US Customs--Busting
Wed, 9 Nov 1994 02:52:06 -0500

I was visited by an agent of the US Dept. of Agriculture last week. Since
mid Sept., they had intercepted 12 packages entering the US. The packages
contained over 240 plants including a specimen size N. rajah. The gov't
agencies appear to be quite upset. This agent, stationed in LA, had even
flown to San Francisco to interview people. CITIES I appears to also be a
major concern. I was informed that several agencies were involved: Customs,
Dept of Agriculture, and US Postal Service (mail fraud).

I was contacted because one of the packages was addressed to me. The agent
requested a sworn statement which I provided. I complained heartily about
the problems I had encountered in importing and exporting plants (legally of
course). The agent was sympathetic and offered to attach a letter describing
my probelms and concerns to the statement. I am in the process of writing
this letter.

It has occurred to me that perhaps one letter is not enough. If anyone else
is interested in writing a letter, you can e-mail it to me and I will send it
in with my letter. Perhaps an avalanche of letters would draw attention to
the gross problems with the US system.

The agent has agreed to help resolve any problems that might be encountered
in shipping through LA. If you are shipping into LA from outside the
country, I would hold off doing so until the situation has colled down. At
present, they are looking for plants.

Comments are appreciated,