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- **Appeals Against Seizure ... The Process**
Why Are We So Unique?
Recent investigation results re Freedom of Information requests have shocked us to the core. Through our own requests and those of our good friend Justine we have been trying to extract the true picture as to what is happening with UKBA seizures and subsequent Appeals against Seizures. Getting this information is like extracting teeth. The UKBA/HMRC are extremely reluctant to give us this information and try everything they can to keep this information from reaching the public. However, we are nothing but persistent and do eventually get results.
One of our main objectives has been to try and get the actual number of seizures per year. UKBA/HMRC have no problem whatsoever in giving the amount of tobacco/cigarettes seized but definitely don't want to show how many people have had their goods seized.
Prior to part of HMRC merging with the Border and Immigration Agency ?(BIA) to form the UKBA in April 2008 there was a fair of amount of data released. Although this data didn't give the whole picture atleast it was something. Since the UKBA have been in existance, even this data has been witheld!
So, we started with the last time HMRC released the data and it showed the following for the period 2008/9. For the purpose of this post we are concentrating on only part of this data and highlighted it :-
Overseas seizures 855 million cigarettes
Air seizures 244 million cigarettes
Inland seizures 180 million cigarettes
Maritime seizures 557 million cigarettes
Cross channel passenger seizures 11 million cigarettes
Number of cross channel seizures 2,836
You'll note that HMRC only show the NUMBER of seizures for Cross Channel and NOT any of the others. You'll also note that the data is for cigarette seizures only and NOT tobacco (HRT)
So, what's the NUMBER of seizures for the Air Seizures figure? By taking the Cross Channel data and applying it by simple maths to the Air Seizures we get the NUMBER of seizures at UK Airports for 2008/9 to be approx 63,000. That's 63,000 people! ... and that's without the number of seizures for Overseas, Maritime and lnland! 63,000 ... got that?
How many of these 63,000 appealed against the seizures? 673! .... just 673 ,,, yep, that's right .... a measly 673 ... approx 1%. ln reality even this 1% is far too big when you consider the NUMBER of seizures to be added from all the Overseas (Coquelles), Maritime, lnland and not forgetting the 2836 that HMRC showed. A final realistic figure will be FAR LESS THAN 1%!
How many people won their initial Appeal Against Seizure? .... 15! ... yep 15! Add to that a further 52 as UKBA say approx 8% win their case at Magistrates court.
Now take our own personal Appeals Against Seizure. What's our success rate? ... 100%! ... and that's with amounts way over the guidelines. We are just ordinary people who refuse to be intimidated or bullied and that's all really it takes. Once you stand up to them you'll see UKBA are NOT remotely as powerful and clever as you think they are.
So, wtf can we conclude from this? Yes there will be a percentage of smugglers amongst these seizure figures but that isn't the answer because UKBA would happily release these figures if they were all smugglers ... and prosecute them. You have to conclude that UKBA would be embarrassed by releasing the actual NUMBER of seizures because they know, as we do, most are just ordinary Cross-Border Shoppers and questions would be asked. Parliament, MSM, so called Liberty groups/blogs etc would have to then take note. As it is, they are happy to keep it swept under the carpet.
How do UKBA get away with it? .... because of YOU! For various reasons YOU allow UKBA to rob you. Either you screw up on the interview, don't go prepared, trust the UKBA, intimidated by them, to scared to fight back and so on. No wonder the UKBA are so arrogant and do what they want, they know that virtually no-one fights back!
l'm not being nasty to you or disrespectful ... l'm just telling you the facts as they are.
Why are we, and a few others, so unique when it comes to taking on the UKBA?
More to the point ... tell us WHY YOU won't fight back?