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  #81  
Old 29.03.2011, 22:13
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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If you are not being serious there, I would seriously consider making your tongue in your cheek a bit more obvious. I have had to deal with many customs officers professionally, here, in the UK, Austria, Germany and France and have not had a problem with one. They can be officious and will follow the rules to a "T" (that is part of the job) but they have all been extremely professional and good natured.

I however, have never been caught smuggling and lying. I guess I might see another side to them if I ever did.
I was being serious, if not very politically correct. I have only ever had one interaction with a customs officer and that was at Zurich Airport. I was polite, was with my wife, was tired after flying Phoenix to Atlanta to Zurich and the guy just would not accept that we did not have more than CHF 300 worth of new goods. Wanted receipts for every damn thing. In fact we did have less than CHF 300 each of new stuff - we were on holiday, not opening an import-export business. After inspecting every last bag he very grudgingly let us go with a big look of disbelief. I stand by my point that someone who chooses that for a career is not someone I can really understand.

For the record, that customs officer was impolite and seemed to have no comprehension of the fact that he was a public servant. The net result was we had nothing to pay (we had done nothing wrong) and we missed our train - adding another hour onto an already very long journey. I am worried by the increasing tendency throughout the Western world to surrender our individual rights to bureaucrats who reserve the right to intrude into almost every facet of our existence - a trend that is worsening - and which hardly anyone is challenging.

Some months later an octogenerian family friend and his terminally ill wife were grilled by customs at Zurich in a similar manner. Not nice.

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You are TRULY demented!

I know several customs officers personally, and this is not even remotely true.

YOU are SICK.

Tom
Thank you very much sir. A pleasant evening to you too. I shall resist the temptation to reciprocate with groans but suggest you might take a dose of whatever relaxes you.

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A couple years ago, my girlfriend and I went for an evening stroll (she was living in Stabio at the time). Next thing we know, a customs car stops us (in the woods), asks for ID and all, and asks why are we there "Ummm, because we felt like a walk after dinner". Fortunately, we both had our Swiss IDs (we are both Swiss), and I made it clear that I was not pleased. They gave some lame excuse.

Thanks, Schengen a--h---s!

Tom
I find this quite contradictory after your attack on me in your earlier post. The experience you relate here is worryingly reminiscent of the Gestapo.

I know I'm not politically correct and in this day and age one shouldn't say such things but that is how I feel.
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  #82  
Old 29.03.2011, 22:17
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Re: Is the immigrant officer right or wrong?

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Maybe.

But it is only Americans who go on about "doo prahssess".


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wrong again, the people who care are the ones who dont sit idly while the government walks all over them
You so missed my point. The phrase "due process" itself is rarely used by non-US-Americans... whenever used it is usually by an American, I wasn't referring to civil rights (or rather civil liberties as you might refer to them)... it was a matter of semantics. Oh, never mind...

Next you'll bring up the quote by Martin Neimöller.

Then we can accuse Swiss Customs of being Nazi Facists.

Then we can invoke Godwin's Law, and call time on the thread.

As for the OP, groaning anyone who points out the obvious errors of his/her ways...



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Thanks to all the morons who voted for Schengen, they can now flag a car down on a public highway without aid of the police!

Tom
AFAIK, they've been able to do this long before Schengen. There was a piece about this not so long ago. It was pissing the Zurich cops off, as the border chapies, bored with nothing to do - indeed thanks to Schengen - go hunting further inland for something to do. So it wasn't that Schengen created a new law that allowed them to do, but rather that it has given them less to do, so are busy looking for other things to take up their time.

EDIT:

Ooops!

Too late. We didn't even make it to 100 posts...

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I find this quite contradictory after your attack on me in your earlier post. The experience you relate here is worryingly reminiscent of the Gestapo.
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  #83  
Old 29.03.2011, 22:27
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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i and a friend went shopping first time in Marktkauf close to switzerland border...and bought about 1kg meat each costing 10euro. Only to get at the border, and we were checked and charged double the amount for carrying over half kilo meat into switzerland to our ignorance. And if we donot pay right away we will be bill 50 chf each. But the thing is that...we did not even have money to pay the fine (this is the reason we went shopping in germany in the first place) and i was ready to return the meat rather than pay such amount.But to my amazement the custom guy ask for our wallets and went on to search for money and ofcourse forcefully took money for a bill i kept aside. Dont i have the right to return the meat or dump it in Germany? And why should he after showing him my pass went on to take my wallet to search for money? I was so angry that i told him he has no right to forcefully take money ...but said we are at the custom so he has right to check us. right now i am so angry with the whole issue..because some people i met after told us they have no right to take our money forcefully and also we have the right to return the meat back than pay. Some said i should go to the police. Please tell me your views.

