Help, my private mobile network is still in Customs


Aye, it’s no good. Despite the initial valiant efforts of Aisha at the Ministry of Information, I’ve heard nothing from the Customs folk, nor Aisha herself. That’s the end of the day here in the Maldives. The end of the day on Thursday heralds the arrival of the Maldives weekend. So nothing’s gonna be happening until Sunday. (Pick up the background to this story here.)

And then I leave on Monday. Arse.

I actually sat at the bar in The Conrad this afternoon waiting for the 5pm arrival of the Seaplane. It arrived. Folk got off it. The pilot got out and stretched. Luggage was unloaded. No big carboard box though. No Private Mobile Network unit…

So the focus of my stress now shifts. It’s all very well being sat in the sunshine with the waves lapping at the shore, but I’m sure you’ll agree, when you’ve got 20 grand’s worth of Private Mobile Network sitting in Male Airport Customs, with lots of hoops and shite to jump through to get at it, there’s not much relaxing going on.

My next concern now is how I get hold of the unit to get it back to London and, one hopes, normality. (I will obviously be able to test the unit properly in London).

I’m told be various smart folks here at The Conrad Hotel who are in the know, that, it should be quite easy to pick up the unit on my way to my flight.

I hope.

That’s going to be a nerve-wracking experience.

“Hi, my flight is departing in 20 minutes, can I just pick up my illegal private mobile networking equipment from you?”


“I present to you my chitty of record that you gave to me 2 weeks ago when you took it off me.”


“So my flight’s departing and I need to take this back with me.”

“This is no problem, sir,” I hope will be the response, “Here is your unit, thank you for your understanding.”


I’m mentally preparing myself for something perhaps closer to reality:

“No sir, sorry sir. You can have it back. In fact, here it is. But you can’t take it out the airport until the Customs CEO signs your chitty.”

“Right,” I respond, “And where is the Customs CEO?”

“Belgium, sir,”


Do you get on the plane and leave it? Bearing in mind that I’ve signed a contract with the Teleware chaps to take care of their equipment. I can hardly go leaving it sat in it’s (well protected) box next to all the contraband alcohol at Male Airport’s Customs room, can I?

Perhaps I extend my stay. That would be OK if I could guarantee it would actually arrive on Monday or Tuesday. But prohibitively expensive all the same.

I tell you what would be REALLY annoying: The unit arrives first thing on Monday morning on the plane that I’m due to leave on. Gahh!

I would thus welcome your opinions on the way ahead…

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