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Old 24-09-2015, 09:30   #16
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

We were in Mozambique in 2013 and I cannot recall what we paid - visa's and permits - I can look it up in our logbook but for a family of six I do not recall it being particularly expensive. We anchored at Inhaca Island - lots of petty thieving there and the location of the afore mentioned dinghy theft.


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Originally Posted by Emerald Sea View Post
Noonsite publishes that the total cost of entry is about $225US (2013). This is in Pemba.
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Old 24-09-2015, 09:42   #17
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

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Originally Posted by Seman View Post
On our trip from Madagascar to South Africa we had an electrical problem (could not start motors) and we sheltered in rough conditions in a small port in Mozambique. We worked on the problem, never left the boat.
The next day 4 officials boarded us to check our documents. (Visa & Cruising permit)
They ordered me off the yacht to follow them to their office, where they demanded $300 for a cruising permit and confiscated our passports until the money was payed.
I claimed that under international law I was entitled to shelter for max. 48 hrs under these conditions, to no avail.
I paid in order to be able to continue our trip.
What would have been our options?
I remember reading the Noonsite pages about Mozambique and US$300 sounds in the right range. I know the wording in Noonsite may encourage people to try sneaking in without papers, maybe it is time to send them a correction.

If I was you I would be thankful, take out the quotes around "ilegally" and, in the absence of knowledge about the law of the land, call this a fine or a fee instead of accusing your hosts of a crime. I am sure if you try arriving in a US port without following the rules you will have a different view of what happened to you.
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Old 24-09-2015, 10:32   #18
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
I think the key portion of the post you may have missed is that the cruising permit is supposed to be $30, but they were asked for $300.
Nope. Didn't miss that at all.

First off, $30 doesn't sound right to me. Everything I've read indicates at least $200, and probably more.

Second, did you perhaps miss the part where, instead of checking in properly, he tried to get away with anchoring without a check-in? And then, when the officials arrived, instead of accepting the situation, he decided to claim that he had rights under "international law" (which, there is no such thing), and that they weren't allowed to charge him. It has always been my experience that it costs a lot less when you DON'T argue with the authorities.

So, if he had simply checked-in with the authorities in the first place, or at least not argued with them, I'm betting that it would have cost him less. And in any case, $300 is not a completely unreasonable amount anyway--some countries charge more than that.
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Old 24-09-2015, 10:48   #19
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

Denver - have you cruised in the region? Not unreasonable? What if that is $300 each? .....and if it were you and your family being charged? I do agree that trying to avoid authorities is not a good idea.
We are often charged similar amounts ($30 each) plus a crusiing permit.
Its just so easy to condemn others.
Sadly, in Africa they can charge you silly amounts and then when you get the next official on board it all starts over.

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Nope. Didn't miss that at all.

First off, $30 doesn't sound right to me. Everything I've read indicates at least $200, and probably more.

Second, did you perhaps miss the part where, instead of checking in properly, he tried to get away with anchoring without a check-in? And then, when the officials arrived, instead of accepting the situation, he decided to claim that he had rights under "international law" (which, there is no such thing), and that they weren't allowed to charge him. It has always been my experience that it costs a lot less when you DON'T argue with the authorities.

So, if he had simply checked-in with the authorities in the first place, or at least not argued with them, I'm betting that it would have cost him less. And in any case, $300 is not a completely unreasonable amount anyway--some countries charge more than that.
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Old 24-09-2015, 11:09   #20
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

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Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
Sadly, in Africa they can charge you silly amounts and then when you get the next official on board it all starts over.
Let´s send the Marines and start all over again!
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Old 25-09-2015, 14:31   #21
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

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Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
Its just so easy to condemn others.
Who's condemning anybody? Not me. I think he made some mistakes, but pointing that out hardly constitutes "condemning" him. I just think he is over-reacting to what was, really, not all that big of a deal.

Frankly, I think he is lucky it wasn't worse. Telling an official that he can't do this, or he has to do that, because of some non-existent "international law" is usually a good way to insure that you will pay more than anybody else, will wait longer than anybody else, and will be filling out more forms than anybody else.

In the end, I just hope that others reading this will be able to take a couple of lessons from it.
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Old 25-09-2015, 15:57   #22
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

Condemning/criticising - or being pedantic over terminology?
Over reacting at feeling being overcharged ? Hmmmm.....smacks of someone who hasn't been there.
Sure he made a mistake - who hasn't? I certainly have. Many of us don't claim to be perfect. I agree he should have booked in but we dont know all the circumstances.
To claim it was no big deal displays a lack of understanding. To pay out $300 can be a very big deal. $300 can be more than many local people earn in several months in this area. You are using your own experiences to judge the event and until they encompass this region such comments are wholly inappropriate. Even if the poster was wealthy, it is cash that is required and banks are not always available. Credit cards and travellers cheques are not much use when a bank is not available. Local knowledge is required.
Several years ago I was collecting a friends girlfriend who had already checked out of Grand Comoro. I called the Port Captain for permission to enter harbour to make the pick up. He agreed that as long as I didn't stay more than an hour or two there would be no charge. Had there been a charge I would simply have launched the dinghy and made a beach pick-up. However, as soon as I tied up he tried charging me a couple of hundred dollars for entering the harbour, despite many boats having witnessed the conversation on the VHF.
No doubt someone shall advise that I was wrong to object. I do not like extortion. Nor do I know of any cruisers who would claim that $300 is no big deal.





