out of the way villages.you turn a corner and there's 20 Douanes with dogs and machine guns all glaring at YOU ! I had gone about 20 miles after one of these when I suddenly realised they still had my passport .one stupid sod got a right telling off from his CO when they found it in his tunic pocket . talk about red faced apologies !

Seannachie
08-12-2013, 19:06
because of strange laws in France concerning exit points across the country,which could be a small airfield for example,you can stumble into stop and search teams in tiny,seemingly out of the way villages.you turn a corner and there's 20 Douanes with dogs and machine guns all glaring at YOU ! I had gone about 20 miles after one of these when I suddenly realised they still had my passport .one stupid sod got a right telling off from his CO when they found it in his tunic pocket . talk about red faced apologies !

It was the same in the French Basque country, there used to be lots of flying-pickets of douaniers because most locals went up to the ventas in the Pyrenees to buy drink, tobacco etc., where they were supposed to be 'duty free'. They weren't, of course, but because of the terrain the ventas lay in between the French and the Spanish border posts and sold goods marginally cheaper than in the local shops, so people thought they were getting a bargain and diddling the taxman. They soon changed their tune after being caught by one of these flying-pickets!

ricc
08-12-2013, 19:07
years ago (when the plane had a windmill on the front) i was flying out from bournemouth to do some work for jersey milk board, i put the the brief case through the xray machine and all the uniforms converged on me ...apparently the airflow meter looked just like a fancy high end automatic pistol to a half trained security bod.

mandrake
08-12-2013, 20:55
Yeah,I was told they can strip it,but dont have to replace anything themselves! Nice!

thats true they can take a motor apart nut by nut ,and if they dont want to they dont have to rebuild it .so next time any customs people say have you anything to declare ,dont get sarcastic and say the crown jewels or half a doz ak47s they can always trump you

iveco4x4
08-12-2013, 21:30
I got pulled in my old landrover (9 ft tall truck painted orange and black stripes)

Miles from any port but probably near the belgian boarder in france

I passed what looked like a cop on a bike at the side of the road and instantly knew I was going to get pulled. At that point I also remembered where my V5, MOT etc where - at Home !. OK so this is going to cost me a few hundred euros I thought as the bike went past me and I saw it was customs, ah ha maybe this s good.

So he indicates for me to follow him to a small industrial estate where more customs bods are. They start to search my vehicle and I get a chair and a 4 day old newspaper out of the back and settle down while they play. A few minutes later they seem to get a little excited and call me over. I climb in the back and so I have an armed customs guy each side of me. Now what they have found is an old ammo box inside a cupboard that is bolted through the floor of the truck and locked with a padlock. So they get me to unlock it and open the lid and then one of them dives forward to put his hand in the box, to find my ferry ticket and a few euros in change.

At this point they relax as I show them by putting my passport and wallet inside and locking it that its just a secure box for documents , they laugh, shake my hand and wave me on my way

rich

trevskoda
08-12-2013, 21:36
you lot a lucky i only have to open my mouth ( belfast accent ) next minute im standing in my y fronts,wonder why?

QFour
08-12-2013, 21:49
We got stopped years ago going from Switzerland into France. Two border guards one showing the youngster how its done. I was told to park in a yellow box at the side of the road.The youngster got very agitated when I parked with the front wheels just out of the box and I to reverse to keep him happy. He was keen and decided to do a search. He picked a bag opened the end pocket and pulled out a handful of dirty womens knickers. His mood did not change as he rumaged through the rest of the van. He started looking at the roof lining when the old guy called him away.

QFour
08-12-2013, 21:55
you lot a lucky i only have to open my mouth ( belfast accent ) next minute im standing in my y fronts,wonder why?

