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US Dept. Homeland Security Destroys Shrink-wrapped Games

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Just received my long delayed order (it shipped on September 4th) and it was badly damaged. Almost all of the games were crushed and it looks like Venezuelan customs inserted some kind of long metal rod and poked into the middle of a bunch of the games boxes to test for drugs I'm assuming. Needless to say, I'm extremely disappointed and pretty disgusted. Looks like this will be my last Venezuelan order ever.

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I received a package from Venezuela and US Department Of Homeland Security boxed cut and ripped apart two shrink-wrapped MotoRodeo games, see enclosed picture of one of them.

 

Has this happened to anyone else, Is FedEx responsible, or am I Sh*t out of luck?

 

Maybe they thought it was this http://www.atarimania.com/pgelstsoft.awp?system=2&type=G&publisher=79&step=25

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I'd be very hesitant to purchase any expensive boxed items from Venezuela, that's for damn sure!

 

The same happened to me last month with a package from Venezuela. If the German customs open a package they put a note and tape on it that clearly says opened by the German customs. There was only regular tape on it and 50% of the games were missing the the remaining games totally messed up.

Edited by Andre81

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I'm amazed how many people here have had packages from Venezuela opened by customs in this fashion. Really disgusting.

 

..Al

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I'm amazed how many people here have had packages from Venezuela opened by customs in this fashion. Really disgusting.

 

..Al

 

Doesn't sound like it's just a US thing either, based on what our German friend just posted.

 

Sad to say, I think the combo of Venezuela being known as a drug country combined with unfriendly relations makes it a real crap shoot ordering anything from them. I'm not sure I'd ship anything there, either. (The only other countries on my 'no ship to' list are Italy and Nigeria)

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Guess I've been lucky with the shipments I've had from Venezuela for C64 games then, going by these tales.

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The same happened to me last month with a package from Venezuela. If the German customs open a package they put a note and tape on it that clearly says opened by the German customs. There was only regular tape on it and 50% of the games were missing the the remaining games totally messed up.

 

So it seems reasonable to assume those items weren't damaged (or stolen) by German customs...they came that way from Venezuela.

 

Doesn't sound like it's just a US thing either, based on what our German friend just posted.

 

Sad to say, I think the combo of Venezuela being known as a drug country combined with unfriendly relations makes it a real crap shoot ordering anything from them. I'm not sure I'd ship anything there, either. (The only other countries on my 'no ship to' list are Italy and Nigeria)

 

It's not "just a US thing" because I think it should be pretty obvious at this point that these packages are being tampered with before they leave South America. Look at those pictures that Andre81 posted above. Those games arrived in Germany with the exact same kind of damage (haphazard razor blade slices and taped up boxes) as the games purchased by buyers in North America. Are we to assume that customs officials on both sides of the Atlantic are slicing up games all of a sudden? That does not seem very likely. It seems far more likely that all these parcels are being opened and tampered with in Venezuela. (And as far as them looking for "drugs", that is certainly a strong possibility, but I think they're equally if not more concerned that money is being smuggled out of the country.)

 

I'm amazed how many people here have had packages from Venezuela opened by customs in this fashion. Really disgusting.

 

The parcels marked as "opened by U.S. Customs" are probably being opened a second time upon arrival due to their evidence of prior tampering (among other reasons). In any case, I have a very, very hard time believing that this damage is being done by American or European customs officials based on the evidence presented above.

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Yeah if germany is "doing this too"... then it's probably Venezuela customs doing this garbage.

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This is so wrong, so callous! I remember seeing the Dude's video a while back.. I was enraged after watching it. Seeing all these pictures now, I feel a mixture of anger and sadness. Those excellent pieces sat, untouched, for many years.. only to be assassinated on their final journey. There must be some way to preserve the games. I just wonder if they have no knowledge of games being collector items and think it is some clever ruse.

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I've been tempted - a couple of times - by some of the N.I.B. Atari Computer items listed in Venezuela. After reading this thread, I am cured of this temptation. This is terrible, and I feel for you fellows in this thread who had your goods mutilated. Whoever/wherever it was, I've never seen such disregard for someone else's package. One of the pics looks like they even pried the halves of the cartridge apart!!!!

Edited by wood_jl

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Has anyone tried having their Venezuelan parcels shipped by courier rather than post? It would definitely cost more, but perhaps the games would be subject to better care and handling.

