Well, well, well.
I recently received a package from a vendor in the Asia/Pacific region that arrived cut open, un-resealed, and empty except for some bubble wrap and a slip of paper approximately 3" x 4" on which was printed the following under a Dept. of Homeland Security emblem:
NARCOTICS AND/OR OTHER CONTRABAND,
PROHIBITED FROM ENTRY INTO THE UNITED
STATES, HAVE BEEN SEIZED AND REMOVED
FOR APPROPRIATE ACTION UNDER
19CFR145.59. YOU WILL BE RECEIVING
CORRESPONDENCE FROM OUR FINES,
PENALTIES, AND FORFEITURES BRANCH IN
THE NEAR FUTURE.
Now, this slip of paper was printed in black ink in below average resolution on plain printer paper. In fact, I'm pretty sure it had been cut from a sheet containing several copies of this same message. Frankly, it looked low-tech, amateurish, and if I hadn't done some research; fake. I did some googling and discovered some folks on other cigar boards with the same experience and, sort of frighteningly, some boards that seem to have something to do with mail order drugs.
This is not like any other warning I have heard of so far and I can't find much info. Can anyone shed any light on this - feel free to PM me if you prefer.
I have received several PM's from folks that have had the same thing happen to them (in two cases, the identical problem of one box seized out of a multi-box order) from the same vendor. As of right now, I am still quite confident that the vendor is blameless so I will not be naming names, even if I had admin permission to do so. However it seems pretty clear from these PM's that something is going on - maybe DHS is looking closely at certain packages from this country or region so my advice is be careful.
As for me, I am not in any position to get in to a scrape with the DHS so their little note to me has had its desired (and, I hope, only) effect as I plan to hide under the bed like a whipped dog. I will update again with any pertinent developments.