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Tocumen Baggage Inspection Experience

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Marcelyn

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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!

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Was this coming into Panama at the large xRay machines where usually nobody is ever questioned?  Did they quiz you before or after your bags were scanned?

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Yes, this happened at the large X-ray machines and after my bag was scanned.

Couldn’t figure what food item the inspector thought she saw in my luggage, but she was determined I had food. She did seem embarrassed when she only discovered my bottle of water and a few mints.

P.S. I noticed this woman (there were three inspectors) opened luggage from female passengers only.

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A dog may have run the bags and identified yours as having food ?

 

 

Edited by Keith Woolford

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The dogs are out of sight, in the baggage room behind the carousel.

Edited by Keith Woolford

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