In the Monday August 27 edition of Neos Kosmos English Edition I was shocked to read in the story “Masterchefs… where are you?” the sensationalised remarks made by Fotis Kapetopoulos referring to “the anal and racist Customs officers in Border Control.”
Harsh criticism of Customs staff who in my opinion do a great job. Fotis uses the word ‘anal’.
Does he think they are ‘anal’ because the Custom officers are thorough and meticulous as they search suspicious suitcases for illegal drugs and other substances? Fotis also uses the word ‘racist’.
Does he think they are ‘racist’ as it seems that the majority of people who try to smuggle food, seeds and plants back into Australia are elderly Europeans and Asians who commonly use the excuse they do not speak English or that there relatives and friends packed their suitcases.
Not speaking English is a very lame excuse in most situations as reading material outlining Australian Custom laws is freely available in their own language when they are completing the Declaration Forms.
Also the fact that it may be their 10th trip back to the homeland adds to the insult.
On many occasions these people are let off with only a warning or a small fine. If I had a choice the penalties would be a lot higher than given out.
If Custom Officers are anal and racist as Fotis claims, can we believe someone who thinks George Calombaris is “earthy and strangely cute”?
Even George in a recent interview admitted he was amazed how TV success has made him attractive to women even though he is short and fat.
I am very appreciative of the work Customs do. I think they do an excellent job in protecting Australia’s plants, birds and animals from disease, pests, weeds and anything else that overseas travellers may bring into our country.
Next time Fotis intends to go overseas, he should let readers know.
I am sure there will be someone waiting for his return at Customs wearing a pair of rubber gloves!!
Greg Wilson Port Melbourne 3207