Request For Guide To Appealing Seizures **UPDATED**

We got this in the comments :-

"Posted by The Blocked Dwarf on July 18th.
"definitive guide to Appealing/'What to do when the you finally do get home without your tobacco".

This is a bloody good idea, Any chance it will happen before the October Mini Cruse season Starts


We are desperately weary of trying to rescue people who have not done the preparation.
It’s not their fault, they didn’t know about us until it was too late; but it’s bloody hard work, often futile, and it’s burning us out. We never set out to be philanthropists, or a stray donkey sanctuary. We can’t help everyone.

It takes all kinds to make a world, and we hope that someone out there might take up that cross. We are fighters, not medics. It grieves us to see the appalling injustice of this State-sponsored theft by spiteful, unprincipled bullies in uniform, but we are so sick of engaging the bullies’ overseers in bureaucratic word games.

If a cross-border shopper signs the notebook and doesn’t record the interview, they can be sure that the notebook is a signed confession. Omissions, distortions and inventions, they won’t be able to remember everything that was said over a two-hour interrogation. They sign it because they don’t want to offend the guy who holds their fate in his hands. Big mistake.

What I’m saying is, rescue is not what we want to do. We want to stop people getting ambushed in the first place.

There are cases were Customs have been so careless that we can do something, but invariably the 'confession' has been signed (notebook) and it's damning. We’ve tried repeatedly to interest various office-based freedom organisations in taking on the rescuing of casualties, or even better, publicising the outrageous behaviour of these uniformed highway robbers. We need someone with connections to expose this rip-off. It’s not what we are good at, we are far more effective on the frontline.

This blog is here to equip people to defend themselves, BEFORE the battle. We have a lot of experience in that, and we enjoy sharing it. We are undefeated in that. Rescuing prisoners is not our thing, not our talent. Someone should be doing it, possibly someone who gets paid, even? An MP? A friend of the smoker? A defender of human rights? A journalist? A lawyer/barrister who wants to make a name for himself? We are not in these circles, we don't fit and in many cases are simply not welcome anyway.

There must be many ex-Customs personnel who left in disgust. They really know the score. Why have none of them blown the whistle? Seriously, they know even more about the dirty Customs culture than we do, every single one of them should be ashamed for not shouting out. It’s not enough to quit the filthy thieving profession, you should blow it wide open. Yes, I know you signed the Official Secrets Act, but does that really excuse your silence?

Okay, rant over.

Everyone who reads this blog already knows what they need to know about self-defence. What’s the point of this particular post?

We can't rescue the newcomers that are casualties, and we feel bloody guilty about it. That’s the point.
Spread the word. Tell people how to defend themselves.

And try to encourage someone else to rescue the victims. There must be someone out there who has a talent for engaging petty bureaucrats. Someone with contacts in the Press or Government or funded Quangos or Watchdogs. Someone more respectable than us. We don’t do networking and agreeable lunches, we get our hands dirty.

The whole Customs thing is a colossal scandal. Someone will bust it one day. Where are the investigative journalists? This one would be so easy to expose.

Okay, rant is really over.

Peace, as Pat Condell says.

(Halfway through writing this post, I caught two Traffic Wardens red-handed, trying to give the bus a ticket. Usual place. I persuaded them not to. Boy, they didn’t know what hit em.) (29 consecutive tickets beaten, 4 still in the pipeline, I don’t need any more, thank you.)
I’m an old man, I should be taking it easy.  :)


UPDATE     Part 2 (by Smoking Hot)

The truth of the matter is that there is nothing we can do for the vast majority of casualties because they have signed the 'confession' and not recorded the interview. This leaves us with nothing to work with. We don't know what's in the notebook and even an SAR won't tell us till after the time limit for an appeal has run out.

All we are left with is what the casualty can remember and even then they invariably leave the 'bad bits' out because they are embarrassed as to what they did or said. Not a recipe for success is it?

As for our fine feathered friends, who l know for a fact come here frequently, l have this to ask you.

For all your gloriously worded posts, comments, campaigns etc that 'highlight' the your enemies lies and the like ... what damage have you actually done to them? Are they weaker? Has their juggernaught stopped or even slowed down? What victories have you actually had?

We've done lots of damage to our enemy and had a fair few victories. lf you want a taste of how sweet victory can be, have a go yourself. With your contacts, your victories should far exceed ours. Hell, you'd probably even end up being a celebrity! No need to mention us either ... win/win for you. :)

Or you can simply stay silent and increase the number of Customs casualties.


