Get more from your Mavic
The largest Mavic community in the world
Join Us Now

Ethiopia Drone Confiscated in Lalibela!

CorpGent

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
6
Reactions
0
Age
121
Hello Everyone! Newbie here....

We were filming in different parts of the world this past April 2018 with a DJ Mavic Pro Platinum with the RLSOCO accessory travel case - it went with us to China (Beijing and Hong Kong), Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Broome), Indonesia (Bali, Banda Aceh, Sumatra rainforest), Malaysia (Penang and Kuala Lumpur), Sri Lanka (all over), Mumbai, India. We arrived into Addis Ababa without any issues. The only thing is in Beijing they opened my luggage and took the portable batteries (but failed to see the one on the drone itself) and left a note.

We departed Addis Ababa and went to Lalibela in the middle of the country, north of Addis, again no incident. We went to the different sights and we were told via a guide it would cost USD$1400 if we wanted to take video with the drone. We politely declined.

At Lalibela Airport, right at the entrance, one has to go through a screening. It was there the drone was found and we were asked to produce the drone, without saying why they wanted it. The case was opened and the gentleman asked for the memory card. One of the film crew was smart enough to take it out without being seen. We all believe it also would have been confiscated and/or destroyed (everything was backed up three times over, but imagine, all the filming had it not been the case).

My director and I were taken into a small security office (there was only one) and were told by a guy named BURNHAM the drone can't travel with us and it was going to be confiscated. I was not happy at all and I informed him it showed nothing online to which he said "it's a new directive". I believe it is the same guy who did this to others on this thread. The back and forth escalated and I took it up to a point where I felt it was in my best interest to say nothing. He takes a piece of blank white paper from his printer and handwrites the name of the person the drone was going to in Addis and his mobile number and then his name and mobile. No official documents, nothing.

I know this is a little long, but I have to tell the entire story...

I was told the drone will be waiting in Addis Airport and upon arrival, we would get our drone ("very easy"). He was told we had only a two hour layover at night. He promised me it was open 24 hours a day...of course, it was closed when we got there. The biggest mistake I made was having the drone put under the director 's passport and not mine (the owner of the drone).

Upon arrival back into the States, since the 1st of April, I tried to retrieve my drone to no avail. It was only when I asked our tour guide in Lalibela to help, I was able to confirm the drone's location. In order for the drone to be released, the person the drone is under can only retrieve it! Even though the guy that confiscated the drone knew I was there as well. What I had to do, I was told, is to give a Power of Attorney (PoA) to whoever is going to get the drone. A nightmare. I had to find a law firm through the US Embassy in Addis in order to help me with the PoA. That is where I am right now. I will follow up with costs.

There is one person who is causing all these problems by the name of BURHAM who wrote his name and then put "Lalibela Airport Security" underneath it.
 

CorpGent

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
6
Reactions
0
Age
121
This is the piece of paper I was given. Garbage.
 

Attachments

  • lalibela.letter.2of2.JPG
    lalibela.letter.2of2.JPG
    1.3 MB · Views: 54
  • lalibela.letter.1of2.JPG
    lalibela.letter.1of2.JPG
    1.3 MB · Views: 52

CorpGent

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
6
Reactions
0
Age
121
In other words bribe the guy? I would never put myself in that position....and then what, end up in a jail somewhere in the middle of Ethiopia? Now, in the small chance you mentioned "fee" - as in a license or tax or usage fee of some sort, it was never offered as a way to keep my drone.

Below are the papers that was given to me...


Did you offer to pay a small fee to continue with your drone?
 

Attachments

  • lalibela.letter.2of2.JPG
    lalibela.letter.2of2.JPG
    1.3 MB · Views: 29
  • lalibela.letter.1of2.JPG
    lalibela.letter.1of2.JPG
    1.3 MB · Views: 28

COffe

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Messages
5
Reactions
0
Age
49
Did you transport your drone in a carry on bag or in your check-in luggage?
 

conchman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
252
Reactions
95
Age
54
Location
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
In other words bribe the guy? I would never put myself in that position....and then what, end up in a jail somewhere in the middle of Ethiopia? Now, in the small chance you mentioned "fee" - as in a license or tax or usage fee of some sort, it was never offered as a way to keep my drone.

Below are the papers that was given to me...
I have lived and traveled in many developing nations and found a "tip" can be necessary to avoid a host of problems. Do it discreetly so others working with the guy do not see it, and ask the guy for a portion. Or just tip the boss. It's how things work in many countries.
 

tangy07

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
120
Reactions
138
"tipping" is how things work in those countries. Like the OP said you have to do it discreetly, it will go along way.
 
Lycus Tech Mavic Air 2 Case

DJI Drone Deals

1. Mini SE - $299
2. Mini 2 - $449
3. Air 2 (renewed) - $649
4. Air 2s - $999
5. FPV Combo - $1299
6. Mavic 2 Zoom - $1349
7. Mavic 2 Pro - $1499

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
108,151
Messages
1,280,602
Members
138,989
Latest member
Da Flyin' HaYn !