1 in 5 UK holidaymakers have knowingly walked through “Nothing to Declare” whilst carrying something they shouldn’t have been, according to a new survey from Gocompare.
The somewhat alarming survey found that 75% of people managed to walk through Customs unchallenged the last time they smuggled, with men being twice as likely to smuggle as women. Just over a quarter (27%) of people aged 18-24 went unchallenged last time they had something to hide, compared to 85% of 55-64 year olds and 100% of over 65s.
Despite the potential consequences, over half (52%) of smugglers said they’d be likely to do it again.
The survey, released following the BBC’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s classic tale of wrecking and smuggling, Jamaica Inn, found that the most frequently smuggled items were cigarettes and alcohol. Other frequently concealed goods included perfume, marijuana, foodstuffs, weapons and even live animals.
Caroline Lloyd from Gocompare.com commented on the findings:
“Understanding what you can and can’t take through customs can be a complicated business but to learn that 1 in 5 UK holidaymakers had knowingly smuggled cigarettes, alcohol and other goods through customs was a shock.
“Although most holidaymakers caught out by customs officials either paid the duty, had their goods confiscated or received a caution, more serious smuggling can obviously lead to criminal charges which could make it difficult to travel to other countries in the future.”