Moments after passing through the border my travel partner and I were stopped at a road block by 6 policemen brandishing AK47’s . We were asked to get out of the car and present our declaration of the goods we had in our possession. I was not aware that we needed this in Lesotho but knew what he was talking about because of an earlier trip to Mozambique. I questioned whether this was necessary and he quickly told me I would either go to jail for 2 years or pay 2000 loti to a magistrate in the city.
Then he asked to see the international driver’s license of my friend…as his USA license was not sufficient. Again he threatened us with another 1000 loti fine along with a third year in jail! My friend knew he had one and jumped back in the car and started emptying his pockets, suitcase and backpack, spewing things everywhere. Meanwhile I tried to defend our position with the menacing uniformed officer. I had checked and double checked everything that was necessary for crossing into Lesotho and such document was meant for any imports that were for sale. Apparently not. He was insisting I pay up. I told him I would go back to the border and get his paper. He was not about to agree.
A standstill ensued with me keeping my mouth shut and my friend still shuffling through papers when our adversary lost patience and told us to just get out of there NOW!