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A package arrived from Venezuela today.

 

It was a sealed mint copy of Xenophobe. It appears U.S. Customs opened it. (There is green CBP tape on the package.)

 

Luckily, they didn't destroy it, but they opened the shrinkwrap and tore the box a little. The lid is also a little bent. Overall, though, I consider myself lucky that it arrived otherwise intact.

 

photo164_zpsc84c3f29.jpgphoto165_zps9dea830d.jpg

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I'm starting to think US Customs aren't doing this. They're seeing tampered packages and checking on them.

 

 

I hope.

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I'm starting to think US Customs aren't doing this. They're seeing tampered packages and checking on them.

 

 

I hope.

 

I have absolutely zero doubt that it's US Customs doing this.

 

..Al

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God, that sucks!!! Although one would be pissed of as yourself, I wouldn't waste my time or money filing a verified complaint against any customs for anything Those agencies have more power than all police forces combined. And if you get a package damaged, that's pretty much tough luck for you, they couldn't care less. Some have a power trip, and they like to demonstrate it. :) I've been through something similar before, and that was pretty much it.

Edited by Rik

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I have absolutely zero doubt that it's US Customs doing this.

 

..Al

 

sigh... We need to make a sticky or something to let people know of this. I don't want to see anyone else burned by tampering.

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Since US Customs tape was inside the package as well as outside (the item was double-boxed), I don't see any reason to think it isn't them.

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I have absolutely zero doubt that it's US Customs doing this.

 

..Al

 

And I have doubt, based on what the others have posted eariler. :ponder:

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And I have doubt, based on what the others have posted eariler. :ponder:

 

Why, exactly? You really think some other third-party is putting "Inspected by US Customs" tape on all these packages? Don't you think that would raise suspicion as these packages came into the US? I doubt you'd even receive a package in such a case.

 

..Al

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Why, exactly? You really think some other third-party is putting "Inspected by US Customs" tape on all these packages? Don't you think that would raise suspicion as these packages came into the US? I doubt you'd even receive a package in such a case.

 

..Al

 

Sorry, I could have explained that better. I just think that it sounds like what's happening in most cases is that US Customs (and Germany and other countries) is opening and inspecting packages allready damaged -- either by the transist or cause they were sliced open before leaving Venezeula, as PingvinBlueJeans suggested.

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Sorry, I could have explained that better. I just think that it sounds like what's happening in most cases is that US Customs (and Germany and other countries) is opening and inspecting packages allready damaged -- either by the transist or cause they were sliced open before leaving Venezeula, as PingvinBlueJeans suggested.

 

I doubt the packages are being damaged significantly in transit, which leaves them being sliced open in Venezuela. I suppose this is possible, but given our wasteful "War on Drugs", I can very easily see US Customs destructively opening packages when they arrive from Venezuela. Given there is virtually no recourse for these actions, and the sheer number of packages they must inspect on a daily basis, they have no reason to "take their time" and inspect packages gingerly. If someone is going to smuggle drugs into the country by mailing them, simply opening the package isn't enough. After all, a boxed 2600 game is just another box inside a larger box. They most certainly are not going to stop at seeing a boxed 2600 game, even if it's shrinkwrapped. They will only be satisfied once they see what's inside ALL of the packaging, which, unfortunately, includes the original game packaging.

 

If the items were actually damaged before US Customs got their hands on them, I think they'd label the packages as such ("Received in Damaged Condition"). I also wouldn't be surprised if this is being done "violently" in order to discourage US citizens from purchasing/receiving items from Venezuela, given our current poor relations with the country.

 

I don't like it either, and I think it truly sucks, but it's easy for me to see that US Customs is indeed damaging these games.

 

..Al

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I'm not reading ANYTHING from the members here that got free drugs in their shipments....

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It looks like Hugo's on his last legs. Perhaps if the next regime is more Yankee-friendly, U.S. Customs will be less-inclined to be such pricks. Probably not, though.

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It looks like Hugo's on his last legs. Perhaps if the next regime is more Yankee-friendly, U.S. Customs will be less-inclined to be such pricks. Probably not, though.

This will only stop when they stop the "war" on drugs and start a government controlled legalization of drugs. There are some positive signs, that this might happen in the not so far future.

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