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Old 24.07.2014, 11:48
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harsh border control in Geneva border last night

Hello all,
here is my story - I was returning back to geneva from climbing in Vitam parc just across the border in France (by far best indoor climbing gym around Geneva, don't ask my why there isn't anything similarly sized here).
In Gaillard border crossing (the big one), cca 10 pm, I was stopped. Provided all papers possible, so far so good. After 5 minutes of their checks of papers, I was taken into police place.
Had only small backpack with (recently used) climbing clothes in it. There was a long series of questions, drug screening from hands, face, they went through whole backpack, piece by piece, I had to unblock the phone so they could write down IMEI, took all cash & credit cards out from wallet, went through whole (empty) car and I could go on and on...
Took maybe 40 minutes? There is nothing wrong with my papers, everything is paid, car is OK (older BMW), I have B permit for qite some time etc. I was not the only one being controlled in detail, but they took special care with me for whatever reason.
Nothing particular in my looks or dresssing either, quite a few swiss look like me.
Does anybody know why the hell were they so annoying? I understand they have quite soul-crushing jobs with bad long term employment outlook, but why spread the misery?
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Old 24.07.2014, 11:50
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

Are you non-white?
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Old 24.07.2014, 11:58
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

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Does anybody know why the hell were they so annoying? I understand they have quite soul-crushing jobs with bad long term employment outlook, but why spread the misery?
You didn't bring any shopping. Anybody who crosses the border with France in an empty car is suspicious.
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Old 24.07.2014, 12:02
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

We broke down right at the boarder crossing, guards helped us push the car across and into the car park to wait for TCS.

We watched them pull out every single non white person in the queue, polish plated cars also got special attention.

To be fair they where finding quite a few issues with the people the pulled, one car sized van had a load of people hiding in the back and loads of sacks of (I assume) rice
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Old 24.07.2014, 12:18
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

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Does anybody know why the hell were they so annoying? I understand they have quite soul-crushing jobs with bad long term employment outlook, but why spread the misery?
1) maybe they were looking for someone like you
2) misery loves company

?
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Old 24.07.2014, 12:23
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

It happens to the best of people. I have seen Josep Guardiola racially profiled at Newark - having disembarked from first class on a Swiss flight.
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Old 24.07.2014, 12:42
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

Seems a bit excessive on the face of it.

Perhaps it was completely random and happened to be customer number x.

If you'd been working out, were you sweaty? Maybe they decided you looked like you were on drugs.

Were you wearing your "Legalise Cake" t-shirt?
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Old 24.07.2014, 13:06
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

I am white, from central europe (slovakia), brown (not black) hairs and eyes, as written I know quite a few swiss-born people looking similarly. No shopping in the car, since I've been climbing. No sweaty things on me, since after sport I change to civil clothing. No legalise t-shirt either

The thing is, I cross border 2-5 times a week, usually on this place, either for climbing in France, or weekends in alps. I am here for 4 years, this happened first time.
I do get that they probably have some quota of car checks per day, but it seemed they picked me for most detailed one, without any particular reason.
When seeing that my car is completely empty except small 30l backpack, and they keep asking if I have any purchase with me that I want to declare... I mean, really? At 10 pm?
If they had those probable 2 neurons connected in their head, they would realize that for any serious smuggling one would use unmanned border crosses just few km away. But that might be asking too much...
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Old 24.07.2014, 13:09
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

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I am white, from central europe (slovakia), brown (not black) hairs and eyes, as written I know quite a few swiss-born people looking similarly. No shopping in the car, since I've been climbing. No sweaty things on me, since after sport I change to civil clothing. No legalise t-shirt either

The thing is, I cross border 2-5 times a week, usually on this place, either for climbing in France, or weekends in alps. I am here for 4 years, this happened first time.
I do get that they probably have some quota of car checks per day, but it seemed they picked me for most detailed one, without any particular reason.
When seeing that my car is completely empty except small 30l backpack, and they keep asking if I have any purchase with me that I want to declare... I mean, really? At 10 pm?
If they had those probable 2 neurons connected in their head, they would realize that for any serious smuggling one would use unmanned border crosses just few km away. But that might be asking too much...
It's border control. They can do it and sometimes do.

Get over it and move on... literally in this case
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Old 24.07.2014, 13:12
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

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If they had those probable 2 neurons connected in their head, they would realize that for any serious smuggling one would use unmanned border crosses just few km away.
Ah, yeah, but, a cunning smuggler would know that the customs guys would think that a smuggler would use an unmanned crossing and then use a manned crossing because then they would look like a non-smuggler.