NO, by Swiss customs law, you do NOT have the right to take the meat back to Germany (Rückzug aus Zollgewahrsam).

NO, the customs-official HAS the right to try to get the money from you in case you may have the money with you.

AND, thanks to the energetic ways of that customs official, you saved between CHF 200 and CHF 500 !
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Old 29.03.2011, 22:29
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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NO, by Swiss customs law, you do NOT have the right to take the meat back to Germany (Rückzug aus Zollgewahrsam).

NO, the customs-official HAS the right to try to get the money from you in case you may have the money with you.

AND, thanks to the energetic ways of that customs official, you saved between CHF 200 and CHF 500 !
Watch out for the groan Wolli
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Old 29.03.2011, 22:55
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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Watch out for the groan Wolli
realities and facts sometimes spoil the joy !
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Old 29.03.2011, 23:22
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

What a gem of a thread. Honestly kids: This is not at all a Swiss thing - customs work the same all over the world...

1. If the customs officer finds something in your bag when you attempt to cross a border, you'll have to pay. Always. You can ask before crossing, but if he catches you in the middle of an attempt, you cannot turn back. This is common sense - otherwise you could try to sneak through all day and every time you get checked decide to simply walk back...

2. A customs officer is allowed to search you. Completely. If they have a reasonable suspicion that you might smuggle drugs, this can go far further than just searching a wallet:


.. the US customs by now randomly even checks your files on laptops for copyrighted material and you are in for a massive fine if you have your pirated MP3 collection with you.
When my dad drove back to Germany from here, the German customs at the Swiss border once crawled through all the papers in his briefcase as they expected him to have a bank account to evade taxes here (German Mercedes driver in his late 60s...). If they find a bank statement, they will confiscate it and send it to the tax authority...

3. Of course can they make you pay for a fine immediately, just as any cop can as well. Is this as serious question weather you have the right to get an Einzahlungschein instead? They even have a card terminal so you can pay with credit card if you are out of cash...
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Old 29.03.2011, 23:29
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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I think you should expand on what "the glove" might be used for...
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Old 29.03.2011, 23:29
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

And, lest we forget, all this fuss just for a kilo of meat - not plutonium - hell, even the politicians suffer breakdowns when dealing with customs regulations!






And for all those of the "rules are rules" mindset I offer the following:

“Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.” Henry David Thoreau

“Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.” Franklin D Roosevelt

“Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind” Douglas MacArthur

and, my favourite, “Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.” Douglas Bader
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Old 29.03.2011, 23:34
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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And, lest we forget, all this fuss just for a kilo of meat - not plutonium - hell, even the politicians suffer breakdowns when dealing with customs regulations!



What fuss?

The only people fussing are the OP and a few folks worried about "due process". I don't imagine that the customs chap has even thought about it since filing his/her report.
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Old 29.03.2011, 23:41
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

You were in the wrong for crossing the country border with the meat, but still... not sure if they could forcefully get the money off you... but anyway, if you're fined then you're supposed to pay at some point. Probably better now than later as there would probably be more admin fees involved.

It's a joke I know and to anyone with a brain, you could see that it was a genuine mistake but it doesn't work like that with these guys. They're monkeys. It's not even worth the escalation either. At the end of the day, this guy would be more credible in the eyes of the law and his word would be greater than yours. Frustrating I know but forget about it.

Don't worry... they don't employee the brightest people at the customs posts. But then there's a reason (or several) for that.
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Old 29.03.2011, 23:46
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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I think you should expand on what "the glove" might be used for...
Basically it's like wrestling...

