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  #101  
Old 30.03.2011, 01:36
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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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
Oi smartass, I'd like to see you at the border reciting your quotes to the officer after trying to smuggle. You just seem to be one of these "virtual Revolutionaries".
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  #102  
Old 30.03.2011, 02:21
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

[QUOTE=Swissmountainair;1152432]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 they say the swiss don't have a sense of humour!
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  #103  
Old 30.03.2011, 02:27
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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IT IS ESSENTIAL TO KNOW YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS and IT IS ESSENTIAL TO LET THE AUTHORITIES KNOW THAT YOU KNOW YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS.
true, but quite tough for a foreigner with a poor grasp of the local language.
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  #104  
Old 30.03.2011, 06:47
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

Just to put one thing into perspectives. If you ask that customs official about the matter he will emphasize that he did NOT "forcefully" search the purse but that he convinced the person that it might be best ...., and that his swift action saved the person in question CHF 200.-- as a minimum about "administration-charges". He on the other hand saved himself from an hour of administration-work. So that he acted in the interests of both the accused and himself !
  #105  
Old 30.03.2011, 08:20
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

I'm feeling very bad about this whole series of posts. I've never been the victim of verbal abuse on this forum before but overnight have been called "demented", "truly sick", and "stupid" - all because I drew a parallel between being aggressively asked about the purpose of one's stroll through the woods with the gestapo demanding the same.

I was not referring to the OPs situation in this example - but was referring to an encounter referenced by st2lemans. I was replying in strong words because I was shocked at the abuse st2lemans threw at me. I was also emotional after remembering the way elderly family friends in their 80s (one of whom was terminally ill at the time with cancer) were treated by customs.

If you all find some of the stories related in this thread acceptable then fine. It is not a side of the world I am particularly comfortable with.

I prefer to take a step back, look at the situation, and ask just what value these people are adding in behaving in that way. It is a well known fact that putting on a uniform brings out the bully in a certain element of the population in any country of the world.

For the record I have never smuggled and I do not consider the OP to be a hardened criminal. I am disgusted at the way my contrary viewpoint has been received and dealt with. I am not comfortable tit-for-tatting with the groan button so take this as my groan - and please note that I never resorted to personal attacks on those disagreeing with me.
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  #106  
Old 30.03.2011, 08:24
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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Im not sure how true this is. I know in the US the Border Guards are Fourth Amendment exempt but in the UK the writ of assistance hasn't been applicable since the early 19th century. http://www.yourrights.org.uk/yourrig...officials.html
The writ of assistance may no longer be applicable, but they still have the right to enter properties on suspicion, without a search warrant. This was one of the worries when the Inland Revenue were merge with Customs and Excise. People were concerned that the Inland Revenue would be able to enter premises if they suspected tax evasion, for example - a huge increase in their powers.

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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
Well - I was talking specifically about the UK police, pointing out that police and customs are different parts of the government with different laws governing their behaviour - and this may well apply to other countries. This was in response to economisto going on about police powers, which I felt were irrelevant to the discussion. (Bad mod. naughty mod )

AIUI, many junior customs officers, in CH and DE, are doing their military service.
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  #107  
Old 30.03.2011, 08:34
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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. This was in response to economisto going on about police powers, which I felt were irrelevant to the discussion. (Bad mod. naughty mod )

.
Umm.. thanks for that! In fact I'd argue my comparison of customs officers' rights in other countries and my queries thereof might have been the only on topic posts in a thread entitled "was the customs officer right or wrong". Unless you'd like us to discuss ethical abd legal questions in isolation and without reference.
  #108  
Old 30.03.2011, 08:56
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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If you all find some of the stories related in this thread acceptable then fine. It is not a side of the world I am particularly comfortable with.
And several, me included, clearly find your drawing parallels between the Gestapo and the Swiss customs officers "uncomfortable" (read: deluded, no really, WTF?).

Treverus puts it into context much better, so let's just say that next time we hear reports of a Swiss customs officer taking an EFer into a field and putting a bullet in their head (without due process, of course), feel free to remind us how right you were all along.

As for the quips about what rules are about etc., very droll, however, wise people know when to break them and when not to. In front of a customs officer is one of the time when you stick rigedly to the rules.

...as for any Americans criticising Swiss customs, you should try facing up to your own "Homeland Security" as a non-US national. This is truly a case of...



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<paranoid post>
You, Zurcher and Hoppy should team up and form a conspiracy club.

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  #109  
Old 30.03.2011, 09:01
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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And several, me included, clearly find your drawing parallels between the Gestapo and the Swiss customs officers "uncomfortable" (read: deluded, no really, WTF?).
For goodness sake to compare one aspect of something to an aspect of the gestapo is quite common - just Google gestapo - you don't need to take my word for it. And I was not comparing Swiss customs officers to them.

Treverus puts it into context much better, so let's just say that next time we hear reports of a Swiss customs officer taking an EFer into a field and putting a bullet in their head (without due process, of course), feel free to remind us how right you were all along.

As for the quips about what rules are about etc., very droll, however, wise people know when to break them and when not to. In front of a customs officer is one of the time when you stick rigedly to the rules.
Those "quips about what rules are about" were a bunch of quotes attributable to other people. Unfortunately my intent is lost on you - I meant e.g. "Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools" should be taken on board by the rules-enforcers not by us mere mortals.

...as for any Americans criticising Swiss customs, you should try facing up to your own "Homeland Security" as a non-US national. This is truly a case of...



You incorrectly assumed I am American
  #110  
Old 30.03.2011, 09:03
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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 fully agree with Grumpy. I have dealt with a number of customs officers - they have always been honest and fair. Even when my wife was stupid enough to try declare something at the German border and then not at the Swiss border - and she ended up paying twice what she was trying to save.

The most fun you can have with UK customs officers is having a Wechsel-schild - with one car stored in the UK - they get most confused when you arrive in 1 car and leave in another on the same plate.
  #111  
Old 30.03.2011, 09:06
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

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You incorrectly assumed I am American
...and you incorrectly assumed I was referring to you. Read what I wrote again...
  #112  
Old 30.03.2011, 09:10
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Re: Was the customs officer right or wrong?

Ok, I feel this thread has now run its course. Thanks.
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