But a cunning customs officer would know...
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Old 24.07.2014, 13:16
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

Rebra kokocie! (an unpc expletive)

They have a quota of thorough search to fill. Take it as their training run. They have the right to do so and probably knew you are a safe non threat bet. Don't take it personally, it's their job, they might have picked you because they were running short of time to fill the daily quota.
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Old 24.07.2014, 13:24
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

There's been a drastic change in the amount of meat or the value of shopping one is allowed to take into CH. The law was implemented early July. I guess they suspect people coming back after French supermarket closing time may be trying to go over the new set limits. You were unlucky because they still had to find and fine someone who brought more sausages than permitted, you weren't the one, they got frustrated. Don't take it personally, however unpleasant and belittling the experience of a search at customs can be.
I remember as a kid we were travelling to the French Alps via Switzerland. There were us 3 kids and stinky cat at the back. They searched my dad in front of us and then the whole car. It was hugely intimidating. I still shiver from the experience whenever I cross the border.
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Old 24.07.2014, 13:31
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

Yeah, this is just a rant, I don't expect anything to change
I do get they have their sh**ty job to do, so they are doing it. But they should be less obtrusive to common people, imagine going for an airport or important meeting, and being delayed by 40 minutes with activity that should take no more than 5 minutes for anybody at least a bit effective.

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Ah, yeah, but, a cunning smuggler would know that the customs guys would think that a smuggler would use an unmanned crossing and then use a manned crossing because then they would look like a non-smuggler.

But a cunning customs officer would know...
Interesting spin, but doesn't make much sense. Why go somewhere where there is almost always some police guy, compared to route where there is never anybody? Traffic is +- same, so one doesn't stand out as sole car crossing remote places.
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Old 24.07.2014, 13:42
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

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Were you wearing your "Legalise Cake" t-shirt?
OT, but I'd just like to appreciate and acknowledge the Chris Morris reference.
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Old 24.07.2014, 13:48
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

I think we just shouldn't take the easy and civil EU border flow for granted. CH is not EU, nor pro EU.
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Old 24.07.2014, 13:59
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

There are a lot of videos of smart asses in the US not willing to cooperate and asking to see a warrent because it is their right.
Does anyone know what one's rights are here for those kinds of pull overs and checks?
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Old 24.07.2014, 14:02
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

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I think we just shouldn't take the easy and civil EU border flow for granted. CH is not EU, nor pro EU.
true... i talked to french colleague commuting daily from Annecy, he mentioned in past few days they rapidly increased border checks, especially for non-frontalier lanes. Could be related to that mentioned meat allowance change and probably more.
It just feels like breach of privacy when they browse your phone in front of you, go through your wallet and take everything out etc. This is far beyond some food allowance checks. Oh, and they counted all cash and put it to envelope, sealed, took it away and then brought back, no idea why. I had to correct the officer since he twice made mistake while counting bank notes (I had to withdraw a bit of cash for my incoming Iran mountaineering trip, since there are apparently no credit cards working in that country).
I asked them at the end if they have some smuggling tip for this evening, they were silent. And then one added "This is just the beginning". Looking puzzled, I just said, beginning of what? the end?

Anyway, steam is off, I feel a bit sorry for them when I saw what their daily bread consist of, but on the other hand, not that much
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Old 24.07.2014, 14:08
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

You are far more likely to be "pulled out" if you are African, Eastern European, non white than if you are Western European, North American or Asian...

Also Eastern European registered cars (CZ, PL, H, EST, LT, LV, RO, BG...) are far more likely to be searched thru than Western European (CH, D, F, I, A, GB, IRL, P, E, GR...), North American or Middle Eastern (UAE ...) registered cars. This is also true if you want to enter the EU from Switzerland.



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We broke down right at the boarder crossing, guards helped us push the car across and into the car park to wait for TCS.

We watched them pull out every single non white person in the queue, polish plated cars also got special attention.

To be fair they where finding quite a few issues with the people the pulled, one car sized van had a load of people hiding in the back and loads of sacks of (I assume) rice
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Old 24.07.2014, 14:13
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

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You are far more likely to be "pulled out" if you are African, Eastern European, non white than if you are Western European, North American or Asian...

Also Eastern European registered cars (CZ, PL, H, EST, LT, LV, RO, BG...) are far more likely to be searched thru than Western European (CH, D, F, I, A, GB, IRL, P, E, GR...), North American or Middle Eastern (UAE ...) registered cars. This is also true if you want to enter the EU from Switzerland.
I guess this is common knowledge, I wouldn't be surprised if I had non swiss plates. But I have, regular ones. But it's still easy to spot expats by number - if it's recent, it's quite probable that non-swiss is driving it.
Btw never ever seen any checks on french border, coming from CH
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Old 24.07.2014, 14:28
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Re: harsh border control in Geneva border last night

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Interesting spin, but doesn't make much sense. Why go somewhere where there is almost always some police guy, compared to route where there is never anybody? Traffic is +- same, so one doesn't stand out as sole car crossing remote places.
I don't know about Geneva, but in Basel the customs guys do hang around near unmanned borders in the wee small hours and pull over people they think look a bit dodgy.
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