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Customs Inspections

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 1993
As director of Customs San Diego District, I believe it is my duty to the taxpayers to attempt to correct the misleading information provided in your article "Tougher Times Loom at the Border" (April 12). You presented a distorted story, filled with outdated information. Reporter G.H. Reza was afforded two opportunities to tour Customs cargo facilities at Otay Mesa to learn about our latest efforts there, but chose instead to focus on stale material that is three to four years old. To an outsider who has not availed himself of the most expert guidance, it may seem that most inspections are cursory at best and that thorough inspections are rare.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 2009 | Mike Anton
When U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at the Port of Los Angeles opened a shipping container bound for the Netherlands, they discovered a 1965 Volkswagen bus stolen in Washington state 35 years ago. Far out, man! The unusual seizure of the mint-condition bus on Oct. 19 came during a routine inspection of several Volkswagens that were being shipped by an Arizona restorer to customers in Europe. The vehicle identification number of the blue-and-white bus, which was swiped from a repair shop in Spokane on July 12, 1974, was still in police computers.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 5, 1998 | MARTHA L. WILLMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The sleek Learjet ferrying corporate executives back from Vancouver touched down at Van Nuys Airport, right on time. Standing outside a private terminal was Les Anderson, U.S. Customs inspector. He watched the plane land, then taxi back, without averting his eyes for a second. With fingers stuffed in his ears to fend off the high-pitched whine, Anderson greeted the twin-engine jet as it pulled onto the ramp. A door of the plane opened and the blue-uniformed agent hopped aboard.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 4, 2007 | Tami Abdollah, Times Staff Writer
Scrambling to avoid a repeat of a systems meltdown last month that snarled travel for tens of thousands of international passengers at LAX, U.S. customs officials have fast-tracked an overhaul of their operations here and around the nation. Los Angeles International Airport officials say they are encouraged by the response of customs officials, who were put in a hot seat after their widely publicized system failure Aug. 11. About $15.
NEWS
December 1, 1992 | JUANITA DARLING, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mexican officials blame a weekend riot that caused $20 million in damage to a Mexican customs office across the border from Laredo, Tex., on smugglers upset by more effective enforcement of customs rules. The damage caused by the rioting shut two highway bridges at the border crossing--through which 38% of Mexico's total foreign trade passes--for several hours Sunday and early Monday morning. Cargo was moving normally again by 8:30 a.m. Monday, and no one was seriously injured.
NEWS
February 25, 1995 | Associated Press
A new federal program designed to crack down on drug smugglers includes a proposal to send Customs Service helicopters across the border to ferry Mexican police as they battle drug traffickers. The program, Operation Hard Line, also calls for the addition of 40 to 80 Customs special agents on the Mexican border as well as computers, X-ray machines and video cameras to assist inspectors and agents, according to a Customs Service outline obtained by the Associated Press.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 4, 2007 | Tami Abdollah, Times Staff Writer
Scrambling to avoid a repeat of a systems meltdown last month that snarled travel for tens of thousands of international passengers at LAX, U.S. customs officials have fast-tracked an overhaul of their operations here and around the nation. Los Angeles International Airport officials say they are encouraged by the response of customs officials, who were put in a hot seat after their widely publicized system failure Aug. 11. About $15.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 1988 | GEORGE STEIN, Times Staff Writer
It was 31 minutes before a quiet, hazy sunrise when the Westwood Cleo, piled high with cargo containers--including two 40-footers full of Belgian chocolate--glided on glassy waters under the Vincent Thomas Bridge.
BUSINESS
August 15, 1988 | NANCY YOSHIHARA, Times Staff Writer
Federal Express is not happy with its delivery time to Japan. The three days it takes for a package from the United States to reach its destination in Japan is the longest for any of the 100 foreign countries that Federal Express serves. The Memphis, Tenn., company normally delivers packages to other foreign destinations in two days.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 1990 | SHELBY GRAD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
More than two dozen Vietnamese-Americans, including seven from Orange County, who allegedly attempted to smuggle more than $250,000 in cash and gold out of the United States face stiff fines for violating Customs regulations, officials said Wednesday. Customs agents seized the gold and cash Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport as 28 Vietnamese-Americans were about to board a Philippine Airlines jet bound for Manila.
