Saturday, January 04, 2014

The Day The Music Cried

The TSA goes after deadly flutes:
A Canadian musician claims that U.S. Customs officials seized and destroyed 11 rare flutes as he passed through New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport last week. The reason? Concerns they were an ecological threat.

Razgui said he was carrying 13 instruments, including 11 flute-like instruments called neys, along with dried bamboo. He claims he was told those "agricultural products" were destroyed.

"These instruments are priceless to me. I make them with my own hands and I can't make a living without them," he told the Globe and Mail. He said he's been traveling with his instruments for years, and "nothing like this has ever happened."

Razgui and CBP are telling very different stories.

While Razgui claims that even the raw bamboo was dried, CBP claims the stalks were fresh (which would make them illegal to bring in). And CBP says agents only dealt with "fresh green bamboo canes" they found in his luggage -- no instruments -- after it was brought to their attention by the airline.

"Fresh bamboo is prohibited from entering the United States to prevent the introduction of exotic plant pathogens," a spokesperson told "The fresh bamboo canes were seized and destroyed in accordance with established protocols to prevent the introduction of plant pathogens into the United States."

Bamboo canes, under federal law, are supposed to be dried and processed so they can't harbor pests or diseases. CBP says processed instruments typically are admissible under the law.
Somebody's being bamboozled here...

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