  1. I've calmed down a bit now.

    Look, I'm not asking for sympathy. Really.

    Just for somebody with connections, to DO something about this rip-off of innocent people who trusted the State. It's more than we can handle. It's huge, and it stinks.

  2. Its precisely because you and SH are burning out that I suggested writing the definitive guide to appeals and then simply refering people to it instead of you both fire fighting. You should only take on those cases which prove to be interesting or profitable-in the sense of clarifying the law/create a precedent.

    1. Yes l understand that BD and l do send people actual samples of appeals that have won. However putting together a definitive guide for those that have signed confessions AND not recorded the interview is something of a challenge to say the least. An SAR is fine but even if you request one at the same time your goods are seized ... it'll be 10 days too late!

    2. I do understand the 30/40 day issue with people who haven't recorded. But the guide could deal with that. IF I understand the situation correctly (and that's a big IF) than the appeal only has to be registered within 30 days NOT take place, right? Therefore those who didn't record should perhaps wait to *register* their appeal to see if the SAR comes back in time to use the copy of the ontebook etc. If it get to say day 25 could not a generic letter wanting to register an appeal suffice ie Dear Sirs I wish to appeal the decision to seize my goods as they were NOT held for a commercial purpose. This letter should be regarded as official notification of my intent to appeal and also noted that this is within the 30 day time frame etc etc" ?

      It'd be better than nothing -as judging by a recent case posted here the UKBA will simply rule against you no matter what grounds and evidence you supply IN THE FIRST INSTANCE.

      No doubt you've already considered this approach and it doesn't 'fly' but I've used it to great effect in other government agency situations (DLA for example).

  3. Hi BD. :-)

    You're right, such a guide is sorely needed. But it needs to be good. It needs to be better than we can do. Our effort would be better than nothing, but it would be incomplete.

    All the self-defence advice we give is based on our, (including you, BD), hard won experience of never losing. We have great confidence in it.

    To gain enough experience of winning appeals, we'd have to inevitably lose a lot at other people's expense, cos appeals are so variable, and we don't have all the facts if there's no recording.

    There was a disillusioned ex-Customs officer who was doing appeals for people, but she got warned off. Sinister.

    A lot of people who need a job must try being a Customs Officer, but there must be a high early wastage rate when they find out what it involves. A lot will leave, but they all keep quiet about it. They have the decency to refuse to do it, but they don't blow the whistle. What the hell is going on? The NHS, Care Homes, even the Police and Army have whistle-blowers. What have Customs got over their ex-employees? Are they so ashamed of what they did before they left?

    I'm starting to sound like a conspiracy nut. It's reading the stories of victims that does it.

    1. ". Our effort would be better than nothing, but it would be incomplete."-Zaphod

      Of course BUT it, your effort, would still be 100% more helpful than anything else out there atm. At very least you could write a 'What you need to do NOW' guide.

      You could start it out by laying the truth on them ie

      "So you've gotten home finally, at great expense cos your car was seized, you've made that first cup of coffee and sat down and googled 'How to appeal a UKBA Seizure?'. It's late,you're tired, you feel humiliated, you're broke and out of pocket. You don't know how you are going to get to work on Monday let alone know what you will be able to afford to smoke tomorrow.

      The first question you need to answer is DID YOU RECORD THE INTERVIEW? And secondly DID YOU REFUSE TO SIGN THE OFFICERS NOTEBOOK?

      If you can answer 'yes' to both those questions then close your browser and phone SH on this number. PLEASE. We need to know.

      If however you didn't record the interview and you did sign the officer's notebook then you need to consider the following:

      The chance of you getting your goods and your car back is almost 'Fuck All'. Sorry but that's the honest truth. Unless you can persuade a solicitor to take the case -and most won't even consider fighting the UKBA. When you signed the notebook you signed a full confession-that's how the UKBA view it and will present it in court.

      If you still want to fight the seizure then get rid of any notion that you'll be seeing your goods/car/compensation anytime soon.

      Go buy another car or at least sort out one for work.

      If you still want to fight then open a new MS Word document NOW and write down everything but everything you can recall about what was said before, during and after the interview. DO NOT wait until the morning to do it.

      Do it now before you go to bed.

      Tomorrow you can read the chapter headed 'SAR'."

      Something like that anyways?

    2. Excellent ... you're doing a grand job ... carry on. :) l'll make space for it in the top yellow tabs! Heh heh

      See, our strategy worked!

