23 Mar, 2022 @ 08:45
1 min read

Disgrace as Spanish border police stop Ukrainian refugee shipment of 1,500 fleeces and demand 25% tax

Leeds Frontier
Photo: Damian Platt.

A GROUP of big-hearted Brits were left stunned when Spanish customs refused to let a van packed with aid for Ukraine cross from Gibraltar into Spain.

Kirsty and Damian Platt, owners of Heaven Bar in nearby Duquesa, jumped into action as soon as they saw the horrific scenes of the Russian shelling of Ukraine. 

After organising two vans to travel from the Costa del Sol and Gibraltar to take supplies to refugees they went about picking up dozens of donations. 

However when the Leeds couple went to pick up 1,500 fleeces from inside the Rock, they were stopped by customs on the way back into Spain.

The generously-donated hoard had been offered by a big Gib construction business, Interserve, that no longer needed them.

Despite pleading with Spanish customs, they were told they could only do so if they unpacked each individual one, gave it a price, and paid 25% tax on it.
After hours of trying to get permission, they even got the Gibraltar border force to try and convince their Spanish counterparts.

“But they would simply not budge,” Damian told the Olive Press.

“We told the guards we hoped they would never find themselves in a war-torn country in need of supplies, but they didn’t care.

“We ended up having to take the fleeces back.”

Despite the setback, the couple redoubled their efforts within Spain and ended up taking two totally full vans to the Poland/Ukraine border. 

Leeds Frontier
Photo: Damian Platt.

At one point, Damian said they almost crossed into Ukraine by mistake.

They happened to pass a Polish police officer, who asked them: “Are you sure you want to cross the border!?”

Former soldier Damian says the scenes they saw were harrowing, however one image sticks with him.

“A group of English lads drove a single decker bus all the way from England with medical supplies,” he said.

It took them three days from England with a top speed of 50mph. 

The couple remain livid over the actions of the Spanish border force, but insist their trip to Ukraine has given them perspective.

“We were angry about not being able to transport goods, but Ukranians are angry about their loved ones being killed. That’s a bit more serious.”


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