Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Fuckwit - Well I Declare

OK yesterday I took a major detour from the usual and thank you for your empathy and sympathy. It took a while to muster up the need to post but hey, this is a personal blog and I don't post half the things I'd like to now that it's 'out there'. So let's lighten up. Don't know about you but I love a show that's on here called "Border Security" that nabs particularly the Chinese and Middle Eastern visitors for their incredibly weird undeclared foodstuffs. Hello! This is Australia and there's nothing you can't buy here . . even Magners is on tap!

A 29-year-old tourist from the Philippines has spent five days in custody after Australian Customs officials mistook iced tea for drugs.

Tourist, Maria Silva bought three 800 gram bags of Nestle iced tea on her way to the airport in Manila before her flight to Melbourne.

On arrival at Melbourne Airport she was detected by sniffer dogs and arrested by Customs.

Customs' initial tests showed the packets contained 2.44 kilograms of meth amphetamines.

Customs later revised its results to amphetamines and Ms Silva was charged with importing a commercial quantity of drugs into Australia.

It was only after she spent five days in custody, unable to contact family or friends, that further tests by a Federal Police forensic team revealed the supposed drugs were in fact powdered lemon-flavoured iced tea.

The Melbourne Magistrates Court heard the powdered formula contains an ingredient that is often mistaken for drugs.

The Magistrate awarded Ms Silva $5,000 in costs for what he described as "an unfortunate set of circumstances."

Ms Silva burst into tears as she was released from custody today.

Outside court, her lawyer, Michael Pena-Rees said Ms Silva had bought the iced tea, which is cheaper in the Philippines, for her friend as a treat.

Mr Pena-Rees says Customs is yet to apologise for its mistake.

I tell ya . . give someone a uniform and some electronic gadgetry, a well-trained Beagle and your talcum powder becomes suspect . . does anyone use talcum powder anymore? If you ever visit Australia, trust me, you can buy iced tea and we won't insist you brew it in a billly.

Have a lovely weekend. We're in full 'spruce up the overgrown garden mode' this weekend and guess what, it's going to be 28 degrees, I'll lose kilos in lost fluids!

Did I mention that I love Labradors! And butt cheeks! And Frenchmen who stick chargers up their bottoms.


35 comments:

blackwatertown said...

Oh dear - sure the music in that video would drive anyone to drugs.

You should also beware of carrying coffee. I was once doing some work in Jamaica, and brought home some of the famous Blue Mountain coffee. The sniffer dog detected it immediately, there was a search, all very heavy. Then the sealed packet of coffee was discovered, with receipt in the same shopping bag, and everything relaxed.
Apparently coffee is sometimes used by drug carriers as a masking agent, because of it's strong smell. The idea is to confuse sniffer dogs. So of course sniffer dogs are now trained to detect coffee as well as illegal drugs.
So my advice is - avoid carrying coffee if flying. Not illegal, but it could considerably delay you leaving the airport. As ever, hindsight is great.

laughingwolf said...

similar 'rules' tween us and our yankee neighbors...

Roy said...

Eeeeewwwwww! on the Bird's Nest! Seriously, who in their right mind wants to eat bird spit? And it's worth $2K - $3K per kilo? People are definitely weird!

i beati said...

omg

nick said...

If iced tea is sometimes confused with drugs, surely it should have a warning to that effect for people who're taking it abroad? Then they can have the receipt or whatever handy.

Darlene said...

Travel is hard enough without making it worse by carrying on any liquid or powdered drink. Nothing is worth the hassle.

I was almost stripped searched (just kidding) because I carried my money and credit card in a neck safe. From now on I will travel very light and buy what I need at the other end. Being an old lady doesn't exempt you from suspicion.

Alan Burnett said...

You would have thought that the label on the bags would have been a bit of a give-away. Have a great weekend.

The Jelly Monster said...

We watch "Nothing to Declare" the whole time then we put on Australian accents and say "we have reason to believe there's a shark in your shoes" ..... I know it's kinda sad but I laugh so much

Liza said...

holy shit!

e said...

