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Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

Old Oct 9th 2007, 1:56 am
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Default Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

Hi all,

As some of you know, I got my container last Monday and am still searching through the many boxes to find the odd thing I need.

I was looking through this morning and was very surprised to find that AQIS had cut through the straps on my diaries from when I was a teenager. Now, I can understand the need to search the containers - no problem there but to actually break items on purpose, I dont understand it. Maybe if they could see bulges in the paper, like I was hiding something or if it looked a bit suspicious for some reason but these were diaries I had had for years and the locks were only the little suitcase type locks so why didnt they pick them if they really had to search them? They had picked my jewellery box open as this was locked when it went in the box and yet the lock was open and hanging off one side when I found it. (I have no problem with this as it was quite a big box so maybe something could be hidden inside it)

I really think it was done out of sheer nosiness. All 3 5-year diaries had been cut open - no insurance can replace them and one was a gift from my mum who died 4 years ago so it is really quite upsetting. I have emailed AQIS for their side of the story but was just wondering if anyone else had experienced this.

Thanks!
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 3:03 am
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Default Re: Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

Do you know it was AQIS? Could it have been your shippers seeing if they could nick anything? Whatever, it's not nice and it's a horrible feeling, similar to being burgled - I know how you feel. You probably won't get much response from them though. Were the diary covers made of anything AQIS would get het up over? It has been known for them to get stressy about fabric flowers I know they have a job to do but unfortunately some of them don't seem to have a great deal of common sense.
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 3:15 am
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Default Re: Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

Originally Posted by VikkiL View Post
Hi all,

As some of you know, I got my container last Monday and am still searching through the many boxes to find the odd thing I need.

I was looking through this morning and was very surprised to find that AQIS had cut through the straps on my diaries from when I was a teenager. Now, I can understand the need to search the containers - no problem there but to actually break items on purpose, I dont understand it. Maybe if they could see bulges in the paper, like I was hiding something or if it looked a bit suspicious for some reason but these were diaries I had had for years and the locks were only the little suitcase type locks so why didnt they pick them if they really had to search them? They had picked my jewellery box open as this was locked when it went in the box and yet the lock was open and hanging off one side when I found it. (I have no problem with this as it was quite a big box so maybe something could be hidden inside it)

I really think it was done out of sheer nosiness. All 3 5-year diaries had been cut open - no insurance can replace them and one was a gift from my mum who died 4 years ago so it is really quite upsetting. I have emailed AQIS for their side of the story but was just wondering if anyone else had experienced this.

Thanks!
The main reason is that people press flowers, leaves, feathers, etc... into their diaries. This is at the top of the list of things they are looking for.

If something is locked they probably take the easiest option to open it. I don't think they have much time to sit around reading people's diaries. I'm sorry to hear that you have been distressed by this.

A tip for people yet to come. Attach keys to anything with a lock on (or leave the lock open).


Last edited by MartinLuther; Oct 9th 2007 at 3:28 am.
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 7:08 am
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Default Re: Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

My container's due to arrive Sydney 16th Oct.

Trying to find out from the shippers what the current waiting time is to clear Sydney inspection.

I'm interested to see what they open of ours - the main one will be the big wooden crate that the fish tank is coming in for sure.

Hope everything still stinks of Jayes.

Sorry to hear about your stuff. Probably they were looking for Foot & Mouth and BSE. That would go nice with their Horse Flu and Moths....
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 7:47 am
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Default Re: Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

Thanks for the responses guys.

It definitely wasnt the shippers as I put them in a tied bag and then into one of the boxes just before they taped it up.

The diaries were just standard 5 year ones and nothing on them of interest to AQIS so pressed feathers/flowers is probably why they have checked them, that makes sense. Its more the fact that they had cut them open that got to me. With the benefit of hindsight then I would definitely of left them open although they are from over the last 20 years so goodness knows where the keys are!

Even if they had read them, that doesnt worry me, its more the fact that they were broken on purpose. We all know the risks attached with shipping our stuff over but we expect broken glass or china dont we?

