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Thread: Is it illegal to bring any amount of tobacco to the DR???

  1. #1
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    Default Is it illegal to bring any amount of tobacco to the DR???

    :eek Hello and I just wanted to post if these's any law in the DR which prohibits bringing or importing a large amount of tobacco to the DR. I ask this question because just this evening, I was stopped by the Policia Nacional nearby Av Independencia. While I'm not sure if the U-turn I made had anything to do with it, I also made sure that before I made the U-turn, I checked to see it there were any No U-turn signs around. As soon as I saw that it was "safe" to make a U-turn, a block later, two young police officers rolled by my side and told me to stop the vehicle, which I did.

    While I did stop the vehicle, my first action was to hand them my passport, which I did. It seemed that the incident took over 30 minutes. A major reason being that I did have a hard time trying to decipher their Dominican accent. I do speak and understand Spanish, but the Dominican accent is very, very hard to decipher, depending on who you talk to. It seemed that both the officers didn't believe my reason for looking for a hotel until I was able to reserve my Airbnb room for the month.

    I also didn't understand why both the officers, despite myself handing them my American passport (I was born and raised in America, in case nobody knows), why they wanted to know whether I was Haitian, plus the fact that they seemed to be looking for drugs when I let them know that I was a tourist plus I didn't know anybody personally in the DR. I do have Dominican friends, but they're all in America. Finally, the bigger of the two was able to translate through a mobile app and through the translator, told me that the fact that I had so much tobacco with me was punishable with death, which I couldn't believe. He also told me that the penalty was $200 American, which I was very lucky to have on my person and promptly paid it, as I didn't want to fathom spending even one night in a Dominican jail. After that, the officers seemed pretty cool, even giving me a hi-five, but even so, that experience perplexed me because I never seen such a huge deal for tobacco.

    I understand that the DR has it's own laws, and especially know that marijuana is illegal in the DR, but I just want to know whether it's illegal to bring a high amount of tobacco to the DR and whether such a death penalty exists for bringing such a high amount. Please help ASAP and thanks!!!

  2. #2
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    First trip to DR? Rented a car at the airport and drove to find hotel? Suitcases etc with you?

    They saw you coming a mile away.........




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    DR1.com

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  4. #3
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    Punishable by death ? Yes, for sure. They bury you up to your head in the sand, and smear you with honey. Zombies and antilopes do the rest.......

  5. Likes KateP, nigrarosa liked this post
  6. #4
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    The families of both of them are going to have a very "Happy New Year".
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    Be Serious

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  8. #5
    Moderator parum momenti
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    Yes there are restrictions on the importation of tobacco and those limits are listed on the customs card you were given on the flight. If you had more than what is allowed and lied, you're lucky you are not in jail and looking at a much larger monetary expense.

    The DR does not have the death penalty as a criminal punishment.

    When foreigner tourists choose to drive in this country, they open themselves up to all manners of police corruption and motoring scams. You are not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

    Could be the first of several opportunities for you to lighten your wallet while you are here.

    Enjoy the rest of your stay and try not to break anymore laws (traffic or otherwise).

  9. #6
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    Well, its definitely just in the nick of time before the cutoff..

    For the " BEST first Post of the YEAR Award contest" .. You just made it ,under the wire..

    Winner should be announced in Mid January sometime I think..

  10. Likes Tamborista, KateP, Auryn, Fulano2, slowmo and 1 others liked this post
  11. #7
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    I am sorry to hear of your experience. I have nothing to add except the following: First, Roman Catholic countries do not tend to have the death penalty. Full Stop. Second, when stopped by the police anywhere in the world, let the officer ask for the ID and explain the alleged offense prior to handing anything over. Some will simply issue a warning. The traffic police are very good about this in the DR. Third, USD$200 represents some change in the DR. Live and learn.

  12. #8
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    Over the years, I've brought a lot of tobacco into the DR, both cigars and pipe tobacco. On my person I had several hundred cigars when moving here a few years back - unhidden in coolers and travel humidors with cigar company stickers all over them. I've had them shipped in smaller quantity via courier as well. The only issue I've ever had was Aduanas decided one order should be deemed 'for commercial purposes'. This made absolutely no sense, as it was 12 individual cigars. By their measure, there's no problem for me to order 2 boxes of 25 cigars (50 total), but 12 different singles seems like they're to be marketed. Now I only order in box quantity and never have trouble. I'd say you were just shaken down by a couple guys looking to get over on you. US $200 is an extraordinary amount, BTW....

    Sent from my SM-G610M using Tapatalk

  13. #9
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    Thoroughly read the responses to your post prior to mine. Familiarize yourself with the fact that Dominican police do not make a lot of money and therefore are extremely corrupt. The jury is out on whether to acquiesce to their "requests" for these road side salary top ups. They usually ask for a few dollars/couple hundred pesos to send foreign drivers on their merry way. It is the holiday season, and they will be out in full swindling, scamming, suckering force. You got FLEECED.

    You are in a foreign, Spanish speaking country, with no Spanish, driving around, where you don't know anyone. I really hope you have a safe trip but honestly the odds are against you. Be careful.

  14. #10
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    I actually think that knowing some Spanish probably didn't help in this case. Few officers speak any English so it usually makes it harder for them to intimidate people. I was riding with a friend once who spoke some Spanish. We both played dumb, she kept her cool and the officer eventually got exasperated with her "no entiende" responses and waved us on. I speak almost perfect Spanish but no reason for him to know though...

    Sent from my BLN-L24 using Tapatalk

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