To be sure to be sure. Would it not be your accent that could be giving you away as an undesirable sort of person.:rabbit:

sasquatch
08-12-2013, 22:05
Flying into New York,a very nervous operator on the X-ray machine called her supervisor over,this chap was built like a brick toilet and asked me to open my bag. He was happy,but declined my offer of a 2 finger Kit Kat to have with his coffee. It showed up on the x-ray like automatic pistol magazines!

n brown
08-12-2013, 22:16
I may have posted this before but I flew into Bordeaux to do a kitchen job and my flight bag triggered an alarm. I'm suddenly surrounded by machine gun toting cops,as the customs girl pulls out my yankee pump screwdriver. what's this she demands! me being helpful,but also for the crack,leans over and turns the release-bang! it shoots out! very interesting moment!

Tezza33
08-12-2013, 22:42
you lot a lucky i only have to open my mouth ( belfast accent ) next minute im standing in my y fronts,wonder why?You are not supposed to do that in Tesco's though are you, and you wonder why you are banned

Tezza33
08-12-2013, 23:15
I have had a few experiences over the years, pulled over at Dover on the way home and realised we had a CS Gas spray in the front of the van (long time ago and I was young and stayed in strange places) in the Customs side room they searched the van but I had picked the spray up and put it in my pocket, it would have all gone to plan if I hadn't sprayed the pepper spray over my genitals as I shoved it in my pocket which started burning me, I was in pain and took my hand away and put it over my face so my eyes started watering, the Customs Officer came back to the van and said everything was OK but we had to pull up just outside the Port and wash everything down, 5mins later I couldn't see a thing.

We have been searched on the A63 after leaving Mimizan and going to Bordeaux by Customs, motorcycle drives past and waves us over, he stops us in a service station but realises we have not been in Spain so waves us away, very polite but shows they are watching a long way from Spain

Been stopped lots of times leaving Andorra but that was in the days of Duty Free

I was taken in to a side room at my home Village Airport at Castle Donington, I have to attend treatment at the Royal Derby Hospital so fly home if we are away long term, the boss asked me to bring some extra strong mints back which are cheap in a local store 10 tubes for 1, I bought 50 and put them in a suitcase, I was taken away and searched because on the xray machine they looked suspicious as long thin tubes, 50 in total, they made me open it and by the time they finished laughing I missed my flight

chrisinbrighton
09-12-2013, 07:05
This summer on the Serbian Croatian border 2am I was asked to get the dog out of the van whist they searched the front. Then I had to take everything I mean every thing that would come out of the van and put it on a table an hour later the customs returned looked at nothing gave me my passport back and said on your way.
Me thinks making there final marks as it was the day before border shake ups due to Croatia becoming full EU
On the same trip day before entering Macedonia from Greece at border cost me 50 for green card I suppose ok I got less than a mile into Macedonia was stopped by police they said your doing 73 km instead of 70 km I had a choice 300 euro fine I would need to go back to the border bank and pay or I could give him 150 euros now I said I hadn't so much on me opened my wallet to show him I had 40 euros no Macedonian money as only passing thro and euros were accepted on tolls anyway he took 30 euros and said ok on your way cprruption still Yugoslavian Tito style the officer had the decency to say keep the 10 Euros for the tolls nice of him

Sharon the Cat
09-12-2013, 10:38
If you are flying, don't put a Christmas pudding in your luggage.
Apparently it is the same density as Semtex.

Lee
09-12-2013, 11:15
Some years ago coming out of Andorra we were in a long queue, when at 5 o'clock the queue started to move quickly and we realised that the customs post had closed for the night and they'd all gone home. Strange but true.

mark61
09-12-2013, 11:17
Carried some ashes in hand luggage once. Was questioned but they were very polite and professional.

Been pulled over a few times in car/van, but just questioned.
Many years ago was given a proper search, Belgium going into France. Had finished off a little European trip by going to Amsterdam. :)

Siimplyloco
09-12-2013, 11:26
Nothing to do with ferry ports but in 1983 I worked as a senior planner for Mitel Telecom, in Caldicot, and every second Thursday four of us 'Oiks' would take a chartered Beechcraft 220 - with first class interior layout I might add, apparently it took nine as economy - from Staverton Airport to Shannon, where we had a huge PCB plant and I could look at 'delivery profiles'.

