"It would be good to get some other opinions on this from long time cruisers".
A bit out of date maybe, and more from transporting boats by road, but in the old days:
always liked 10 New Francs ($1.50) or 20 Cigarettes (they tended to prefer B&H), and their main point of concentration was whether you were "importing" more than 200 litres of fuel
. They in turn, were overlooked by their "Intervention Squad" (As Customs
but with red stripes down their trousers) who never asked for anything, but always asked you if the other customes officers had asked you for anything - to which you always replied, No. The ciggys were worth their weight in gold, as after the "bribe?" they became as helpful as anything.
, it was the Police who liked a drink. They would Fine you, and ask if you wanted a reciept. If you didn't want one, the fine was usually less than half the original amount. When operating under Police escorts, you often had to buy your escorts a drink at each stop. I once did a trip from Mont Blanc to Trieste, where we had the same escorts all the way, and by the end of the trip, they were ALL asleep in our bunks, with their motorcycles loaded on the trailer. We had to stop a few miles from our destination
and allow them to sober up before we came into contact with the local police in Trieste. When they were finally sober enough to resume their impersonation of CHIPS, they took us right into the rush hour traffic in the City Centre at 5.30 on a Friday evening, and got us all lost
. Three trucks with 16ft wide loads, managed to bring Trieste to a total standstill. Finally, the locals managed to sort us out, and we got parked up in a coal yard until the traffic died down later in the evening, when we were taken on to our destination
Best of all though, were the Spanish police when off the beaten track, who didnt want bribes, but insisted on selling us things like 'genuine' Armani Jeans etc. The most bizarre thing I ever had to buy off them, was a live white rabbit - which may now possibly account for the non-indiginous white rabbit population of The Andalucia Mountains.