How sad for the woman detained...and how stupid...

Megan said...

I really want to watch the video! Be back when I get home from work. :)

California Girl said...

Holy crap, regurgitated swallow spit aka Birds Nest Soup. LOL.

I copied the url for this and sent to both sons as a learning tool. One son is headed to Costa Rica for the month of May. He's STUDYING environmental science there.

Thanks for that. Maybe they'll watch it.

Ronda Laveen said...

Reminds me of the story on Merle Sneed's blog in which the hippy lady was arrested with her healing crystals and the law thought they were crystal meth.

Tom said...

i never understood the appeal of the bird's nest, it sounds disgusting to me. As does powdered tea. ugh. That's an interesting show, don't think we have anything like it yet...

Ropi said...

I have been always criticised for being harsh with Americans, but today I found the blog of my former US teacher, who I kind of LIKE.

Grannymar said...

I'll pass on the bird's nest, thank you! In the past I always carried a little box in my case when going on holidays, it contained tea, coffee and sachets of sugar. Not any more. I bring the bare minimum often in a carry-on bag.

Susan at Stony River said...

Every time we fly I'm amazed at how many people around us are so unaware of security measures - does no one read the newspapers anymore, or even blogs?

An excellent choice for FF!

unstranger said...

Baino,

It's posts like this that remind me why it is that I cannot stop coming back here. You truly are a tonic. Don't you ever change.

Bimbimbie said...

Tsup*!* Arriving back here my handbag was Beagled. Sweets and apple bought in transit and long eaten, their aroma still lingered, the dog made straight for me, the lady handler was great.

Ropi said...

Yes, we study about many countries but the ratios aren't equal.

Ropi said...

And we have those for the speaking part of the exam. I may have one sub-topic about these in the speaking part.

Mim said...

This is certainly interesting! I had a dog once, a lab, who we had to give up when she was 14 months old. Long story about why...but we ended up giving her to the police and she trained as a drug dog. We were convinced that she would find us one day at the airport and either be so happy to see us that it looked suspicious or be so angry with us that she'd point us out as drug dealers.

lettuce said...

yeah, but what about marmite???

Brian Miller said...

err...sorry got hung up on the butt cheeks...

thanks for sharing your story yesterday...smiles.

have a wonderful weekend!

laughingwolf said...

'i have nothing to declare... but my genius.' oscar wilde at u.s. customs

CatLadyLarew said...

And who would want to smoke the hash after it had been in his ass? The bird barf nests... are you serious? Blech! I thought they were actually very courteous to give him the opportunity to mail them back home.

River said...

"does anyone use talcum powder anymore?"
Yes. Me.

tony said...

:)

Mmm said...

how incredibly bizarre. A very interesting read here, Baino1 whoa.

LADYHIGHTOWER said...

Yikes! Scary incident just for a spot of tea! Blessings!

Kath Lockett said...

I am proud to say that I have never ever watched even one second of an episode of 'Border Security.'

Now Survivor, on the other hand....

Eternally Distracted said...

You know the old saying 'you packed everything but the kitchen sink?'... I once went to the airport and watched someone clingwrap a KITCHEN SINK to check on board!!

Ocean Girl said...

scaerry!

they are finding drugs in all body parts here at Kuala Lumpur airport, I always wonder how they became a suspect in the first place for the customs to check up some nooks and crannies..now I wonder if they ever follow-up with a lab check or they just assume all white powder to be amphetamines.

Subby said...

Wot I'd bloomin' like to know is this: how the hell they mistook 800grams for 2.44 kilos?!?!

Ces said...

Oy this is great. Since I was born in the Philippines maybe I can go to Australia with a alum salt rock used as natural and organic deodorant and even cleaning tripe. It has been mistaken as crack cocaine in the US. Then they will arrest me. I will be greedy. I want at least 500 grand for emotional injuries suffered under the hands of stupid people.