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Old 29.03.2011, 23:53
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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The experience you relate here is worryingly reminiscent of the Gestapo.
Nowhere near probably....and how would you know anyway?
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Old 30.03.2011, 00:14
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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Nowhere near probably....and how would you know anyway?
From http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/435895#ixzz1I1s1lQzX

The Gestapo is famous for saying, "Show me your papers, are your papers in order?" Just exactly what papers were they talking about? What was the German govt's motivation in requiring these papers?

Everybody was required to carry an ID card. Furthermore, if you wanted to travel away from your home area, you had to get a permit to do so, which said where you were allowed to go, when, and something about show you would travel. Basically, anybody not within a few miles of home was assumed to be up to no good unless they had papers showing what good they were up to. So you had always to prove either that you lived here, or that you had a legitimate reason to travel.


Now it doesn't take a great leap of imagination to see a similarity with the experience recounted below. Remembering, of course, that the situation outlined above developed in Germany over time, not overnight.

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st2lemans
"A couple years ago, my girlfriend and I went for an evening stroll (she was living in Stabio at the time). Next thing we know, a customs car stops us (in the woods), asks for ID and all, and asks why are we there "Ummm, because we felt like a walk after dinner". Fortunately, we both had our Swiss IDs (we are both Swiss), and I made it clear that I was not pleased. They gave some lame excuse."
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Old 30.03.2011, 00:24
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

Having to carry an ID is not what the Gestapo is famous for. Gestapo stand for "secret state police" and to make it short: Their job was not to control papers and if they knocked at your door they were not looking for smuggled meat either... they were not famous for asking for papers, they were famous for abducting, torturing and killing anyone Hitler wanted to. Comparing a Swiss customs officer to Nazi kill squads is frankly so OTT that I cannot believe you are seriously arguing your point.

There is nothing "Nazi" about a law that you have to carry an ID on you: You still today in Germany have to have an ID on you, just as in many other countries. The link you posted is frankly rubbish: A German was always allowed to travel within the third Reich where they wanted to. The reason why the Gestapo - like any other police - would ask for an ID is to make sure they are arresting the right guy.
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Old 30.03.2011, 00:30
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

Considering the the girlfriend lived in Stabio which is just close to the Italian border in the area of Chiasso, I am surprised they were only stopped once. This area is one of the most active for illegal border crossings and is also one of the most heavily patrolled. As far as I am concerned they were just doing their job and any comparison with the Gestapo is just stupid. I think the mountain air is going to your head.


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From http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/435895#ixzz1I1s1lQzX

The Gestapo is famous for saying, "Show me your papers, are your papers in order?" Just exactly what papers were they talking about? What was the German govt's motivation in requiring these papers?

Everybody was required to carry an ID card. Furthermore, if you wanted to travel away from your home area, you had to get a permit to do so, which said where you were allowed to go, when, and something about show you would travel. Basically, anybody not within a few miles of home was assumed to be up to no good unless they had papers showing what good they were up to. So you had always to prove either that you lived here, or that you had a legitimate reason to travel.


Now it doesn't take a great leap of imagination to see a similarity with the experience recounted below. Remembering, of course, that the situation outlined above developed in Germany over time, not overnight.

Quote:
st2lemans
"A couple years ago, my girlfriend and I went for an evening stroll (she was living in Stabio at the time). Next thing we know, a customs car stops us (in the woods), asks for ID and all, and asks why are we there "Ummm, because we felt like a walk after dinner". Fortunately, we both had our Swiss IDs (we are both Swiss), and I made it clear that I was not pleased. They gave some lame excuse."
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Old 30.03.2011, 00:32
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

I am not naive enough think that the German people woke up one day and were given a referendum on whether to introduce the gestapo or not. This sort of malaise develops slowly in society and starts with the seemingly innocuous. Nevertheless change comes from somewhere and the point in the example here is that the poster was stopped and interrogated as to his reason for being in the woods with his girlfriend - something that apparently did not happen prior to Schengen.

I look for patterns in things - at the big picture - and to assume that something akin to the gestapo could not occur again in Europe is absurd. It is vital to look out for early warning signs and call attention to them. Right now far too many Europeans are wandering around like sheep, oblivious to developments taking hold around them. They impact on Switzerland in many ways, including the Schengen Treaty. Switzerland is coming under increasing pressure to 'conform' as we all are.

