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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I tried importing completely legal things via a mailing company

Customer Question

I tried importing completely legal things via a mailing company in Luxembourg. Due to the chemicals being classed as NPS they weren't happy about it (I tried importing a lot via China). All these chemicals are legal in all the countries and I send all invoices from my VAT registereed UK customer and Chinese seller invoices etc to try to resolve it, but Luxembourg customs seized and said I would be summoned tro their office for questioning (my solicitor told me to ignore any summons, which they never contacted me about, anyway). There was more to this that I said because I also asked the mailing company to stop accepting my parcels (as they would just seize them) and mentioned to them that my solicitor said I should sue them for accepting them after I told them not to. They even got someone they know from French customs to pick up a parcel in one of their French delivery addresses after it had already been delivered (probably to corroborate the Luxembourg customs).
The main question is that they obviously contacted UKBA (border force) who mislead the police into thinking it was controlled substance. A search warrant was issued by a court order. I want to know whether I can find out anything about what was said to obtain the court order and if anything was wrong, is there anything I can do about the harrassment and search (which to me seems illegal). There was no reason to suspect anything was illegal as I provided all invoices to the customs etc but they hardly replied.
So the court order authorised them to search looking for controlled drugs 'one' time (on the search warrant under the misuse of drugs act etc) but the warrant mentioned they are only allowed to look for drugs and documents. Are they allowed to take anything else such as phones and computers etc?
The main question is would it be possible for me to find out under what information the court order was given? I think it might have been incorrect information from customs authorities and would I be able to sue for any of this? The police still thought the chemical was illegal when they interviewed me (after what customs must have told them), even though it is totally legal and unrestricted.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Sadly not. This is because if the Police tell you the intel and where it was from it would be breach of the data protection act. As such warrants are granted by the Court, an officer must give evidence on oath and say what the evidence is.
The Court then make a decision whether or not to grant such a warrant and if not satisfied they wont grant the order. But they wont disclose to you what the information is or where it came from.
I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


I'm not sure why it would be a breach of the Data Protection Act. In fact, in the police interview they told me they had intelligence from Luxembourg and French customs (who must have said it was controlled when it wasn't). I had given these people all the invoices to the VAT registered business in the UK and also from the supplier in China so there was nothing suspicious. I had checked beforehand that the chemicals were all legal in the EU countries it was being delivered to before the mailing company can forward it on to UK. The mailing company however weren't acting in good faith (I mentioned possible customs problems before joining them) and were tricking me from the start on refusing not to accept my parcels when I told them not to (even though it says in their terms this is possible after ending the contract and they would then refuse further parcels, they were telling me lies saying they had too many parcels to refuse certain ones). They kept miving them to Luxembourg too without my permission and giving them to customs which they obviously must work together with. At one point a parcel had cleared French customs and delivered to one of the mailing companies French addresses but they then called someone they knew from French customs who then picked up the parcel and seized it (I think to corroborate their story).

So basically, as they knew my solicitor told me to ignore any summons, they contacted UK Border Force who somehow got the police involved. The police seemed to think it was controlled even in the interview. Is it possible to sue for these authorities lying to the police and saying it is controlled?

I think UK border force do this often too when they seize similar items (the UK want to make a blanket ban of some of these) and to scare people from appealing, they illegally state on notices of seizure it is controlled or Class B or Class C for the exact same chemical from the same source (which shows they are making it up or are incompetent at best). Since they are separate from the Police, maybe they think they can do this without any comeback to them? I've had recent experience of this where packages sent to different people and seized at the same time have had completely different seizure notices for the exact same chemical and source. All saying it is controlled without specifying what exactly they found (also varying classes) but independent testing of the same sourced packages that weren't seized show it is legal and they are 99% at least purity so phamraceutical grade. It's almost as if they are trying to set me up as I'm bailed until the end of January while they test the stuff they found on my premises.

Are these authorities untouchable or what can be done about all this? Intimidating legitimate business etc. due to their warped ideology so they think it is okay for them to act illegally.

Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
You should NEVER ignore a summons and that was probably not the best advice. If its a UK government body you can Judicially Review a decision made by them. This is where the matter goes before a High Court Judge and they decide whether its reasonable and legal.
If its outside the UK then it is a lot harder especially with ones outside the EU
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.

I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?

If you have not done so already might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.

If you need more help please click reply.


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