Originally found at http://www.thecrowhouse.com/fuq.html
which has some other interesting topics.
Reporter: Richard Carleton
Producer: Allan Hogan
June 15, 2003
Peter Tomson - victim.
It was an appalling abuse of power; an honest man — a battler — ruined by
vindictive bureaucrats. They went after him, and didn't let up until his
business was wrecked and he was bankrupt. And the truly galling thing is … it
was all for nothing. Not only that, it had happened before. This was an exact
replica of a story reported by Richard Carleton 10 years ago; a case where
eventually the Customs Service was forced to admit it was wrong, and quite
rightly paid $28 million compensation to the company it destroyed. This time
around though there's been no admission, no pay-out … no justice at all.
No transcript available for this story ever appeared on the 60 minutes
website - curious.
60 minutes email says to phone number of people who do their website.
are only available from the website - they can be contacted on (02) 9383 6000
Claim of Customs-made hell
By Neil Mercer
April 19 2003
Peter Tomson is a patient man, which is just as well.
Sixteen years after his business - and life - were turned upside down by an
Australian Customs Service investigation, a federal parliamentary committee is
about to examine the reasons why.
It is a case that could be highly embarrassing - and costly - to Customs, and
parallels are already being drawn with the Midford Paramount shirts scandal of
the early 1990s.
In that matter a parliamentary committee found customs "was at best
incompetent, or at worst conspiratorial and deceitful" in investigating the
company. Damages totalling $27 million were paid to Midford and others.
Now the House of Representatives Committee on Legal and Constitutional
Affairs is looking at the Tomson case.
Mr Tomson was a classic migrant success story, arriving in Sydney from Laos
with his family in 1980 and building up a business importing cheap clothing from
Before long, he had six shops in Australia, one in Taiwan and two in Bangkok
and a yearly turnover of about $1 million.
Then, in 1987-88, Customs started seizing his goods, alleging he was evading
duty by undervaluing the clothing he was bringing in.
It was not until 1992 that he was charged with evading duty and smuggling.
The court case began in 1993 and ended in 1995, when a magistrate dismissed the
charges. It was cold comfort for Mr Tomson.
With Customs blocking his imports, his business fell apart, he lost the
family home and was forced to remove his children from a private school.
When the Herald first raised his case, in early 2001, he said: "I tell
100 people, they say it is unbelievable; nobody believes it.
"If you tell the story in Thailand everyone believes you; things happen
that way there, but not in Australia."
The parliamentary committee, to be chaired by the Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop,
is expected to start hearings in June and is likely to examine complaints Mr
Tomson raised with the Commonwealth Ombudsman in 2000.
They included allegations that Customs officers failed to investigate in an
objective manner, swore false information to obtain a search warrant and ignored
evidence that suggested Mr Tomson was innocent.
His adviser, Ian Rodda, a customs and trade consultant, said: "Peter
Tomson's business was destroyed by what was done to him. He was an honest,
hardworking and well respected businessman when the ACS decided to seize all his
trading stock throughout late 1987 and 1988."
Mr Tomson, speaking from his home in Green Valley, in Sydney's south-west,
said: "I am very happy because I've been waiting for 16 years for the truth
to come out.
"It will be good to tell my side of the story."
This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/04/18/1050172755524.html
File type:PDF - Download
... into averment provisions in the. Australian Customs
legislation. The committee resolved to conduct this ... Peter Tomson,
followed by the Australian Customs Service. We will resume this ...
The Proof and Official Hansard transcripts of Senate
committee hearings, some House of Representatives committee hearings and some
joint committee hearings are available on the Internet. Some House of
Representatives committees and some joint committees make available only
Official Hansard transcripts.
The Internet address is: http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard
To search the parliamentary database, go to: http://search.aph.gov.au
Bob Hawke wrote: 19-8-95
> Who actually owned the RADIO 4KQ asset when it was sold for $16.5m in 1985?
> Any investigative journos out there may have a very interesting story on
> their hands.
> What happened to the $10M in the Qld bank account when the Painters and
> Dockers Union was deregistered?
> Another good story - Why all the death threats?
> What happened to the $12M the Waterside Workers Federation got from the sale
> of their club to the Seymour Group.
> It did not benefit the members!!!
> Come on some of you decent journos that is $38.5M in total.
Allan Kessing: my side of the story
FEDERAL ministers and staffers are at risk of being dragged into
a police investigation into their involvement in a flow of documents from
whistleblower Allan Kessing.
The Australian Federal Police is seeking advice from the Director of Public
Prosecutions on whether Mr Kessing should be prosecuted after claiming he
provided access to a secret report on airport security to a staff member of
Labor MP Anthony Albanese, who is now transport minister.
The Expendable Project
THE POLITICAL SACRIFICE OF SCHAPELLE CORBY