Sa family,s moz border bribery hell





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  1. #1
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    Default Sa family,s moz border bribery hell

    SA family's Moz border bribery hell

    Thursday 27th February 2014

    A couple returning from Mozambique were told by border officials to leave their daughter behind until they got cash for a "fine". ||| Durban - A fun weekend getaway in Mozambique turned into a frightening ordeal for a Kloof couple after, they said, they were told by border officials to leave their teenage daughter behind while they went into South Africa to draw funds to pay a bribe of R9 000. The family had apparently been caught in a scam where Mozambican officials do not stamp passports when South Africans enter. When leaving, crooked officials can then demand a "fine". Kevin and Sally Stone and family had driven to Ponta Malongane for a short holiday in convoy with 15 friends last weekend, and thought everything was in order when they stopped at the border near Manguzi for the routine immigration checks. "I was driving so I attended to the vehicle papers while my husband and the kids went to get the passports stamped," Sally said. Kevin walked across to the Mozambique side with their four children aged 17, 13, and 12-year-old twins. "The officials who stamp passports on that side are in a dimly lit container-type office with a barred window which is raised so you can't see inside," said Kevin. He said they heard stamping and in good faith trusted that their passports were stamped. Any doubts that their passports were not in order were further allayed when the documents were checked by another Mozambican official when they were pulled over, about 100m from the border post. "He opened every passport and checked against each person in the car. He closed them again and gave them back to us saying there was no problem, we can go," said Kevin. After a weekend of snorkelling and swimming they made their way back to the same border post. "We got there just after they opened at 8am and checked in our passports," said Kevin. He then left his eldest daughter Jenna in the line while he went to help his wife pump air into their SUV's tyres. "All of a sudden Jenna runs back saying we are needed," said Sally. Not thinking it was anything serious, Kevin stayed back while his wife and daughter returned to the container. Kevin was alarmed when he was told by a South African police officer to go to his family's aid because there was a major problem. Walking back, he said the Mozambican immigration officer showed him the unstamped passports saying they had come into Mozambique illegally. Three days earlier only Sally's had been stamped. On a torn piece of paper, the official scribbled a "fine" and demanded the Stones pay R1 800 for each of the five unstamped passports. "The official grabbed Jenna into the dark, dingy container, saying they were seizing her while we go and withdraw the R9 000 from the Spar at Manguzi," said Kevin. Seething, Kevin went to seek assistance on the South African side of the border, a few metres away. But he said he was told to go back and negotiate the price down. "I could not believe what I was hearing. They said they could not get involved because it would cause a diplomatic problem," he said. "The only price I was going to negotiate was nil." The ruckus caught the attention of other border crossers. "Some of them came up to us and told us that this had happened to them before, especially in December," said Kevin. "It seems they were targeting large groups with big cars." The Stones believe this was a scam to extort money from tourists. Kevin said that had it been a genuine breach of immigration laws, he would have been arrested, or detained and due diligence done. "They didn't bother to check the SA stamps or the vehicle papers. If we wanted to get into Mozambique illegally, why would we check in our car and one passport? How can a quick cash transaction fix a breach of immigration laws? What kind of procedure is that?" he said. The family faced down the "belligerent" officials, and took their daughter. back. Eventually, acting on the advice of one of the South African officials, the Stones left their passports behind and drove home. "God knows what would have happened to Jenna if we had left her there," said Sally, still shaken. The family, who have been holidaying in Mozambique during school holidays for the past 10 years, say they will never return. "My (Toyota) Land Cruiser, bought especially for the roads there, is up for sale," said Kevin. "I will never set foot back in that country." Said Kevin: "Technically, the kids and I are in our own country illegally because we never got stamped out of Mozambique and into SA; we had to abandon our passports. We now have to cancel them and spend R400 each to get new ones." Since returning, the Stones have written to the SA Embassy in Maputo and the Mozambican Embassy in Durban, but have not received any response from the latter. Attempts by the Daily News to get comment from Mozambican authorities were also unsuccessful. The spokesman for South Africa's Department of International Relations and Co-operation, Clayson Monyela, directed the Daily News to the Department of Home Affairs whose spokesman, Ronnie Mamoepa, declined to comment, saying it was an issue for the Mozambican officials. Sally did receive a response from an official at the South African Embassy in Maputo. He said he would do his best to obtain the passports but suggested that her family cancel them. Kevin called the Hillcrest Saps about opening a case of theft against the Mozambican government. He said he would go to the station this weekend to do this
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  2. #2
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    This happened to members of our group coming back to SA from Ponta in December as well. They came back a few days later and we heard the news.
    They have also written numerous letters to the "official" government channels and guess how much response they have received? Absolutely none - what a surprise.

