Have you ever as a serviceman been stopped by Customs on return to UK

Late 80s and Rickshaw is being medivacced from a UKMF exercise having cracked a couple of bertebrae. Hoorah. Home early for rea and medals. One small problem: I had arranged with several of the cohort to bring back a portion of the Christmas booze I had procured. Seriously, here was enough alcohol to fuel the Herc home. Woe is me. Joy to the customs people whose Christmas party will be a good one this year. Salvation arrives in the presence of the Loadie who quietly tells me that medevac flights are not processed by customs. Joy renewed and grateful thanks that a 1 Tonne ambulance is there to take me home.
 
Travelled back to the UK via crab air, landing at Newcastle airport after Crusader 80, on disembarking we were bussed to a hanger where 'Customs' were waiting ready for us. Didn't seem to mind rampaging through my dirty sets of skiddies and stinky socks either, not that I had anything, well not on me.....
 

oldnotbold

War Hero
Beware...customs are devious. Several mates from the investigations division - so DV'd rather beyond most of the military - were occasionally "borrowed" for a few days to deal with the "you can't go in there, you're not cleared" argument.
 
Was that bulk or pouched?
Either which way it was snide, to feed the counterfeit market.
Oh it’s invariably pouched. Course the counterfeit side is another aspect. But if you think that’s bad, I was working in Hamburg with the then Zoll on the inspection of voids in railway carriages, just like planes in many respects. It was during a very short visit, primarily to inspect a passenger train that was stuffed to the Gunwhales with mainly counterfeit Baccy, all brands. Man the concept was frightning. The gangs literally hijacked trains, stripped out the panels which they then replaced. the amount of money in question ran into millions. You had to look at the printing on the packaging very carefully to spot the fakery. Some Indian, Chinese, Russian... you take that level into pharma, car parts, anthing really.
 
Oh it’s invariably pouched. Course the counterfeit side is another aspect. But if you think that’s bad, I was working in Hamburg with the then Zoll on the inspection of voids in railway carriages, just like planes in many respects. It was during a very short visit, primarily to inspect a passenger train that was stuffed to the Gunwhales with mainly counterfeit Baccy, all brands. Man the concept was frightning. The gangs literally hijacked trains, stripped out the panels which they then replaced. the amount of money in question ran into millions. You had to look at the printing on the packaging very carefully to spot the fakery. Some Indian, Chinese, Russian... you take that level into pharma, car parts, anthing really.
Even if it was pouched, the chances are probable the pouches were fake.
From 2008 to 2012 I was on the road three weeks out of four, all over Europe, liaising with Customs and inspecting container loads (sometimes 2 or 3 in one location) of cigs - counterfeit and contraband: literally 10s of millions a week and we reckoned, conservatively, that was only 10% of the total shipments.
Standard reward for a positive tip-off was $15k per container!
UK was a much easier, and by far the largest, market for the counterfeiters: they only had to make the cigs and packs. RoI (for destination UK) was a bit more difficult: as with the rest of Europe, the malefactors also had to fake the tax stamps.
Before tobacco I spent quite a few years in pharma anti-counterfeiting and illegal parallel trading, ie contraband.
As for other counterfeit, absolutely anything goes as long as there’s money to be made.
 
Even if it was pouched, the chances are probable the pouches were fake.
From 2008 to 2012 I was on the road three weeks out of four, all over Europe, liaising with Customs and inspecting container loads (sometimes 2 or 3 in one location) of cigs - counterfeit and contraband: literally 10s of millions a week and we reckoned, conservatively, that was only 10% of the total shipments.
Standard reward for a positive tip-off was $15k per container!
UK was a much easier, and by far the largest, market for the counterfeiters: they only had to make the cigs and packs. RoI (for destination UK) was a bit more difficult: as with the rest of Europe, the malefactors also had to fake the tax stamps.
Before tobacco I spent quite a few years in pharma anti-counterfeiting and illegal parallel trading, ie contraband.
As for other counterfeit, absolutely anything goes as long as there’s money to be made.
Oh indeed. Something the EU has a handle on...…. not.
 
