Travel Dangers in Romania

Information about the dangers of traveling in Romania.

Travel abroad is inherently dangerous. There's a danger of getting hurt, danger of getting robbed, and a danger of getting killed. For many, this is the spice of international travel.

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May 3rd, 2011

Improper Treatment at the Romanian Customs

My intention of writing this text is to inform you about the impolite and indecent behaviors of some officers working at the customs of Bucharest.

On 21st of April 2011 I applied for a touristic visa for my intended visit to Bucharest and Constanta between 28th of April and 3rd of May.

I have two passports attached with full of visas including previous Romania visa, 10 years of American visa, several British visas, numerous Schengen visas from different countries, and may other more.

Upon obtaining my visa from Embassy of Romania in Istanbul On 27th of April 2011 I arrived to Bucharest with the Turkish Airlines flight number TK1043 at 09:45 on 28th of April.

When I was waiting in the passport line an officer came up to me (unfortunately I did not have a chance to get his name) and asked for my passport. He looked at it asked me if I have 500 Euros cash on me. I asked him why I would need this amount for. He told me that I can not get into the country if I do not have that amount of cash on me. I told him that I have no such information, neither anyone in the embassy, nor my travel agency told me anything like that. Still, I had 700 U.S. Dollars in my pocket, but he did not accept it since it is equal to 450 Euros.

Then he asked me which hotel I am staying at. I told him that I will stay at Ambassador Hotel in Constanta and I provided all these details to the embassy when applied for my visa. He told me that I need to show documents to him right there and also show 500 Euros otherwise he would not let me in to the country. I tried to compromise with him and offered him that my friend could fax them if he give me a fax number, also told him that I can withdraw money if there is any ATM around or my friend can bring it. Although I offered to provide everything he asked for he did not accept any solution I offered. My friend who lives and work in Bucharest put me in contact with his attorney but officer refused to talk to anyone on the phone.

I told him that I have been traveling abroad since I am 13 years old and I have never been treated so unjustly and impolitely in any country I visited. I asked him if that’s how he treats people who come to visit his country. He said: Yes. Upon that answer I told him that I do not want to be there anymore and I want to go back with the first plane. He told me that would not be a problem and he tried to make me sign some papers before he send me back. I refused to sign anything so they put me back on the plane that I arrived with.

Upon my return to Istanbul I got an appointment from the Romanian Embassy in Istanbul. I wanted to file a complaint but the Embassy told me that this issue is not related to them and kindly gave me the contact information of Ministry of Tourism.

Although I do not expect any solution to this incident I felt that this is my duty to inform you about the situation at the customs so other people like me do not face the same improper treatment.

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