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Old 03-08-2007, 01:11 PM   #1
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This from www.brazzil.com

I have a big problem with this report - I await everyone's comment.

Brazil Won't Let My Boat Out, the US Won't Let My Brazilian Wife In

Written by Allen Brown

Saturday, 03 March 2007


I received my visa (#A 1416275) to Brazil in Trinidad, on October 6, 2002. I entered the country through the Port of Cabedelo, in the northeastern state of Paraíba, in my boat, the Roamdeep. On March 3, 2003, while the crew was going to Prague to renew their visas, the Roamdeep was boarded and robbed by three persons, Daniel Williams, Rafael Williams and a person known to me as White Cat.

They took an estimated US$ 10,000 worth of equipment from the boat. The next day I went to the police chief in Cabedelo, Dr. Alberto do Ezito de Sousa. I reported to him what had happened. I was told by him in front of two witnesses that I would have to pay him US$ 1,500 to open the case. I left without giving him any money.

I called the US Embassy in Recife, Pernambuco state, and talked to Ms. Maureen Smith, the Vice Consul. She told me that the embassy does not get involved in civil matters. So I tried to call the FBI and never received a reply.

I ended up going to Dr. Melonasa of the Mayor's office in João Pessoa for help. He sent me to Dr. Comberto of the special police squad to help me solve the robbery of the Roamdeep. I knew who committed the crime, when they did it, and where they were selling the stolen items.

I had to translate all the stolen property into Portuguese, and I had to provide receipts for all the property that was stolen from the Roamdeep. I complied with all their requests and returned all the documentation to Dr. Comberto.

The case went to court March 23, 2003. I had eight witnesses for my case. I also had Dr. Comberto's testimony. He went to the suspects' homes and caught them with the stolen property. He also caught the people that were buying the stolen property. The report I received stated the judge released the suspects and closed the case.

For my trouble in trying to solve this matter, I was deported from Brazil on July 26, 2003.

Before I left Brazil, I went to the Captain of Ports, Kleber Pessek and showed him the letter from Cabedelo Náutica Ltda. I and informed him of my deportation. There had been some damage to the Roamdeep, so the Captain informed me where at the anchorage to place the boat.

The letter that I received from him states that it was all right for me to leave the Roamdeep in Brazil. My captain, my Brazilian wife and I along with 2 other Brazilians placed the Roamdeep where the Captain told us. I shut all the seacocks, all fuel valves, locked the boat up and gave the keys to my wife. From there, I went to the United States.

Upon my arrival in the United States, I immediately went to the Brazilian Consulate in Houston, Texas. I spoke to Mr. Américo who informed me that I would not be allowed to return to Brazil for six months. At that point, I showed him the letter from the Captain, the police report and my marriage license. He, in turn, said that I should have never been deported.

My wife and the Roamdeep's captain, complied with all the Port Captain's requests. Nevertheless, less than 30 days later, he filed papers with the Ministério da Fazenda stating that the Roamdeep was abandoned. At that point, my wife called me to inform me that Captain Kleber Pessek was seizing the boat.

After I received this information, I went back to the Brazilian Consulate in Houston. I spoke with Milton Torres da Silva. He then called the Captain of Ports in Brazil but was told to quit interfering with the Brazilian Navy's business. On September 23, 2003, a I got a new Brazilian visa.

I left for Brazil two days later. Upon my arrival in Brazil, the Federal Police took me into custody. I was taken to a holding cell, and I was stripped of my clothing. I sat in this cell naked for 17 hours until they were informed that my visa was not forged.

Upon my release, I went to João Pessoa, the capital of Paraíba state, and met with Tereza Adelia Naked. She informed me that the reason the Roamdeep was being seized was due to abandonment. I showed her my passport, where it shows that I was deported, on July 26, 2003. I then hired an attorney, and we went to court.

Upon leaving the courts, I was handed an Auto de Infração. I went to the Captain of the Ports, and they seized the Roamdeep for 1500 reais (US$ 707) in fines.

I believe all of the fines were bogus because the Brazilian boats in the anchorage had the same issues for which I was fined. The Captain and his replacement told me "two wrongs don't make a right."

The date of the Infração is 18/11/2003 at which point the Roamdeep had been in the Navy's custody for over 40 days tied to the dock in Cabedelo where it had been robbed at least two more times.

Then the Captain of Ports placed a Navy guard on board, and they each took a piece of the Roamdeep with them. It was not until the Navy knew I was back in the country that they filed a police report. I took pictures of the Roamdeep when I returned to Brazil.

The Navy's report shows several things that were taken, but on their original inventory, nine other items are missing that were on board when I took the pictures. By this time, the Roamdeep had been stripped of everything that could be taken - electrical wire, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, blinds, motor oil, etc.

Then on March 30, 2004, a new reason was given as to why the Roamdeep was seized. In this order, the Captain of Ports, Marcello Lima de Oliveira, says the Roamdeep was taken to avert a natural disaster. They say it was in danger of sinking. By this time, the Roamdeep had been in the Brazilian Navy's custody for seven months. So far the Navy, Brazil and the Receita Federal have changed their stories several times on the Roamdeep.

By international law, a vessel needing repair can stay in the port of foreign land to make repairs without fear of deportation, and Brazilian law says that a person shall receive a letter of intent of fine or seizure 30 days before it can take place. It also says that no equipment shall remain in the country without the owner being present to be responsible.

