We’re delighted to be setting it straight. following a tip-off from roving reporter Kevin Reed, our story on Tony and Carole Smith was informed by a piece in The Daily Mail as we had no way of contacting the couple directly. Since then, Tony’s been in touch so here, from the horse’s mouth, is an update on their situation that is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…
By Tony Smith
“Thank you for the coverage of the horrendous experience Carole and I endured during our retirement trip to Cancun
“We initially shared our story with the Brighton Evening Argus, who asked if it was ok to share it with the Mail and the Sun on Sunday. However their reporting was not entirely accurate so I’m delighted to be setting it straight for my many friends in vending.”
Setting it straight
“Since the story went live on Planet Vending, we’ve done a phone interview with BBC Radio Sussex and a TV interview with BBC South, which has spun off into doing an exclusive with a well-known magazine in the next week or two.
“It’s great to get all this coverage because I am keen to get an apology for what happened from the Americans. I’m sure not a lot of people know this, but they demand sight of passenger lists for any flight from the UK that flies through American airspace. Even at 38,000 feet! This is where all the confusion has stemmed from. The Americans have 100s of felons called Anthony Smith, so when they saw my name on the passenger list of a BA flight heading to Cancun, they put me on an alert list and the Mexican authorities picked up on it.
“The only problem was that the Mexicans did not carry out due diligence: even though I gave them my fingerprints and photographs, they still managed to convince themselves that I was the person the Americans were interested in. In part I’m sure they like to dance to the Americans’ tune and never see them as being wrong, so’s not to jeopardise the millions of dollars of aid the yanks give them.
“The Mexicans admit they detained me, but say I need to speak the Americans but, due to issues with Mr Trump, they are not at work, so I have an impasse.
“I am happy to keep you advised when we manage to get the matter resolved, but fear it will take some time as I have to fight the battle on my own. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office won’t assist; they will not question what other countries do in terms of immigration policy.
“Since I retired, I’ve set up a consultancy. I’m now working 2-3 days a week with some great companies within the grocery, wholesale and coffee sectors consulting on sales, marketing, and business management. I went to the AVA Christmas lunch and met up with many old friends. none of whom could not believe what we’d experienced.
“In correspondence with the Mexican embassy I gave them 10 working days to respond to my complaint and advised them that, if they did not respond within that time scale, I would escalate the issue. When they failed to respond, I contacted the Argus
“I can only hope that the Mexican and Americans will be honest and admit their error, setting it straight so we can get on with our lives and enjoy retirement.”
Setting it straight: Our original story is HERE on Planet Vending