Going way off-topic here but just open your eyes to this:
http://www.euractiv.com/en/euro-fina...ct-news-502539
The new Franco-German pact dictating everything from salaries to pensionable age to corporate tax across Eurozone countries. Europe is in one hell of a financial mess right now and individual sovereign powers are being eroded at a huge pace. Look at how Germany is insisting Ireland increase its Corporate tax. You think they don't want the Swiss to do the same? The EU guys are sitting laughing whilst the Swiss franc is being forced ever-higher which is starting to hurt Swiss competitiveness. They are playing the long-game waiting for the Swiss to come begging to be let into the club. The EU political elite will stop at nothing to defend their failed Euro project and would love nothing more than to see the Swiss forced to join - then they can set taxes across the whole area without worrying about revenues leaking to Switzerland.

I'm worried, but I guess everyone here thinks I've gone all Charlie Sheen - so in the absence of any support I'll shut up now.
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  #97  
Old 30.03.2011, 00:55
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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Look at how Germany is insisting Ireland increase its Corporate tax. You think they don't want the Swiss to do the same?
Er, no: Germany did not care about the Irish tax till the day Ireland wanted a lot of German tax money to fix their home-made financial "problems". If I'd be paying taxes in Germany, I would be outraged that my chancellor gives my tax money to some idiots who apparently cannot deal with money instead of spending it on the own infrastructure. But if you have to show solidarity, you can at least expect them to have a plan to get back on their own feet... again: How does this make a Swiss border guard anything near to a Gestapo agent?
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Old 30.03.2011, 01:00
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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Er, no: Germany did not care about the Irish tax till the day Ireland wanted a lot of German tax money to fix their home-made financial "problems". If I'd be paying taxes in Germany, I would be outraged that my chancellor gives my tax money to some idiots who apparently cannot deal with money instead of spending it on the own infrastructure. But if you have to show solidarity, you can at least expect them to have a plan to get back on their own feet... again: How does this make a Swiss border guard anything near to a Gestapo agent?
Well if you look you'll find the reality is that this is all about bailing out German banks and not some high-minded altruistic act. So if anyone deserves the moniker "idiots" then the German bankers must be included.

Unfortunately the German mass media have decided it more convenient to portray the root of the problem as some sort of drunken Paddy frittering away the largesse of the hard-working German, rather than the greed of Frankfurt's finest flooding the Irish market with cheap debt.



As for how all this relates back to gestapo and border guards etc. - well remember the last time Europe went through dire economic straits?
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Old 30.03.2011, 01:08
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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As for how all this relates back to gestapo and border guards etc. - well remember the last time Europe went through dire economic straits?
The border guard was Swiss, Switzerland is not in economic problems right now and your derailing does not change anything about you going totally over the top comparing a customs officer doing his job with a Nazi killer.

But I'd want some of the stuff you are drinking.
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Old 30.03.2011, 01:22
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

Wow, nice, it is Gestapo now.

Just the facts:
- the OP was caught and fined. That's normal, even before Schengen
- the Officer is allowed to search anything
- the Officer is not allowed to take the money from a wallet, as long as there is not more cash than allowed by law (then he would have to confiscate it). - -If somebody can not or do not want to pay on the spot the officer has to make sure that the fine will be payed (either you have a permit and permanent address in Switzerland or they can hold you til you or somebody else will pay the fine)

As always, know your rights. Speak up if something is not right.

It happened to me in Zurich that six Policemen in full gear stopped me and asked for identification. I asked them what the accusation was and that there is no obligation to have an ID on you (but they can bring you to the police station for identification). Showed them my credit card with my name on and they said it could have been stolen. I replied that I will happily follow them to the police station and waste their time, including lawyers and all that stuff. At this moment one of the officer was searching my wallet which I teared out of his hand telling him that he has no right to do so.

At the end they were really annoyed and I walked away without "proper" identification. If you let things happen and complain afterwards...sorry, might be too late as you can't proof shit.

IT IS ESSENTIAL TO KNOW YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS and IT IS ESSENTIAL TO LET THE AUTHORITIES KNOW THAT YOU KNOW YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS.
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