Moral to my story for you folks about to ship your stuff over - DONT LOCK ANYTHING!!!!
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 7:56 am
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Default Re: Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

Originally Posted by VikkiL View Post
Thanks for the responses guys.

It definitely wasnt the shippers as I put them in a tied bag and then into one of the boxes just before they taped it up.

The diaries were just standard 5 year ones and nothing on them of interest to AQIS so pressed feathers/flowers is probably why they have checked them, that makes sense. Its more the fact that they had cut them open that got to me. With the benefit of hindsight then I would definitely of left them open although they are from over the last 20 years so goodness knows where the keys are!

Even if they had read them, that doesnt worry me, its more the fact that they were broken on purpose. We all know the risks attached with shipping our stuff over but we expect broken glass or china dont we?

Moral to my story for you folks about to ship your stuff over - DONT LOCK ANYTHING!!!!
When watching 'Nothing to Declare' I saw them open the plastic packaging around a book to look inside & the pages had been cut away in the centre to conceal drugs. If this is a known way of trafficking drugs into the country I guess a locked book would be a bit of a red flag & no doubt they use whatever means are quickest to "gain entry" hence the cutting..
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 12:16 pm
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Default Re: Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

AQIS unstitched the back of 2 old teddy bears of mine - to check the stuffing. One was OK, the other cost $100 to be irradiated! It was real straw stuffing.
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

Originally Posted by lesleys View Post
AQIS unstitched the back of 2 old teddy bears of mine - to check the stuffing. One was OK, the other cost $100 to be irradiated! It was real straw stuffing.
AQIS are very clear about straw - think it's been posted on here several times too, so anyone else with elderly teddies, beware! You were lucky they irraduiated the bear and din't destroy him/her.
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 10:40 pm
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Default Re: Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

Originally Posted by VikkiL View Post
Thanks for the responses guys.

It definitely wasnt the shippers as I put them in a tied bag and then into one of the boxes just before they taped it up.

The diaries were just standard 5 year ones and nothing on them of interest to AQIS so pressed feathers/flowers is probably why they have checked them, that makes sense. Its more the fact that they had cut them open that got to me. With the benefit of hindsight then I would definitely of left them open although they are from over the last 20 years so goodness knows where the keys are!

Even if they had read them, that doesnt worry me, its more the fact that they were broken on purpose. We all know the risks attached with shipping our stuff over but we expect broken glass or china dont we?

Moral to my story for you folks about to ship your stuff over - DONT LOCK ANYTHING!!!!
your shippers should have made it clear to you that you should not lock anything in your container, as this makes AQIS a bit suss. Diaries and books etc are one of the main items used to conceil stuff in, and as said before many people have plant materials in their books/diaries
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Old Oct 9th 2007, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

You only have to watch Border Security to see how thorough they are - hollowed out books frequently feature as do packages under the fly leaf in the binding and the more "innocent" the apparent object, the more likely they are to search it.
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Old Oct 10th 2007, 1:00 am
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Default Re: Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

I can definitely see why they would need to check them now - no problems with that.

Just wish that I had left them unlocked....ah well, hindsight is a wonderful thing isnt it.
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Old Oct 14th 2007, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

Originally Posted by VikkiL View Post
I can definitely see why they would need to check them now - no problems with that.

Just wish that I had left them unlocked....ah well, hindsight is a wonderful thing isnt it.
They are also checking photo albums for pressed Wedding "bomboneirie"......mm
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Old Oct 14th 2007, 1:19 pm
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Default Re: Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

Originally Posted by Pollyana View Post
AQIS are very clear about straw - think it's been posted on here several times too, so anyone else with elderly teddies, beware! You were lucky they irraduiated the bear and din't destroy him/her.
mine got through OK..... although he was in my suitcase.

we were lucky, only thing they opened were my bike and OH's toolboxes. The shippers had even packed two birds made of straw without our knowledge and they got through find, was gobsmacked when I found them in one of the boxes!!!
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Old Oct 14th 2007, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: Why have AQIS cut open my diaries?

very bizarre- you are right no amount of insurance can cover that damage
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