Trinidad man sues Customs over seizure of sex doll

(Trinidad Guardian) An E-com­merce con­sul­tant has been grant­ed per­mis­sion to pur­sue a law­suit against the Comp­trol­ler of the Cus­toms and Ex­cise Di­vi­sion over the seizure of a sex doll.

High Court Judge James Aboud last week grant­ed the man leave to pro­ceed with a ju­di­cial re­view case against the di­vi­sion over the seizure in De­cem­ber, last year.

Short­ly af­ter im­port­ing the man­nequin in De­cem­ber, the man, whose name was with­held at the re­quest of his at­tor­neys over fear of em­bar­rass­ment, was in­formed that it con­tra­vened sec­tion 45 (l) of the Cus­toms Act as it has hu­man gen­i­talia.

The leg­is­la­tion pro­hibits the im­por­ta­tion of in­de­cent or ob­scene prints, paint­ings, books and porno­graph­ic ma­te­r­i­al.

The man’s lawyers are con­tend­ing that the leg­is­la­tion does not cov­er such items and oth­er adult toys.

A sim­i­lar law­suit was filed by busi­ness­man and sex ther­a­pist Giri­raj “Raj” Ram­nanan af­ter Cus­toms of­fi­cers seized a ship­ment of his goods.

Ram­nanan’s case is still pend­ing.

As a sec­ondary is­sue in the case, the man’s lawyers are claim­ing that the Di­vi­sion’s con­tin­u­ing re­fusal to al­low him to clear the goods is un­law­ful as it is re­quired to ap­ply to a court to for­feit the doll.

Through the case, the man is seek­ing de­c­la­ra­tions against the di­vi­sion as well as the im­me­di­ate re­lease of the item.

The is­sue of the le­gal­i­ty of im­port­ing sex toys arose last year when E-couri­er Web Source is­sued a no­tice to its cus­tomers warn­ing that such in­ti­mate items fell un­der the di­vi­sion’s list of pro­hib­it­ed items.

The list in­clud­ed oth­er con­ven­tion­al con­tra­band in­clud­ing drugs, firearms and cam­ou­flage cloth­ing.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert re­spond­ed to pub­lic furore over the is­sue and claimed there was no law di­rect­ly pro­hibit­ing the im­por­ta­tion of such items.

How­ev­er, he not­ed that it was with­in the di­vi­sion’s purview to de­ter­mine what con­sti­tut­ed in­de­cent or ob­scene items un­der the leg­is­la­tion

The man is be­ing rep­re­sent­ed by Jagdeo Singh, Di­nesh Ram­bal­ly, Kiel Tak­lals­ingh, Ste­fan Ramkissoon and Kavi­ta Boodoo.

The case is ex­pect­ed to come up for case man­age­ment next month.

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