    This was the same trip that all my camera gear was affirmatively shopped out of my chalet. Moz is fast heading towards my "do not visit" list unfortunately.

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    Disgusting.

    Don't know what to say - extortion moves to kidnapping.

    Moz is becoming more and more a banana republic.

    Mind you... We are not so far behind...

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    You have to be a really desperate traveler to go to Mozambique.
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    Come on guys! Assumptions is the mother of mistakes.

    I have entered into Namibia on holiday and my passport was stamped for only 1 day instead of 1 month. If I had not Checked it is a nice fat fine for every day you exit Namibia late.

    If you want to travel in Africa you have to PARAAT>:

    My 3 week holiday in Moz December 2013 to jan 2014 was fabulous!
    Being stopped once or twice to check paperwork versus everyday aggravation in SA holidaying over December.
    Last edited by Randy; 2014/02/27 at 08:46 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy View Post
    Come on guys! Assumptions is the mother of mistakes.

    I have entered into Namibia on holiday and my passport was stamped for only 1 day instead of 1 month. If I had not Checked it is a nice fat fine for every day you exit Namibia late.

    If you want to travel in Africa you have to PARAAT>:

    My 3 week holiday in Moz December 2013 to jan 2014 was fabulous!
    Being stopped once or twice to check paperwork versus everyday aggravation in SA holidaying over December.
    Have you ever heard of the concept called 'the rule of law'.
    Since when is it acceptable to have your daughter taken hostage while you go and get your ransom monies.
    Whats the difference between Mozambique Police and Al-Qaeda ?
    Mozambican police demand less ransom!
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    Absolutely shocking.

    We've also had a couple of "encounters" with the Moz cops but my dad is 'n hardegat Boer and they quickly backed down and the "problem" quickly disappeared.

    Luckily these encounters have been few and far between.

    I still love Moz! Don't let a few spineless officials get in your way.

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    Last year easter we were "done in" 3 times... R6000.00

    Moz will not see me soon, and I definitely will never travel alone(1 vehicle) if I ever go back again.

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    To have one's child taken is unacceptable!!

    To be extorted is unacceptable.

    To not check your passport has been stamped is inexcusable. Moz has its fair share of issues, but all countries have. How difficult is it to confirm your passport has been stamped upon entering? We always check all passports. Make sure.

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    Same thing happened to us a number of years ago.

    We realised some of our passports weren't stamped a day after passing through the border and spent nearly 3 days trying to resolve the issue in Maputo. All of the officials we dealt with were only willing to help us if we slipped them some money on the side. We refused and did the running around between buildings and different offices ourselves. Eventually we managed to get our passports stamped after paying the border entry fees for a secon time.

    We returned to Mozambique a number of times after that and have had our fair share of dealing with corrupt police officials on the road but I have never paid them a bribe.....

    ..... I'm not going to pay e-toll either!

  11. #11
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    Well I check my passports every time it's stamped before leaving the desk, and I do not use runners. Use a runner and you will be scammed some or other way.

    People in SA are naive and africa will take advantage of it.
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    It would seem that Moz is doing their best to stop us from enjoying our holidays thereby ensuring we never return to spend more money in their country
    I for one will be voting with my feet and wallet...........

    There are plenty awesome places in our own country to explore

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    Quote Originally Posted by James MacKay View Post
    Have you ever heard of the concept called 'the rule of law'.
    Since when is it acceptable to have your daughter taken hostage while you go and get your ransom monies.
    Whats the difference between Mozambique Police and Al-Qaeda ?
    Mozambican police demand less ransom!
    For Botswana that is GREAT!!! Everywhere else in Africa is a negotiation.

    Would you have felt better if they had taken 4 of the 5 who were in fact illegally in the country into custody?

    I am not saying taking her "hostage" was right!!! WHAT I am saying is that why bother to have the passport stamped if you are not going to check it yourself?

    Most passport stamps state the period you are allowed to be in the country! If you check that you have to see the stamp!

