Saturday 20 March 2010

Is ACCG Director on a watch list?

Wayne Sayles Executive Director of the ACCG which organized the Baltimore Illegal Coin Import stunt reports on his blog that despite his involvement in the Baltimore illegal coin import stunt, he of course had no trouble getting through British customs; that would be too much like taking cultural property matters too seriously. US border controls however were perhaps more efficient in this case. Sayles reports that he was stopped by US border controls after his documents were checked and asks if he is on a watch list. Well, if he is not, he jolly well should be. Not as "retaliation" though, but as a precaution.
"Would the U.S. government intentionally hassle me because I used the due process of our legal system to defend the rights of fellow Americans?"
No, I would say that if he is on a watch list, it would be because the organization of which he is the Executive Director currently has a case pending in Maryland District court concerning the illegal import of coins. (It would be perhaps too much to hope all the ACCG board members and ACCG-affiliated coin dealers would be on that list for the same reason, but in my opinion they would likewise deserve to be under import surveilance.)

The Baltimore "process" of course if successful would facilitate foreign criminals to send illicitly obtained and traded goods across US borders unchecked, which is precisely what the US has customs officers to protect against.

There was an alarmist report that the (still unnamed) dealer that had sold the ACCG the coins and shipped them without the proper documents had also been stoppped by US Customs and searched at the border. If he's being watched too for selling coins that were used in an illegal fashion by lobbyists for the indiscriminate antiquities market let that be a lesson to him not to associate himself with such people. Anyway, who shipped them to the States without the documentation required by US law and then failed to supply the documents when the package was stopped?

Good grief, now Peter Tompa has joined in ("Retaliation for Seeking Access to the Courts? "). He says that if he was stopped deliberately and not randomly (I see another FOI request coming up), Sayles' constitutional rights were ignored and in true conspiracy-theory fashion called this "sinister". Obviously the coineys want to make a big thing out of this Big Brother accusation, making their Comrade Leader seem like a martyr figure who is persecuted because he dared to strike a blow for liberty or whatever. That should get the coineys reaching for their wallets to give the ACCG another cash-injection to replace the money they lost employing lawyers and paying for pointless press releases.
Vignette: Artist's impression of coin dealer observed striking a blow for "freedom" to trade undocumented coins free of any export controls.


Marcus Preen said...

Interesting that he says....

"Actually, the business that my partner John and I operate does very little importing. The vast majority of our stock and sales are of coins from collector or other U.S. dealer consignments."

I thought it had been claimed it would be "impractical" from a business point of view to be "sure" that all imported stock was licit. Seems that the effect on his business of desisting from importing items he isn't sure about would be negligible.

What a tangled web.

Paul Barford said...

Well, indeed that is what the whole Baltimore illegal Coin Import stunt is all about.

Anyway Sayles' organization chose the path of breaking the law to make a point, and like everybody else they should be prepared to face the consequences of doing so.

Paul Barford said...

On Moneta-L Michael Moriarty links to Sayles' blog with the comment "something worth readoing" and various other "the gubn'mint is out to git us" type comments:

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