Let me begin by saying this: Any government elected, appointed or hired official who supports civil asset forfeiture should be tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail. This family had their life savings stolen – yes, fucking stolen- by an illegitimate act of a government gone mad. Excerpt:
Rustem Kazazi, 64, was headed to his native Albania to visit relatives in October, according to a federal lawsuit that he, his wife, Lejla, and son, Erald, filed this week in Ohio against the agency and others.
The suit alleges Customs and Border Protection used civil forfeiture laws to take the money without arresting or charging anyone with a crime.
Kazazi had planned to spend six months in Albania and buy a vacation home for retirement on the Adriatic coast, according to court documents. He also wanted to help members of his extended family, who are struggling, the court documents said.
To make the transactions easier and avoid bank fees, he reduced his family’s life savings to cash, packed it in a carry-on and brought it with him to the airport, according to the family’s lawsuit.
“He counted the cash several times, separated it into three stacks of $20,000, $19,100 and $19,000 each, and then, after counting again, labeled each stack with the amount it contained. He then placed the three stacks in a single envelope and wrote ‘$58,100’ on the outside,” the documents state.
Transportation Security Administration agents spotted the money inside Kazazi’s bag as he went through security on October 27 at Cleveland’s airport to catch a flight to Newark, New Jersey, before flying out to Albania, according to court documents. TSA called Customs and Border Protection agents, who took Kazazi’s passport and driver’s license, according to the filing.
He was put in a small private room for a body search, the documents state.
Kazazi speaks limited English, according to the lawsuit.
Now, in whose world is this right? On any level? If he was charged with a crime, or there was reason to believe he should be stopped, searched and charged, that is different