NATIONAL
May 27, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Six customs inspectors have told federal officials that their bosses instructed them to enter false data indicating that airline passengers had been stopped and inspected for plant and animal contraband. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers allege that in 2005, supervisors at Orlando Sanford International Airport told them to falsify information typically gathered during direct interviews and inspections of international passengers or crew members, according to a report by the U.S.
NATIONAL
September 22, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Congressional Republicans agreed Thursday to prohibit customs agents from seizing prescription drugs that Americans buy in Canada and bring back into the United States. The deal would let Americans carry up to a 90-day supply of medication back to the U.S. from Canada without being stopped by customs agents, said House and Senate Republicans. But it would not let Americans buy less-expensive prescriptions over the Internet or by mail order, officials said. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.
WORLD
August 29, 2005 | From Times Wire Services
A U.S. delegation headed by Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) was detained for three hours at a Russian airport Sunday before being allowed to leave the country for Ukraine. Border guards in the Siberian city of Perm demanded to search the U.S. government aircraft carrying the delegation, which also included Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
BUSINESS
February 1, 2005 | Ronald D. White, Times Staff Writer
The commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is expected to announce today new security standards that would allow some importers to avoid cargo inspections and gain immediate clearance for their shipments. Until now, importers who had agreed to the conditions of the federal program known as the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism received expedited processing and fewer cargo inspections than those who weren't in the program.
FOOD
September 1, 2004 | David Shaw, Times Staff Writer
One of the few compensations that offset the disappointment of having to end a great vacation abroad is the opportunity to bring back some of your favorite foreign goodies to eat at home as you try to recapture the taste and smell and feel of those glorious vacation days. But what can you bring back -- legally? When my family and I came back from France last month, I decided to find out.
BUSINESS
April 23, 2003 | Melinda Fulmer, Times Staff Writer
Anas Shah's business has become a waiting game. Every day for the last eight weeks, the food importer has walked past the same towers of boxes in his Gardena warehouse, waiting for the government clearance that will allow him to sell the spices he shipped in from India and that are costing him thousands of dollars more than he budgeted.
NEWS
February 14, 1995 | SEBASTIAN ROTELLA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a widening investigation of U.S. border inspectors suspected of drug corruption, federal prosecutors indicted two inspectors Monday on charges of conspiring with traffickers to smuggle drugs through the Calexico port of entry in the Imperial Valley.
BUSINESS
September 24, 1987 | DOUGLAS JEHL, Times Staff Writer
U.S. Customs Service staffing of West Coast ports has not kept pace with increasing traffic there in recent years, resulting in serious delays in the processing of passengers and goods at some sites, a report commissioned by a port authorities' coalition charged Wednesday. The report, released at a news conference, bolstered claims by port officials and some congressmen that the Customs Service has failed to adjust to changing patterns of international trade and transportation.
NATIONAL
June 12, 2002 | From Associated Press
The Immigration and Naturalization Service has told agents to inspect baggage belonging to Yemeni citizens for large sums of money, thermos bottles and night-vision goggles, a government official said Tuesday. Agents were instructed to thoroughly search baggage belonging to Yemenis entering and leaving the U.S., the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 14, 2001 | KEN ELLINGWOOD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The government could ease waits at the Mexican border by expanding a program for frequent commuters that uses criminal background checks and high-tech vehicle screenings, said a group that promotes cross-border ties. San Diego Dialogue said in a report distributed Thursday that about 312,000 frequent crossers, many of them U.S. citizens, account for 96% of entries at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry into San Diego.
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