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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Who's condemning anybody? Not me. I think he made some mistakes, but pointing that out hardly constitutes "condemning" him. I just think he is over-reacting to what was, really, not all that big of a deal.

Frankly, I think he is lucky it wasn't worse. Telling an official that he can't do this, or he has to do that, because of some non-existent "international law" is usually a good way to insure that you will pay more than anybody else, will wait longer than anybody else, and will be filling out more forms than anybody else.

In the end, I just hope that others reading this will be able to take a couple of lessons from it.
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Old 25-09-2015, 15:59   #23
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

I've been reading a book by Mike Riley. He said anytime they come into port they always offer food to any boarding party. i.e. Have a meal ready. You are offering hospitality and saying you have nothing to hide. Mike says he has never paid a bribe. I thought it was interesting.
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Old 25-09-2015, 16:11   #24
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

Not a bad concept - we usually offer tea or soft drinks/water and a small bowl of sweets. It certainly keeps people happier and recognises hospitality.

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I've been reading a book by Mike Riley. He said anytime they come into port they always offer food to any boarding party. i.e. Have a meal ready. You are offering hospitality and saying you have nothing to hide. Mike says he has never paid a bribe. I thought it was interesting.
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Old 28-09-2015, 06:26   #25
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

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Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
Many of us don't claim to be perfect.
Wow. First you accuse me of "condemning" him (when I didn't) and then you suggest that I "claim to be perfect" (when I haven't come even remotely close to anything like that).

Getting awfully defensive, aren't we?
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Old 28-09-2015, 07:01   #26
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

Remember the "be nice" rule please
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Old 28-09-2015, 07:24   #27
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

$30 fee but $270 late fee for not paying first.

Sent from my SCH-I415 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 28-09-2015, 08:39   #28
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

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I do not like extortion. Nor do I know of any cruisers who would claim that $300 is no big deal.
Especially the $500 a month cruisers...ouch!
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Old 28-09-2015, 10:44   #29
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

I thnk that at the point they are asking for $300 it is a good idea to offer them the cost of the cruising permit $30 (assuming you know it). "Oh excuse me but doesn't the cruising permit cost $30." They return with a story so you can reply," I understand that this is a convenience you are offering so I think a gift of an extra $20 for your service is appropriate. " All the time be patient and smile. Slowly work your way up to a point that they will accept. Ok its a bribe and you are getting taken advantage of but do the best you can to make the bite as small as possible.
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Old 28-09-2015, 15:00   #30
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Re: Extortion for “illegally” entering a country.

Denver, You are right - I was defending the OP from unwarranted comments.
Many of us don't claim to be perfect was what I wrote; please go back and re-read what was written by both of us. Please dont persist with making incorrect statements. You were not accused despite that your posting contained disparanging remarks.....and with which you persist.
People with local knowledge have written in and yet you challenge them as also. You also made statements about the OP's intentions based upon your own assumptions.
The OP commented about what he considered to be a high charge. I accept that his plans were perhaps a little adventurous but that does not automatically make the levied charges acceptable. In an ideal world the authorities would behave honestly - and it seems some people shall just believe they were correct because they are in a position of authority.
The OP anchored due to engine problems. He also ID'ed that the conditions were not ideal. Is it really so unreasonable to anchor and try and resolve his mechanical issues before attempting a possible entry that would be safer with operating motors? Many ports of entry can be very difficult / hazardous without engines. Radio comms can also be unreliable in the area.
I am pretty familiar with the charges that are applicable in Mozambique and also with the level of corruption which is endemic in the region, as well as the local geography, hence I am not so quick to make negative comments about the poster. As for claiming the $300 is not unreasonable - that statement speaks volumes to the people that cruise extensively. It is not a lot when you have a healthy monthly income but many long term cruisers do so on a budget that does not often have $300 of fat.
Its a great pity that more posters cannot be supportive.
I wish you well and should you ever cruise in these waters, which offer some great experiences, I trust you shall come to understand the dilema's that can befall you.





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Wow. First you accuse me of "condemning" him (when I didn't) and then you suggest that I "claim to be perfect" (when I haven't come even remotely close to anything like that).

Getting awfully defensive, aren't we?
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