[CQ-Contest] [TowerTalk] Hams? detained

Robert L. Shohet kq2m at mags.net
Fri Apr 9 13:22:04 EDT 1999

This reminds me of an experience I had in January 1986 just a few days
after Aruba - P4 became "Status Aparte".

I had come down to Aruba to put the new country on the air on January 6,
1986 (Aruba became "independent" on 1/1/86) as P4/KQ2M.  Apparently,
many things had changed between 12/31/85 and 1/1/86.  One of them was
customs.  They looked at my passport and license authorization (which
they said needed the "Model O" stamp) and promptly locked up my
equipment without further discussion.

Despite the fact that I had a copy of my US license and authorization
from Landsradio (the Neth. Antilles licensing authority at the time)
they did not care.  They locked it all up (and there was NO contraband).

Fortunately I was able to find Tico Lesire and he came down to the
airport and unlocked everything and told the customs people about
Amateur Radio.  I don't think they cared though.  Needing this "Model O"
was nonsense too....  The customs people hadn't bothered to understand
what was and wasn't required, they didn't have to, they were customs and
the law and whatever they said went and they KNEW IT!

Keep in mind that this was and is a country friendly to the US and a
major tourist destination.  You can't even begin to imagine what might
await you in customs in other less traveled countries around the globe.

Bottom Line:

DO NOT carry radio gear in an obvious way. Carry them in subtle fashio
if possible (ie. like a suitcase, ski travel bag).  Take S/N lists
certified by US Customs (great idea!), carry a copy of your US license
and a qsl card or two, and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER carry cash, misc. items
or other forms of "contraband" in the radio.  In their eyes you have
just confirmed to them that you are a smuggler!

Hapy traveling, Happy Passover and Happy Easter.


Bob KQ2M

FAQ on WWW:               http://www.contesting.com/towertalkfaq.html
Submissions:              towertalk at contesting.com
Administrative requests:  towertalk-REQUEST at contesting.com
Problems:                 owner-towertalk at contesting.com
Search:                   http://www.contesting.com/km9p/search.htm

CQ-Contest on WWW:        http://www.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
Administrative requests:  cq-contest-REQUEST at contesting.com

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list