Bike taken by Customs in Lima, Peru. HELP?!

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Dean74, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Dean74

    Dean74 Adventurer

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    Hello All,
    My bike has been detained by customs in Lima for 4 months now. Whenever i ask about it i am told it will be ready "next week". This has been the line since August so i am rapidly losing faith.

    The problem is that it overstayed it's temporary import permit so was seized by customs. This happened because i broke my leg (tib/fib exposed compound fracture in dirty water in the amazon) and needed several operations to make sure i didn't lose the leg. By the time all that had been done and i arranged shipping the permit was expired by a week.

    It might be that the process is very slow with miles of red tape, but it might also be that someone wants to steal my bike, (it's a KTM 950).

    If anyone out there has a good contact in customs in Lima who could make some enquiries on my behalf to find out what's going on, and then let me know, that would be really helpful.

    cheers,
    Dino Martinello.
    www.donkeyandthemule.com.au
    www.motodino.net
    #1
  2. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    most likely you're gonna be shit outta luck. dealing with latin american governments is not something you ever want to do. better get yourself an attorney down there.
    #2
  3. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer Supporter

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    Regrettably if they've had it for 4 months it might be gone already. Only way to let them know you mean business is to lawyer-up and hope for the best. That sucks. On the plus side, at least you got to keep the leg. Good luck.
    #3
  4. ewr2004

    ewr2004 Last year, Baja. This year, Baja. Next year, Baja.

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    I agree 100% - Lawyer up immediately. Don't waste any more time.
    #4
  5. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial Supporter

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    "Lawyer up?" I would be very careful with that advice. Lawyers is the U.S. do a very good job at taking your money with little regard for the results. Having done business in a several Latin American countries, I can tell you it's worse there. I don't have anything against Latin America, in fact I love it down there. I'm just anti-lawyer, from experience. Incidents of abogados down there taking a retainer from gringo clients and then disappearing are quite numerous. Even if you can find an honest lawyer, weigh the expected fees against the value of your bike that, by know, is very likely gone anyway.
    #5
  6. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    I wish I had some advice, maybe a local to Lima will chime in and have some experience with the aduana there. Lima is one of the few big cities I didn't not spend time in while in SA.

    If it were me, I wouldn't have let it go on this long for starters. I'm not sure from your post if you've physically seen the bike since it was detained. If you haven't seen your bike in 4 months I'd be warming up to the reality you may not see your bike again.

    That said, if this were me, from day one I would be at that aduana office the second it opened working the system to the best of my ability. Failing that I would befriend as many of the office underlings as I could and see if I could work out a propina/bribe accommodation. In my experience, a big smile and chit chat can get you far in these situations. Talk about your travels and where you've been, how much you love Peru, and how important it is to get you bike back..yada yada yada...

    It sucks you're in this situation and I hope you're able to work it out.
    #6
  7. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer Supporter

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    That's quite a blanket statement. I've had quite the opposite experience with lawyers in Mexico (no lawyer experience in Peru though). Thay've been very cheap and very efficient at navigating bureaucracy. Just gotta find the right one.
    #7
  8. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    This, and also contact the US Consulate.

    But there might be another way... If US$200 is the fee for simply riding on the highway north of Lima, I bet that US$200 to the right person will get your bike out.

    NOT that I'm advocating bribery. I didn't pay the $200 bribes north of Lima and I'm 99% against paying bribes in general. It just that in Peru, the bribe -route might be the only way to go. If your story is true, then your reason for leaving the bike behind is different from, for example, me, if I had just been too lazy to pay attention to the paperwork.

    I don't know what your travel insurance policy is like, but would they cover helping you get your bike home? Mine... I'm not sure what Travelguard would say about a bike over-staying a temporary import permit. My international policy covered medevac, and I'm actually not sure what they would have done about the bike.

    ps: we're going to need gross pictures of the open fracture, preferable before coffee in the morning.
    #8
  9. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    don't listen to the BS about lawyers. everyone hates 'em until they need one.

    check out the list here. http://lima.usembassy.gov/acs_peru.html.

    not vetted, but if they fuck you, you can always drop a note to the embassy and probably have them removed. fucking clients is not good for business.
    #9
  10. CanadianX

    CanadianX Don’t leave a steaming pile for others.

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    The net can be a powerful tool. Put your info together about your accident, the timeline to recovery and the issue you are having now with your bike being held. Be understanding but firm that you want to tell a positive story about Peru as a tourist destination on your blog and on the internet forums that post on and that many many thousands of people read.
    Ask how important tourism is to them.

