Arrived back in UK from Bulgaria at approx 7.30 am, The queue to Border UK was long as other flights had also arrived from Poland. Everyone was dressed in warm clothes, hats, scarves etc as they'd come from sub-zero temperature cities.
As the line progressed it turned into that zig-zag line that they seem so fond of. A rough count of those in front of me totalled approx 120. There were 4 booths with UKBA Immigration officers staffing them and behind them were 2 other UKBA officers who seemed to be just hanging about. The Bulgarians and Poles flashed their ID cards (very similar to our driving licences) or EU Passports and passed through quickly. Anyone unfortunate enough to be British had their passports scanned, details pulled up on the screen, studied and so on. l really should get myself a Bulgarian ID card, l thought :)
The 2 UKBA officers were still hovering behind the booths but not taking note of any of the afore mentioned passengers. l smiled to myself and thought 'Here we go'.
I passed through Border Control and made my way to the baggage carousel ... followed by the 2 UKBA officers. They were trying to do this covertly but they may as well have had flashing blue lights on their heads!
l sat down near the baggage carousel and noted that the 2 UKBA were stood waiting at the exit where the interrogation area is. My fellow Polish and Bulgarian air-travellers collected their luggage and left through the exit unmolested. The UKBA were stopping no-one ... l was their target!
l sat patiently awaiting my luggage listening to ZZ Top on my i-pod. l had no preparations to make ... my recorder had been running since l left the aircraft. The only thing that did concern me was l had trains to catch and these were at specific times. lf l missed them it would cost me about 100 pound or more. This being the case l decided to change my normal tactics and be aggressive and direct from the beginning.
l picked my luggage up and proceeded to the exit. Sure enough, l got the 'Excuse me sir, would you step this way please?'
l walked in, dumped my case on the table and then accused them of harassing me because of the recent incident where l was held for 2 hrs against my will with no legal justifiable reason. l told them l had been targeted. They said they hadn't but l said l did not believe them. l told them this many times.
Without being asked, l opened my suitcase and then took out my notebook and began to write down their ID numbers. They asked what l was doing and l said l was excercising my rights.
l noted that 2 other UKBA officers had arrived behind me. Big chaps, one black and one white ... the heavy brigade. l turned round to them and asked them what they were doing? Were they there to intimidate me? lf so, it wouldn't work and would they please move aside as l don't like people stood behind me. They moved.
l then unpacked my case of the presents that were inside. These were presents from my wife in Bulgaria for my family. They did include cigarettes but also included presents for those that were not smokers Thes were perfume, clothes etc.. l'd filled the rest of the space with cigarettes for myself. Not a lot, about 10 cartons or so. l ignored the UKBA officers attempts at questions and just stated what all the presents were and who for. l then stated my recent travels abroad.
The lead UKBA officer then attempted to take my passport l'd put at the side of my case. l asked him what he was doing and he said he needed to take it to check it out. l said he could look at it but l would not allow him to take it away. They'd had my passport for 2hrs at my previous ordeal so there was no need for them to have it now. This lead UKBA officer then put it down and then went away to do his 'checking'.
l then proceeded to repack my case which took the remaining UKBA lot aback somewhat. l then closed the suitcase and took it off the table and put it on the floor. One of them then tried to pick up my passport and l asked him what he thought he was doing. The passport was my private property and l did not give him permission to touch it. He left it alone.
With suicase packed, l then sat on the table and turned my i-pod on and wrote in my notebook. l ignored the 3 remaining UKBA officers. The lead UKBA officer then returned and asked me about my previous trip to Bulgaria but quoted August instead of the month September which l had given him. l told him this was exactlty why l had no respect for the UKBA. He was quoting August in the hope l'd contradict myself as l had previously said September. He said he'd got confused and genuinely thought l said September. l said that l did not believe him as this was normal tactics used by the UKBA.
I then stated that l have never in all my years of travelling had anything confiscated by UKBA or HMRC or any other name they have been called. I keep to the law and regulations and will carry on doing so despite intimidation and harassment.
He then produced a piece of paper and said if l signed it l could go. At first l thought it was one of the notices that list the quantity of goods you have and they would allow you to proceed on this occassion but would confiscate any other goods if stopped again. Turns out that this particular piece of paper produced by the lead UKBA said absolutely nothing of consequence whatsoever.
I signed it (my signature is nothing more than a scrawl and so can say anthing l wish it to) ... it could've said M Mouse .... maybe it did! :)
l then left and caught my trains. l'll add this latest stop to my previous complaint to UKBA.
I really should get a Bulgarian ID .... think l'll call myself 'Boris Dongivafuc' :)
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