Appeal Court Overturns Ruling That Favoured Former Customs Official In Car Seizure Case

The Court of Appeal has overturned a Supreme Court ruling that favoured a former director of customs in the contraband enforcement department, Omar Guyah, who has been fighting the seizure by customs officials of a 2007 Suzuki motor car.

The upper court held that the vehicle was “uncustomed goods”.

Although the Supreme Court had ruled otherwise in Guyah’s favour, the former customs director still appealed in a challenge of the judge’s refusal to also declare that the seizure of the motor car was unreasonable and an abuse of Customs’ authority.

He also complained that since the judge ruled in his favour in declaring that the seizure was wrong in law, the judge was wrong to deny him recovery of costs from the commissioner of Customs and the attorney general, both of whom were respondents in the case.

The respondents filed a counter-notice of appeal, asking the court to overturn the Supreme Court ruling.

Two weeks ago, the court dismissed Guyah’s appeal, allowed the respondents’ counter-notice of appeal, and set aside the orders made in the Supreme Court.

The appeal court then declared that the motor car constituted uncustomed goods at February 12, 2012, and was subject to seizure by customs officials.

Guyah was ordered to pay two-thirds of the legal costs of the commissioner of Customs and the attorney general on the appeal, and two-thirds of the costs on the counter-notice of appeal as the respondents were not successful on one of the grounds filed. No order for costs was made for the proceedings in the Supreme Court.