    To offer a bit of support I sent the below, maybe it could be worded better but if enough people ask the question maybe your inquiries and these questions will meet and some one will be moved to act and get your bike back to you.

    http://visitperu.com/ptb_ing/contactus.html

    Message sent:
    "I have thought about visiting and riding my motorcycle in Peru however I am concerned about corruption and theft. I have read about a person who has had their motorcycle held in customs for over four months now. Is it safe to travel in Peru?"
    #10
  11. holckster

    holckster dougholck

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    http://visitperu.com/ptb_ing/contactus.html
    Message sent.
    Did NOT refrence this Site or Thread.
    Just indicated I was planing a visit and had heard negative reports on the internet about customs seizing a KTM950 motorcycle 4 months ago and not returning it after promising to do so each week.
    #11
  12. Dean74

    Dean74 Adventurer

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    Hi Guys,
    i really appreciate your support, but am concerned that this might be counterproductive. I have located the bike in Lima, customs do not have it yet. Am trying to find a legal way to get it out of the country, failing that i guess i'll consider other options.
    Because of that, it might just be better to keep it under the radar for now.
    thanks,
    Dean.
    #12
  13. cu260r6

    cu260r6 Been here awhile

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    Contact the US embassy! They have consular officers that are there primarily to help americans with problems abroad. They'll know exactly the person to contact to accomplish something rather than giving you the run around.
    #13
  14. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    For some reason I don't think the OP is American. Look up his blog.:wink:
    #14
  15. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    When I said I wanted to see gross pictures, I didn't know you'd come through so well. Bravo. But dang- I was just about to have breakfast, and this is just gross. Maybe enough to make me want to huddle in a corner and never ride again.

    Seriously, fellow inmates: don't click on the link to our brave OP's blog unless you have a strong stomach.


    http://www.motodino.net
    #15
  16. O'B

    O'B Long timer

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    ! agree with Bananaman if you know where it is and who is holding it and it is not with customs you need to find the right person to bribe. A custombroker may be the way to go. They are all going to be getting a cut so I would be surprised if you got off as easily as $200. Be prepared to pay more a lot more but don't let them fuck you to bad. It not being in customs possesion after all this time is a sure sign an under the table deal is what they are waiting for. This is how things get done in the third world. When you do the transaction when it is all said and done be friendly and curtious hell even take the pricks all to lunch. This will get you an in if you ever need some special help before you get out of country.:wink:
    #16
  17. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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    If you're in Lima now, I'd start by asking advice from the guys at Desert Sport racing(the Honda dealer in Miraflores). Likely they know someone who can help.
    #17
  18. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    Yup. That sums it up. If it has not gone through official channels yet, someone is waiting for a bribe. Or they're buying time, waiting for you to leave, so they can have a 950.

    If you can't successfully bribe them for a reasonable amount, it's the latter. You'll have to threaten to call the police. Or actually call the Police. With luck, they'll get it out and your bike will be returned to you. You may have to bribe them after too. :huh You'll still be stuck with bike in a foreign country with no papers. You may have to make a run for Bolivia to sign it in there and proceed to ship from any other country aside from Peru. I would not suggest Ecuador. (Border issues)

    Factor in cost of shipping, penalty for over staying permit, fees, lawyers, cost of living while you're there, lost income etc. You may be better off abandoning a very expensive bike. :cry
    #18
  19. Dean74

    Dean74 Adventurer

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    hello there,
    well you did ask for pics, there are plenty more of them too... surgery in a clinic in the amazon is pretty gruesome, all in all i'm lucky to be alive, still having 2 legs is a minor miracle, but don't be put off by my little mishap, it can happen, and after over 100,000km around the world in some of the most remote crazy places it might just have been my turn to break something...

    there are some options for exiting Peru, some more official than others...

    wish me luck.

    Dean.
    #19
  20. alexem

    alexem Adventurer

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    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:HyphenationZone>21</w:HyphenationZone> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif][if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif][if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Normale Tabelle"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Two questions:

    Where are you now?

    Are you still in peru?


    =============


    if you are still in peru, do not call them, go there every day, personally!!
    if they tell you erveryday "tomorrow" ( wich is typically latinamaerican ), be there the next day and ask him today?
    if he says again "tomorrow" do not accept, ask him what he needs today to solve the prob?
    fix him on his message.
    do not be agressive but freindly + strong.


    if you do not come ahaed ask for his boss or the person wich is reponsible.
    same game again.


    most probably some "bakschish" will help.


    ==============


    if you are no longer in peru:
    - go to your embassy and ask for help








    lawyer should be the last option














    #20