A 28-year-old Faroese man has now decided to go public and share his story of being harassed and humiliated by Vágar Airport Custom Officers and The Faroe Islands Police.
The man, who lives and works as a security manager for a large organization in London, and who travels to the Faroe Islands on a regular basis to visit his family and friends, contacted Local.fo to tell his story after he was arrested at Vágar Airport on March 2nd, where he was accused of assaulting a customs officer.
This was allegedly the umpteenth time he was stopped by the customs officers upon arrival in the Faroe Islands, and he is convinced the customs officers have an agenda against him.
He states: ”I have traveled to the Faroes since I was a little kid, and ever since I started traveling alone at the age of 13-14, the custom officers have stopped me on almost every occasion for the last 15 years upon arrival in the Faroe Islands. I should add that I have never ever had anything illegal in my luggage”, says the man, who insists he was wrongfully arrested at Vágar Airport on March 2nd.
He explains: ”On the 2nd of March 2018 I was accused by the customs officers at the airport of assaulting the customs officers. I was once again pulled over, asked to remove all my belongings from his pockets. As I emptied my pockets, a custom officer walked over and snatched my mobile phone out of my hand. I approached the officer and asked for my mobile phone back, but instead I was pushed back and the police were contacted. The police arrived shortly after at the airport and I was arrested, accused of assaulting the Faroese authorities. One police officer requested me to take off my underpants for further searches of my body. As the search took place the door was opened by a female police officer. I felt very embarrassed to be stood there without my underpants on.”
“Outside my little daughter was waiting in vain for me,” says the man and continues:
”As I was brought to the police station in the capital (Tórshavn), there were further searches, including a full body search took place. Nothing was found on me, and I was released. However, I was not driven back to my home village, and at the police station I was not even offered a solicitor or other support; when I requested for a solicitor, the police replied, ”you would need to pay one yourself” and handed the phone over.”
“They shouldn’t be allowed to carry on this way,” reiterates the 28-year-old, who also points out that the Faroese police told him ”that you are in a bad position because you have no witnesses apart from yourself – nor do you have a doctor’s report of your injuries. Meanwhile there is simply no proof as no CCTV is present around the customs area.”
The young man believes the only reason for being stopped and checked is due to his mixed skin color.
He explains how he in the past has filed complaints to Taks (The Faroese Tax and Custom Authority) in regards to the conduct of the customs officers, only to receive the far from satisfactory response ”that is their job”.
The young man also states that he has lately started recording the customs when passing through in order to prove how he is being treated by the Faroese custom authorities. But ”unfortunately”, he says, ”he has been forced to delete all evidence”.
Furthermore, the 28-year-old – who has a Criminology diploma behind him – claims he once notified police of inappropriate behavior at Vágar Airport. However, ”police just laughed me off and told me to go see a doctor and report back”, explains the man to Local.fo.
Thus, the man has now decided to go public with his story.