So far, I have not been given due process of law. The fine from Receita Federal is US$ 7,500. The dock fee, towing fee and guard are still up in the air. I offered to pay out the fine, but José Ricardo Felix Alves refused and said I had to pay it all at one time, and I had 3 working days to do so.

Plus I had to pay the fines to the Navy in full and was not able to move the Roamdeep from the dock until the boat would pass a marine safety inspection by the Brazilian Navy safety officer. Also I would not be able to live on the boat while I was working on it and would have to pay the Brazilian Navy to guard it and pay dock fees.

As of right now, I do not know where they have taken the Roamdeep. They have refused to make any statement on this matter. I have been told that it has not been sold, but no one knows where the Roamdeep is. So I went to the US embassy to get a visa for my wife to enter the United States.

She and I were told "No" because we have no value. Our value lies in the Roamdeep and the business we are able to do with the Roamdeep. I had to come to the US without her, and if the law holds, she will not be able to come here for three years.

To add another insult, my dog, that I have had for 14 years, was not allowed to come back as Brazil wants me to have an Animal Export License to bring back the dog I took from the United States to Brazil before this all began.

And yet the Yacht Club and boating world of Brazil are still telling boaters they can keep their boats in Brazil for two years without paying any taxes. Please, tell people the truth.
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:59 PM   #2
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Sounds bad from this viewpoint.

I personally would not take on what appears to be a government - but if it is all true, what other option does this guy have?

Perhaps if one could secure email contact points for some of the more important officials in this scenario - it may be worth letting them know the wider world is aware of the situation? And maybe request their assistance in keeping Brazils' good name by sorting this before it gets any worse?

Can't think what more we can do of practical value.

JOHN
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Old 03-08-2007, 03:51 PM   #3
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If you have a couple of hours to spare do a Google search on "Roamdeep". This mess all goes back a long way. He was/is also apparently involved in the boatbuilding industry in Brazil.

Google is your friend!
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swagman View Post
Sounds bad from this viewpoint.

I personally would not take on what appears to be a government - but if it is all true, what other option does this guy have?

Perhaps if one could secure email contact points for some of the more important officials in this scenario - it may be worth letting them know the wider world is aware of the situation? And maybe request their assistance in keeping Brazils' good name by sorting this before it gets any worse?

Can't think what more we can do of practical value.

JOHN
My understanding is that this guy is a US citizen , the only contact with his own Government appears to be a vice consul in some small city in Brazil . When he went back to the States he does not mention he if sought assistance from the State Department. As he relates matters - these appear to fall into a category where a government would assist , his misfortunes were not all the result of civil disputes - maybe he is not revealing all !

Richard
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:35 PM   #5
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This is a common problem. My wife is not allowed in the States (as a tourist) either. She would have to apply for immigration and wait 6-24 month. I was deported from her home country for a year. If worst came to worst the guy should have bit the bullet and bring his wife over on the boat and pay the fine of $750. To my knowledge spouses of US citizens can't get detained for immigration violation alone (but sh-t happens and George created all those $10/hr jobs in security).
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:15 PM   #6
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Hello the world of sailing,

I have posted a few things since I first met you all. I'm not yet an actual sailor (I'm looking at doing a yachtmaster fast track this May in Gibraltar), but believe me when I say I have seen the world and have come up against some nasty people/situations/transactions (more about that as we get to know each other).

I think our friend should have kept the initial conversation with the police chief as cheerful and as promissing as it could be from the view of the police chief. They see a nice boat, a gringo with cash and their eyes light up. The intial figure mentioned was a start off figure in a negotiation, kind of like an auction for his services. Always keep a smile on your face (even though you want to kneecap him), never look down upon an official (even though you know he is a worthless corruptive piece of s***), so make him believe he is the God he is actually acting like!!!! Corruption and these bribes, which is what they are, are a nasty part of travelling to countries where they are poor and you have a nice boat which, unfortunately, flaunts wealth (whether you have it or not).

You just have to decide how much you are willing to give an official compared to what your return will be.

In this case he could have got the police chief down to $500 and had a police report for his insurers for the $10,000 of stolen property (or for a little more cash to the policeman he would have said you had $1,000,000 stolen and the Queen of England was kidnapped, they really don't give a sh*one*t!). Then no more grief, and he actually might of made a friend of the police chief, who might have made his time in the area a little more bearable.

I paid $30 for a police report of $600.....it's called 'sh*one*t happens'!

Instead, this poor man, who stuck to his ideals of 'First World' law and order, got well and truly shafted!!!!!! He is now fighting against an entire government, in a country where one department doesn't have a bloody clue as to what the other is doing!

This whole mess shouldn't have gone past getting the intial police report..... that's all you need for an insurance claim.... not a full blown 'grab and convict the baddies' situation.

Anyway....so there you have my opinion and just a little insight as to the way I've been getting around for the past 10 years!

You all take care out there.

DB
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:07 AM   #7
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A big slice of the 'net has been devoted to 'Roamdeep'. It appears to have so many disparate threads that to attempt any objective analysis seems a fruitless exercise. But, there are a few truisms most cruisers have learned:

1) Give way to the passenger liner...even if he is wrong.

2) Smile, nod your head, bow and be thankful....Then let your opponents tyres down as you pass his car in the parking lot.

3) Fighting for personal principles is fine unless you have something better to do at the time.

4) You will never change another person's attitude or opinion by confrontation. (Visit any sailing forum and search 'Carrying weapons)

5) The wheel keeps turning. The bad guy will eventually cop it in bucketloads.

David
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