Late 80s and Rickshaw is being medivacced from a UKMF exercise having cracked a couple of bertebrae. Hoorah. Home early for rea and medals. One small problem: I had arranged with several of the cohort to bring back a portion of the Christmas booze I had procured. Seriously, here was enough alcohol to fuel the Herc home. Woe is me. Joy to the customs people whose Christmas party will be a good one this year. Salvation arrives in the presence of the Loadie who quietly tells me that medevac flights are not processed by customs. Joy renewed and grateful thanks that a 1 Tonne ambulance is there to take me home.
Denzel Walt
 
On the subject of "artfully produced" knock off gear, the Brit mess at PSAB always looked like downtown hollywood with the number of pairs of designer jeans, Tommy Hilfiger polo shirts and Tag Heur watches on display. Pity the bodies wearing them looked more like downtown Camden Market.....

The big thing in those days was the Argos catalogue. Your rellies at home would send out a bluey with a page and item reference, you would look up what it was they wanted then go down the local market and pick out the closest thing you could find. That and Cat boots, for some reason Caterpillar boots were the must have fashion accessory in council estates all across the UK....

You're from oop Norf ain't 'cha.... fecking Argos


It's pitiful ... but funne
 

Bosscat

War Hero
I'll compare commissions with you, not that they exist any more. It wasn't about comparison anyway it was more about pay rates between departments. Put it another way, the MOD is the Civvy department for running the armed forces- the fact that it is manned by servicemen is like saying the HO is run by the Police, If you have an old Pears dictionary to hand from around 1963 it has a very interesting bit about functions and equivalences in the CS and other occupations. That has of course changed markedly as have perceptions and practice.
I've got a Pears Cyclopedia from that very year, I didn't even know there was such a thing.
 
Oh it’s invariably pouched. Course the counterfeit side is another aspect. But if you think that’s bad, I was working in Hamburg with the then Zoll on the inspection of voids in railway carriages, just like planes in many respects. It was during a very short visit, primarily to inspect a passenger train that was stuffed to the Gunwhales with mainly counterfeit Baccy, all brands. Man the concept was frightning. The gangs literally hijacked trains, stripped out the panels which they then replaced. the amount of money in question ran into millions. You had to look at the printing on the packaging very carefully to spot the fakery. Some Indian, Chinese, Russian... you take that level into pharma, car parts, anthing really.
The Zoll take (or took) their job very seriously. In January 1990, I was travelling back to the Scwharzwald after a Christmas holiday in Scotland. I had chosen to fly from Zurich rather than Frankfurt because my (then) girlfriend was living there, so this was my return trip Glasgow- Zurich, train from Zurich towards Karlsruhe.
At Weil am Rhein the Deutsche Zoll Beamter entered my carriage and spotted my suitcase, which I was asked to open.
After convincing him that I was travelling from the UK rather than Switzerland, I only had to pay DM4.20 to import the 1kg of tea in my possession rather than double that for importing from outside the EEC. Of course, it was still doubled as I hadn’t declared it.
Lastwalt - international tea smuggler.
 
The Zoll take (or took) their job very seriously. In January 1990, I was travelling back to the Scwharzwald after a Christmas holiday in Scotland. I had chosen to fly from Zurich rather than Frankfurt because my (then) girlfriend was living there, so this was my return trip Glasgow- Zurich, train from Zurich towards Karlsruhe.
At Weil am Rhein the Deutsche Zoll Beamter entered my carriage and spotted my suitcase, which I was asked to open.
After convincing him that I was travelling from the UK rather than Switzerland, I only had to pay DM4.20 to import the 1kg of tea in my possession rather than double that for importing from outside the EEC. Of course, it was still doubled as I hadn’t declared it.
Lastwalt - international tea smuggler.
Yers 1990 was one transition year into the single market.
 

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