A new experience at Tocumen last week. My one bag was stopped by a determined Custom inspector who asked me three times what food I had. Tried to assure “no food,” but she directed me to the inspection station where I had to open my luggage. Took her about two minutes to locate my bottle of water and a handful of candy mints I had dropped into the side pocket.
The interesting part of this experience was my 50 minute delay caused by the lady in front of me. She had three suitcases all wrapped in plastic. The inspector used scissors and removed the plastic covering and proceeded to remove various items from the woman’s bags. Two rolls of sausage (about five pounds each), several bottles of wine (I think six total), and various types of snack foods...looked like crackers and dips.
The inspector kept all the food. Needless to say, the bags were now pretty empty and the owner didn’t look happy. We wondered if this woman was headed to a party or had just cleaned all remaining food from a festival gathering!