On Call in Action: Illegal Souvenir in Africa

On Call International helps organizations and their travelers take a proactive and holistic approach to not only managing emergencies when they arise—but also planning for and even preventing them before they happen. Tune in each month to see how On Call International helps with travel problems, big and small, every day:

Illegal Souvenir in Africa
Paul*, an archeological student, was traveling throughout Africa during a study abroad program and had been picking up a few souvenirs in each destination along the way. As his class made their way through airport security on the way to their next destination, Paul was stopped and his luggage was investigated. The airport security agent found one of the souvenirs and was concerned that it was an illegal wood carving. Paul tried to explain how he had purchased it legally in another country, but he was arrested. Not sure of what to do next, Jacob*, the group leader, stayed behind and immediately reached out to their travel risk management provider, On Call International.

On Call to the Rescue
On Call spoke with Jacob who advised us of Paul’s situation. He provided us with the details of where Paul was being held so our attorney could reach out to local attorneys to discuss the best course of action.

The next morning, we helped coordinate payment from family and friends for Paul’s bail, and he was informed he would need to testify in court the next day. We secured a hotel for Paul and Jacob and arranged their transportation. We also set up a call between Paul and a local attorney who advised Paul would need proof he had legally purchased the souvenir.

Free To Go
The next morning, On Call arranged Paul and Jacob’s transportation to the court house. When Paul was called to the stand, he apologized and explained how he had no idea he purchased something illegal. He provided the court with his receipt for the item and in the end, the judge told Paul he was free to go as long as he paid a fine and surrendered the item. We arranged for Paul and Jacob to travel onward to their next destination and kept in touch with them until they arrived. The two were thankful to have us by their side during such a difficult and unique circumstance.

*Names have been changed to protect traveler privacy.

Want to learn more about On Call’s proactive and holistic travel risk management solutions? Contact us today.