    3. LOL..pretty desperate strategy if you're having to rely on Mr 'liable to periods of Batshit Crazyness & violent paranoia' Blocked Dwarf.

      Anyways I can write up a proper one and email it to you ON ONE CONDITION that you promise to go through it word by word, line by line....with the finest of nit picking combs.

      You've always made it clear that never gives unproven advice, that every bit of 'talk' has been backed up by your own personal 'walk'.

      Thanks to you guys and your advice I have never had goods seized nor had to appeal. I would be basing the guide purely on what you and others here have said/recounted. Therefore it would be vital that you double, nay triple, anything I say.

    4. lf you are willing to do that it would be very much appreciated and yes ... we will go over it. Cheers

  4. I have thought along these lines myself but was warned off by seeing a Gentleman in Scotland get hit with a years imprisonment for giving his good friend legal advice without the necessary legal qualifications ot solicitors licence. WHO MADE THE COMPLAINT TO THE COPS? You can quess, His friends solicitor. They protect each other. Google, its disgusting.
    My experience is lawyers like car electricians do nothing for nothing and the customs know it.

    1. Saskatchewan Association for Community Living??? Eh? :)

  5. Sorry didnt mean to upset anyone.

    Thought at least if there was a guide to read in case I had my cigs seized then at least i woudnt be on the backward foot.

    Again Sorry if i have caused up set'


    1. Garry, you haven't at all. We are just saying what the difficulties are. In your case seeing as you'd record the interview, wouldn't sign the notebook and have a statement of truth l can see no problem.

    2. Don't worry Garry, I very much doubt you've upset anyone! This situation ie with SH/Zaphod burning out is ongoing and has been for a while. The pair of them have been running on fumes for a while now as this 'little single issue blog' has grown into the only pro-Smoker's Right's site that actually seems to achieve anything.

    3. Without such as you BD we'd have achieved a lot less :)

  6. Just by the way, One of Lazzerinis complaints to the Scottish cops is that I publisbed a copy of EXCISE and CIVIL INTERVIEWS FOI DOCUMENT and he found this offensive and it frightened him. He also found me publishing his notebook offensive and embarassing, and giving constant updated regarding the condemnation proceedigss wrong and caused him to fear for his safety.
    I on the other hand found the thieft of my property offensive as lying, bulling, giving false information and being branded a thick Irish git and a liar and criminal to be offensive

    1. As with a lot of bullies, if you stand up to them they cry. :)

  7. Is there any chance of some balance in your rants SH/ZAPHOD/BD?

    This is probably the single biggest reason you get ignored by other blogs, and makes your good advice seem suspect when the totally slanted crap which makes all seized travellers as victims and all customs as bullies gets spouted out time and time again.

    The biggest reasons for seizures are smugglers getting caught,and those who are breaking the rules and don't know it and a seizure occurs.

    This is why the media, other bloggers, lawyers , ex customs and anyone else you blame for ignoring the issues continue to ignore you and this single issue cos you blow it up out of all proportion and slant it all so it appears just plain stupid.

    Customs bullies are real but just like the police are not widespread and riddled throughout the service.

    You lose so much credibilty when you slant this shit to the extent you do.

    There is a reason that its just SH and Zaphod fighting the evil empire on their own...think about it guys.

    1. Average is 68,000 seizures per year and 5000+ vehicles per year ... think about it Payback.

      Won't audio record interviews and force people to sign a 'confession' ... think about it Payback.

      Take proceedings against HMRC/UKBA and 'win' you get hit with a gagging order ... think about it Payback.

      UKBA not fit for purpose as found by HOC Select Committee ... think about it Payback.

      Last but by no means least, the advice about recording interviews and not signing the notebook stands for itself. lt doesn't come with demands for promoting N2D ... period!

    2. I speak from a considerable amount of personal experience.

      There are some bad Customs Officers, and some who are not. But the ones who are not bad know full well what a large proportion of their colleagues are doing, and they do not speak out.

      There are no innocent Customs Officers. That includes you, Payback. You know here's a huge problem with many of your colleagues, and it troubles you. Do something effective. Or not. But you know I'm right.

  8. I mentioned it before, but I still think a forum could take some of the weight off your shoulders. A place where people could discuss issues, ask questions and offer advice without the onus coming back on you guys to compile an answer to every individual email.After all thanks to you guys, most of us visiting N2D now know the basics.Your mailboxes must be as big as Santa's sack!
    I guess you'd have to weigh up the work in running a forum against how much your present workload would decrease, but at least you could delegate a couple of mods

    1. Yes, we are looking into it ... or rather Bobi is :)

    2. Yes definitely think a forum would be useful as you'll be able to organise the site a bit better. With the greatest of respect I can't see at a glance who has replied to a particular posting but setting things up forum style would alter that.