    YES Moz like most of Africa has bribery and corruption issues!!! Why because South Africans amongst others go there and PAY the bribes!!!

    I refuse to pay a bribe!!! You give me a legitimate piece of paper / receipt / fine etc. and I will pay that so the money ends up at the right place.
    Sometimes it takes 45 minutes for them to realize you are wasting their time no cash will be coming their way before they let you go!!! IF YOU ARE WITHIN THE LAW! Otherwise you are at their mercy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big-G View Post
    It would seem that Moz is doing their best to stop us from enjoying our holidays thereby ensuring we never return to spend more money in their country
    I for one will be voting with my feet and wallet...........

    There are plenty awesome places in our own country to explore
    I agree with your sentiment 100%

    But that will mean you will never see some beautiful places in Moz,Zim, Tanzania, Kenya etc. some countries like Sudan a bribe may well be all between you and a 50 cal bullet.

    Only places I have never been asked for a bribe so far is Namibia and Botswana.

    I honestly think we expect Utopia when we leave SA's borders because we think it is only here that we have issues.

    Do you honestly think the people from Moz, Zim etc don't have the same experience in SA? OFF COURSE THEY DO! They are also easy money for our cops!
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    I helped a german a few weeks ago with his dual battery system. Got my details on the forum. His been traveling alone for Europe to SA for the last 2 years.

    He asked me why we still stay in SA as from all the countries his been, SA is by far the most dangerous. From he entered the country he has not felt welcome or safe. Was going to Moz to get away.

    This is from a guy who was lost in Somalia and ended up being helped by Somalian Rebels.
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    Bribes and extortion are not only for Moz, Zam and Zim, I've been scammed twice in Nam because of BW registration.
    Once it was as I had not with me the official border receipt (you only have to hand it in when leaving the country again), the second time in a bogus speed trap which was reading 138 kph (from a previous saloon passing the same way).
    My rig does not even reach that speed at this altitude.

    It was clear on both occasions that it was a money scam well tested and proven, only in m y case they didn't succeed.
    My story went into the local newspaper and I debated it on this forum.

    So far we are still okay in Bots, for how long I don't dare to guess.

    This case seems an escalation of all earlier reported attempts, so best to be prepared, check your paper works and make sure you are not set up.
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    I lived and worked in Mozambique from 2003 to 2005. It is shocking to see how that country has gone downhill. I absolutely loved my time there, but will actively discourage anybody who is listening from going there. Unfortunately it's the same with so many African country's (SA included), as soon as a little money starts rolling in, the corruption becomes so bad that the money stops rolling in and the population dies of hunger again...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnna View Post
    I lived and worked in Mozambique from 2003 to 2005. It is shocking to see how that country has gone downhill. ...
    Yes for example the EN1 hey !!??

    You never had any potholes, and now its full of potholes ? or what.

    Sheez what a load of BS.

    If the family above tried to pull off their arrogant behaviour in any other country they would have been locked up and deported.. with a hefty fine.

    For example overstaying your welcome in South Africa costs you R 1000 per day !

    I once overstayed by 2 days in Czech republic and at the airport they nailed me with more than R 2000 plus a nasty stamp in my passport that.

    Imagine you taking a smaller ferry from say Santander to Plymouth and you somehow slipping through into the UK without a stamp... what will the government do when they find you are an illegal alien.

    They should have nailed this arrogrant LYING idiot harder !!!!!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandjan View Post
    Yes for example the EN1 hey !!??

    You never had any potholes, and now its full of potholes ? or what.

    Sheez what a load of BS.

    If the family above tried to pull off their arrogant behaviour in any other country they would have been locked up and deported.. with a hefty fine.

    For example overstaying your welcome in South Africa costs you R 1000 per day !

    I once overstayed by 2 days in Czech republic and at the airport they nailed me with more than R 2000 plus a nasty stamp in my passport that.

    Imagine you taking a smaller ferry from say Santander to Plymouth and you somehow slipping through into the UK without a stamp... what will the government do when they find you are an illegal alien.

    They should have nailed this arrogrant LYING idiot harder !!!!!


    WOW!!!! And you know this how
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  20. #20
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    by paying a bribe you are as criminal as the people demanding the bribe. Its a disease in sa to bribe officials in moz as they think they are rule free in moz.

    I do not pay bribes in moz and never had to
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