Sex doll seized by Customs

Image courtesy pixabay
Image courtesy pixabay

AN e-commerce consultant is suing the Comptroller of Customs after a sex doll he tried to import was seized by customs officials in December.

The man, from Chaguanas, has received the permission of a high court judge to challenge the seizure and on Friday, Justice Ricky Rahim granted him leave to apply for judicial review.

The consultant has asked that his name not be used, but in his lawsuit, he said he imported the plastic mannequin on December 28.

It arrived in TT but was told by customs it was being detained as it was considered to be in breach of section 45 (1) (L) of the Customs Act Chapter 78:01.

He said a notice of seizure was issued to him pursuant to section 220 of the Customs Act, which said the item was seized because it was deemed to be a prohibited item “namely an indecent/obscene article” contrary to section 45 (1) of the Act.

The law, Chapter 78:01, Section 45 (l) of the Customs Act, state, however, among other things, it is prohibited to import “indecent or obscene prints, paintings and photographs, books cards, lithographic and other engravings, gramophone records or any other indecent or obscene articles or matter.

The consultant, who is represented by attorneys Jagdeo Singh, Dinesh Rambally, Kiel Taklalsingh, Stefan Ramkissoon and Kavita Roop-Boodoo, said he was told in February, that the comptroller was obligated to institute forfeiture proceedings since the notice of seizure had been issued.

His lawsuit also said his attorneys asserted that based on a related matter, the Customs and Excise Division had adopted a policy that any item resembling male or female genitalia would be prohibited as it would be considered indecent and/ or obscene.

He said before he imported the mannequin, he searched the division’s website and found no policy or guidance in relation to the importation of such items.

His lawsuit intends to challenge the decision by the comptroller to classify items like the mannequin “as obscene and/ or indecent and therefore prohibited,” and that the continued detention of the item is unlawful.

He also wants the mannequin to be returned to him and compensation.

In August, sexologist Dr Raj Ramnanan challenged a similar decision to seize sex toys he had imported.

His lawsuit said there was no legal basis for a ban on sex toys, and came after local courier companies began informing their customers that a list of items, including adult toys, are illegal to import and will be seized by the Customs and Excise Division if they are imported.

Ramnanan owns and operates Total Image, a clinic that treats with sexual dysfunctions and issues, where he also sells sex toys.

His lawsuit also seeks answers from the comptroller on if there is a complete ban on adult toys, what provision of law the division was relying on to impose any ban, the policy in place to guide custom officers of what items are considered to be obscene or indecent, and who are the offices who have “decided to impose their opinions on the entire society by deeming adult toys as indecent or obscene.”


"Sex doll seized by Customs"

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