On my first trip I parked my old MG Midget in their car park and got onto this posh plane. To my surprise the cocktail cabinet held four bottles of good champagne and enough supporting booze to keep Dean Martin going for a week! "We don't touch it on the way out," said a seasoned colleague, "But we'll make up for it on the way back!".

Well, what with the other stuff on hand, we couldn't drink all the champagne on the way back, and again to my surprise, the two remaining bottles were raffled off between us, and I won! They went in my bag together with all the duty free I'd bought at Shannon airport.

On arrival at the Customs 'Shed', because that's all it was in those days, yours truly, red faced from the gruelling return trip, placed his bag on the exam table to a resounding 'clink' of bottles. The Customs man took a look inside, did a quick count, and said "You won the raffle didn't you!". Sheepishly, trying to supress a hiccup, I concurred.

"On your way" said the man, smiling.....

Happy days!
John

n brown
09-12-2013, 12:42
even if you really don't like your mother in law, don't cut out the shape of a gun in bacofoil and slip it between the pages of the book she'll be reading on the flight. apparently it's not funny.

maingate
09-12-2013, 13:11
I used to travel a lot to and from the Middle East and Africa. I cannot remember walking straight through Customs, I was stopped EVERY time from the 1970's to the 1990's.

My moustache looked just like Saddam Husseins and my lovely deep tan did not help. :p The most they ever did was have a cursory look in the top of my flight bag because they reckoned that no Arab terrorists ever speak with a Geordie accent. :lol-049:

trevskoda
09-12-2013, 16:11
To be sure to be sure. Would it not be your accent that could be giving you away as an undesirable sort of person.:rabbit:

to be sure to be sure is southern accent and broge,norn ireland would be butca mate or whats the craic.

Lee
09-12-2013, 18:27
even if you really don't like your mother in law, don't cut out the shape of a gun in bacofoil and slip it between the pages of the book she'll be reading on the flight. apparently it's not funny.

You are a very wicked man!!
Shame mother in law doesn't travel far now.

northman
09-12-2013, 19:02
A colleague and I took a coach load of 13/14 year olds to France a few years ago. They were warned about the dangers of trying to bring back replica guns, explosive fireworks and flick combs, all of which were freely available in the town's street market. On the ferry home we were approaching Dover and congratulating ourselves on a trouble-free weekend when one of the kids told us that the French police had just arrested one of our boys for producing a replica gun in the duty-free shop. We were escorted off the ferry by two police cars and they opened the coach door to find my colleague with his arms full of replica guns etc etc that the kids had panicked and produced as we left the ferry. We were taken to the customs shed and the kids were sat down along a wall. Some of them seemed to find it quite funny but the customs people had obviously realised it was a small scale problem and put a stop to the joking; a couple of them walked slowly down the line snapping on a pair of rubber gloves each. There was dead silence after that!!!

n brown
09-12-2013, 19:52
I saw a program about heathrow where an American with a violin case was asked where he was from,he replied'' chicago'',then they asked what he had in the case''whaddya think man,it's a Chicago typewriter ! ha ha !''[a prohibition era name for a tommy gun ] the airport cops who suddenly appeared weren't the tiniest bit amused and the dopey twonk was kept in the cells overnight and had to buy another flight !

Pauljenny
09-12-2013, 20:54
We were 2nd in the queue at Dover . The gate opened and they pulled in the car in front ....

"Great",thought I , remembering that our last port of call had been the market at Clitheroe ,in the " Lancashire black pudding triangle ,where we had loaded the fridge /freezer with wonderful local delicacies and was not sure of how legal it might be to take this stuff into France .

Imagine my dismay when we were then ushered into a side shed and 2 hi-vis started poking mirrors and sensors under the van . They then asked to come aboard and politely questioned us while they worked their way along the van . We had a full width rear bathroom on that van and had placed a small trampoline across the door , fastened to the door handle . My Wife had recently had a knee replacement and this was part of the physio .They made a beeline for this ,saying that they had never experienced an in-van trampoline before . They ignored the fridge as they passed it and had a good poke about in the bathroom .

