THE general public supports a woman’s right to own a sex toy in Trinidad, but the import of these devices is hampered by the Customs Division giving each officer on duty the personal discretion to say yes or no, complained sexologist Giriraj “Dr Raj” Ramnanan.
He gave Newsday an update on the Customs’ seizure of four boxes of his items, in August and November last year, which remain impounded.
“Customs said it is up to the officer on duty to decide, but it cannot be on that person’s whim and fancy.”
Ramnanan said he had hoped to be charged by Customs so he in turn would use that court date as an opportunity to state his case and seek a ruling once and for all on the legality of these devices. This has not happened.
“Months have passed and they are still pussy-footing around.” Complaining that over the years Customs has seized about 25 per cent of his imports, Ramnanan said he has assembled a team of attorneys to take legal action.
Saying the UK has quashed a similar law, Ramnanan vowed to fight his cause all the way to the UK-based Privy Council – TT’s highest court.
He said the Customs Act bans printed material deemed obscene but not solid, phallic objects.
The sexologist said that for years he has been asking Customs to supply a list of items that are banned and items they allow, but to no avail. “They never provided this to me.”
Lamenting the State’s intervention into citizens’ bedrooms, Ramnanan said he had been fighting for this cause since 1984. He said he has been shouldering the burden for other importers who had been content to stand back and leave the advocacy to him.
“I’m not asking for money, but all I would have liked is for these people to give me a phone call to say ‘We are with you.’”