      You can setup free ones no problem.

  9. I read this post with interest earlier on. Enquiries on the net about time limits for appeals led me, via various links, to the original 'skeds' lawcase! People might be interested in reading the original 'skeds' lawcase, so here is the URL:

    Perhaps SH and Z will remember ''? It was a link there that took me to the 'skeds' ("the absurdity of this reasoning is demonstrated by simply stating it") lawcase.

    I want to say this. If I was a genuine 'community shopper' (that is, a person who travels to, say, Spain and buys any amount of fags, in the European COMMUNITY, for my own consumption, there is no way that I would accept confiscation of my goods without a fight. It may be that, in my ignorance, I may have been unprepared and may not have recorded interviews and I may have signed the notebook. Even so, I would fight.

    It seems to me that, regardless of whether or not a person has signed the notebook, or has recorded or not, it is imperative to appeal against the seizure as soon as possible. It is plain and obvious that if a customs officer tells you that he is confiscating your goods, then there is absolutely nothing that you can do about it at the time. You can only do something when you get home.

    I assume that there is some sort of form which you can complete to make the appeal. Fine - complete it, but add your own letter (keep copies) demanding that your goods should not be destroyed under any circumstance until the full process of appealing has been concluded, including any subsequent court cases.

    Essentially, it is not for SH and Z to battle on behalf of other people. People can do it themselves, provided that they are genuine 'community' shoppers. For example, any suggestions by customs that you could not provide proof that you could afford to buy the goods can be countered later by the simple provision of bank statements. Uncertainties about how much you smoke can be countered by mathematical calculations done later - not forgetting your right to keep as much tobacco as you like 'in reserve'. Your 'stock' is a complete counter to any calculation of past consumption (assuming that you are a genuine 'community shopper').

    As regards gifts, they are what they are. Gifts can be reciprocated, and almost always are. Last time I went away, my grandson asked me to get him some RYO tobacco. I did. I gave it to him. He offered to pay, but I said no. The reciprocation will come, as happens in families, in some way in the future, possibly by helping me with some jobs. By the way, there is a grey area which has not been properly addressed as far as I can see, which is the 'not for profit' situation. That is, the question of buying some fags for someone purely on a cost refund basis. There seems to be a grey area between 'for own use' and 'for commercial purposes'. It would be interesting to see what would happen if one went to customs and told them that one had bought some fags for a mate who had offered to pay only the cost price in return. Is that transaction 'for commercial purposes?' No doubt Customs would argue that the transaction involves depriving the exchequer of revenue, but is the transaction 'commercial'?

    In conclusion, can I say that it is likely that people who have erred will approach SH and Z. In that case, the only thing that SH and Z can reasonably be expected to do is advise, a) appeal, and, b) do not be put off by Custom's assertions. Tell the truth and fight for your rights.

  10. "it is imperative to appeal against the seizure as soon as possible. "

    Especially as the poor sod who has had his goods seized is going to find himself even more broke when a bill for missing Duty flutters on to his mat...which seems to be the latest tactic.

  11. And what happens when the bill drops on the matt of someone on benefits e.t.c? they cant get blood out of a stone can they?

  12. How,s Bob getting on with testing the forum software. Bet he is very busy with the 1st trip tomorrow.


  13. What if the confessions are signed under protest and duress, is there grounds then....surely there must be?



    1. It's a good defence but the problem is the courts don't seem to be able to comprehend it. When l was at the Doncaster case, the judge and prosecuting barrister said 'Why didn't you just not sign it?' to Mr Donny as though it was the most natural thing in the world. Of course it is ... for their legal world.


"In the eyes of the Tribunal the review letter contained several preconceptions, prejudgments and non-sequiturs"

"the absurdity of this reason is demonstrated by simply stating it"

"We therefore find that Mr Sked misdirected himself as to the Policy in carrying out the review and his decision is therefore one that no reasonable review officer could have arrived at."

... commonly known here at N2D as 'Skeds' ... that is to say these are Judges comments regarding UKBA Review Officer Ian Sked's reasons for rejecting peoples appeals against seizures.

Comments are now moderated to keep out spam and those with malicious intent. The author of this blog is not liable for the content of any comments ... period!