Fret done

Customs releases old year's night stock

After virtually storming the office of a senior Customs official and having had security called to help calm them, storeowners finally got the goods which they imported specifically for Old Year’s Night, released from Customs.

Barbados TODAY reported yesterday that some storeowners were upset that their stock had been piling up at the lockers used by the Customs and Excise Department at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) since last Friday.

One businesswoman said they had been advised that the truck used to transport the items to the nearby Queen’s Warehouse for clearance had been involved in an accident and was out of operation.

She complained that, “if we don’t get this stuff that we just invest in sold between Monday and tomorrow [today] the goose cook”.

With time running out several frustrated business owners made their way to the Seawell location to demand the goods. After being made to wait for over three hours, they marched upstairs to an office where assistant comptroller Sonia Jordan-Clarke was meeting with another official. Voices were raised as the vendors vented their spleen until security was called in, and the group was assured that efforts were being made to have the goods released.

Shortly after 1 p.m. they finally received the stock and rushed to The City to attempt to catch last-minute customers looking to be outfitted for that special Old Year’s Night celebration.

As the owners collected their bags, there was relief, however, in what one of them described as “sabotage”, they complained that they had been inconvenienced “big time” as people were “already in town spending”.

Marcel Alstram of Faith Boutique said she was definitely pleased with the outcome and indicated that she planned to extend her store’s opening hours in an attempt to sell as many items as possible.

Meanwhile, Philip Small of Genesis Boutique felt there was no reasonable explanation for the delay which resulted in the affected business owners having to endure the tiring experience and pleading with officials to hand over the goods.

Phillip Small of Genesis Boutique
Phillip Small of Genesis Boutique

“I feel like this was sabotage. Although I might go downtown and still catch couple sales, I know that I have lost out.

“These things could have been put in place ever since because it is the same people and same equipment they had before. [I don’t understand why] you had to press and push to do all of these things just to get a response. I don’t think it should have gone to this level, it should have been rectified ever since,” he said.

Vendor Keann Walters said it was not the first time that they experienced such delays and it was high time a solution was found.

“We spent the entire morning here just losing money. Next year we are going to come together and get as much vendors as possible and sit down at the round table with the heads and see how we can solve these problems. I think that is the best way to go forward doing it in 2016,” Walters said.

9 Responses to Fret done

  1. Lucinda Katrina McSinister
    Lucinda Katrina McSinister December 31, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Wanna right

  2. Tristan John
    Tristan John December 31, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    They only got through because they went to BT smh. This victimization against the poor black man needs to stop. What’s sickening is that it’s blacks working against their own on behalf of certain other persons….

    Wise up people. 2016 should see a change from this madness

  3. Dexter Squires
    Dexter Squires December 31, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Bare setup…Indians set that up n bajans sell out dem out

  4. Lica January 1, 2016 at 12:41 am

    Sorry, the hear these same vendors will go town n sell these
    Clothes for a lot of money that why custom haD there stock
    Holding them is over do it!

    • Olutoye Walrond January 1, 2016 at 8:10 am

      Lica, what business is it of the Customs how retailers price their goods? How would Customs benefit or not benefit from that?
      And if what you suggest is right, why would they hold some goods and not others? Don’t all retailers, big and small, overprice?

  5. Lawrence Griffith
    Lawrence Griffith January 1, 2016 at 1:57 am

    Stop being victims and instead be active. Come together and file a civil lawsuit against the Customs Department. Anytime you are paying for a service that is rendered unfit, you the consumer has the right to compensation. As soon as the people act customs will start acting like a business place, because it will cost them.

  6. jrsmith January 1, 2016 at 7:39 am

    @,Lawrence,G, hail, hail, happy new year to you and all my bajan people. on the button , but you must recognise , every body under government control is doing they own thing, because there is no one to complain to. there is no one really running Barbados LTD.

    We are an island , where no one takes responsibility, its them and us , you like it or lump it. In our island us bajans are treated like second class citizens, if a tree falls across the road , and that village people don’t clear that tree , it stay there for years….

    The only weapon is our votes, bajans must now sit and question themselves , why , who and if they cast that vote. stop allowing politicians to continuously ruin Barbados.

  7. Frank White January 1, 2016 at 9:43 am

    @ Lawrence G and Jrsmith. You both are right and to add to it. Our power not only is in the ballot but it is the spending power that we have and it is high time that we hit those aggressors’ where it hurts. People always taking about lets do what’s good for Barbados but I say later for Barbados, it’s what’s good for Black People.

  8. dave January 1, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Lawrence !
    COME TOGETHER are bad words in Barbados

    Trust me -Wont Happen

    (although I would love it to happen)
    The Controller of Customs – should be transferred from the Customs Department–Straight !!! That Department will be destroyed if something is not done. They need to appoint people who actually know something about Customs . Talk about misfits OMG !!!


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