French Customs seizes un-exportable Picasso’s art work worth €25m

Picasso, Head of a Young WomanA painting by Pablo Picasso estimated at more than €25 million (CHF26.5 million) and considered “unexportable” by the Spanish authorities has been seized by French customs officials on a boat moored in the French island of Corsica.

“An attempt to export to Switzerland a picture by Picasso, Head of a Young Woman, through the customs office of Bastia [a town in Corsica] last Thursday attracted the attention of French officials,” customs agents said in a statement to French news agency AFP on Tuesday.

On Friday, customs officials from the Corsican town of Calvi “boarded the ship which was moored in the marina at Calvi and demanded the documents relating to the painting which it was transporting”. According to the statement, the captain was able to produce only one document assessing the painting plus a ruling, in Spanish, from May 2015 made by the Audienca Nacional, a Spanish high court which has jurisdiction over all Spanish territory and international crimes which come under the competence of Spanish courts. This ruling confirmed that the painting was a Spanish national treasure which could never leave Spain. Source: CustomsToday

Mauritius Customs turns 200

Mauritius Customs 1st Day CoverOn the ocassion of my 300th post, join me in raising the Portcullis for Mauritius Customs! During September, the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) marked the bicentenary celebrations of Customs services in Mauritius by launching a special First Day Cover with four stamps on the Customs Department to mark the bicentenary celebrations of Customs Services in Mauritius. The issue of these new stamps is an acknowledgement of the significant contribution of the Customs services to the economic and social life of the country for more than 200 years. The four stamps depict the Customs Services in different fields with denotation of Rs 7, Rs 8, Rs 20 and Rs 25 illustrating some of the areas where the customs services are involved in their fight against crime and fraud prevention through the use of people, animals and state-of-the-art technology.

On 18 August 1797, a ‘bureau de Douane’ was established for the purpose of raising revenue in a context of war and blockade. It became a major financial institution contributing towards 50% of total revenue. The British took over in 1811 and installed the first Collector of Customs.British Customs practices were gradually introduced in the colony in line with British commercial law.

In modern times, the MRA Customs Department has set as one of its main objective to combat the illicit trade of drug and other illicit substances. The MRA has a team of 6 drug detector dogs handled by certified dog handlers trained by the French Customs and the South African Revenue Services (SARS). Our dogs have been selected carefully from examined litters and were declared competent drug detector dogs as per SAQA Unit Standard in the handling of a service to detect illicit substances.

Since 2008, our sniffer dogs have detected drugs in 25 instances involving the import of Cannabis, Heroin, Hashish, Subutex and other illegal substances worth around Rs 42,530,543. The Drug Detector Dog squad operates at the courier services, Parcel Post Office, Vehicle Search at Airport, Port and Freight Stations, Port area, Airport (Plaisance Air Transport Services & Luggage on carrousels at SSR Int. Airport and Aircraft search) as well as at the seaport for search of vessels. Source: Mauritius Revenue Authority