We asked them what they were looking for and they explained that illegal immegrants paid skilled proffessionals to bring them in ,but being without papers , they had to smuggle themselves out if they had business abroad for a family wedding ,for example .

The pies were delicious at Xmas !

just jane
10-12-2013, 09:47
A colleague and I took a coach load of 13/14 year olds to France a few years ago. They were warned about the dangers of trying to bring back replica guns, explosive fireworks and flick combs, all of which were freely available in the town's street market. On the ferry home we were approaching Dover and congratulating ourselves on a trouble-free weekend when one of the kids told us that the French police had just arrested one of our boys for producing a replica gun in the duty-free shop. We were escorted off the ferry by two police cars and they opened the coach door to find my colleague with his arms full of replica guns etc etc that the kids had panicked and produced as we left the ferry. We were taken to the customs shed and the kids were sat down along a wall. Some of them seemed to find it quite funny but the customs people had obviously realised it was a small scale problem and put a stop to the joking; a couple of them walked slowly down the line snapping on a pair of rubber gloves each. There was dead silence after that!!!

I went on a trip to France as a teenager and we were all given similar warnings. As part of the trip we did a wine tour not really what we wanted we wernt allowed to taste anything(unlike the teachers) but it was funny when we were stopped at customs on the way back and the kids were allowed to sit on the nice comfortable warm coach but the teachers had to unload all our bags and then spent quite some time 'remembering' who had bought how much wine and having to pay excess duty on it all.:rulez:

barryd
10-12-2013, 11:33
Last year on the way out we were boarded by a customs officer at Dover. Did a half hearted search about and then stood in the kitchen area and asked if we had any knives! Eh? There were about 40 plastic takeaway boxes crammed full of Lemon Tea powder under the Dinette table (dont ask) that looked very much like drugs. Never even asked about them.

Flick Knives were always in demand on school trips in the late 70's early 80's. The lengths we went to to hide them. wrapped in a Johnny and stuffed inside a toothpaste tube was the favourite. Lads were giving them away at the airport when they lost their bottle.

shawbags
10-12-2013, 14:05
Been pulled and searched getting onto the ferry to Spain they had a quick look in all the large cupboards in my camper and sent me on , in my truck I've been pulled in the English port , French port , Spanish / French border in Irun 5 out of 6 times driving for the same company , something was going on , I got another job ! , a few months later bumped into someone who had also worked there and he said that the company had been done for drug smuggling .

n brown
10-12-2013, 16:34
just to help your paranoia--I was told years ago that smugglers would look out for uk campers heading north,and when they parked for the night,would attach a few kilos under the van.,they might do a few.then they call their mates in England with a description and the reg. the theory was that the campers would act innocent ,because they were,and would probably get through.then the guys uk-side would just follow and retrieve the stuff when the van camped or got home. never knew if it happened or not but I still give a little check under before I go through !

Rodeo
10-12-2013, 16:42
Ive heard that as well!

n brown
10-12-2013, 17:06
a guy I knew hid some Moroccan product in his coach,but his attitude made the customs guys suspicious.as it was late,they impounded the bus so it could be properly searched the next morning. this was a bit of a chance for the owner,as like a lot of buses then,there was a trapdoor in the floor.
so later that night,having found the customs vehicle pound,wearing dark clothes ,he's climbed over the fence and slid silently under his coach,quietly opened the hatch and was climbing in when suddenly a torch comes on and a bored voice says'' Christ mate,you took your bloody time,thought you weren't coming ! now show us where the gear is and we can all get on,i really couldn't be arsed to go through this lot,it'd take all day !''

northman
10-12-2013, 18:03
I went on a trip to France as a teenager and we were all given similar warnings. As part of the trip we did a wine tour not really what we wanted we wernt allowed to taste anything(unlike the teachers) but it was funny when we were stopped at customs on the way back and the kids were allowed to sit on the nice comfortable warm coach but the teachers had to unload all our bags and then spent quite some time 'remembering' who had bought how much wine and having to pay excess duty on it all.:rulez:

Ah yes, I remember it well, several times!!!!!


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