We just arrived in Korogh from Murgab and we got a lovely story to tell.
If you love to be scamed, the Tajikian border at Bor Dobo is the place to be!
First about the Kirghiz border and the rumors about the environmental tax.
When we arrived, my German friend (team Oskar) with his Nugged (Ford Transit) and I with my Defender (Matatu), the guards were perfectly friendly and correct.
They asked us about our route and if we were in Russia. As we both were, they asked for seeing the temporary car import document.
We both still had them (actually two, as we both were in Mongolia with a Russian double entry visa) and they ask us then further if we paid in Russia the environmental tax.
We both didn't as the Russian customs never asked for it and so the confusion grew by the Kirghiz guards. The officer got into a louder discussion with his boss and then they let us go withouth paying.
As far as my Russian is not letting me down, the boss said that this is not their problem anymore since the Russians didn't charge us the tax.
We are assuming that they not familiar yet with this taxes as Kyrgystan just recently joined the Eurasian Customs Union.
If you were in Russia, do not throw away the custom documents from your car, it will save you from paying the fee!
Now to our beloved friends which are waiting for your money at the Tajikistan border.
There are several buildings whith different purposes, I will get them through step by step so you will be prepared:
That's the easiest part and it's tempting to let your anti scam guard down after that short formality.
Mind: we DID NOT get an immigration card, they stamped the visa which should have officialy the same effect as the immigration card. This was confirmed by several different police officers and the owner of the Pamir Lodge in Khorog.
We will see what will happen at the border when we leave withouth that card....
2. veterinary department - SCAM: 200 Somoni for two cars
document preview: http://matatu.ch/matatu/external/matatu ... rtment.jpg
The same ridiculous thing like in Mongolia, they do spray your tires with an expensive disinfectant liquid called water.
Team Oskar was first and was asked to pay 200 Somoni, as I turned up the price was suddenly 200 Somoni for both of us.
We were not willing to pay and I talked to him in Russian to get the reason why and a official price document. That guy, not wearing any official clothing, was from the begining very rude and offended me a couple of times, even I was very polite.
Curiosity grew when two germans with a driver/guide and his Landcruiser turned up.
We asked their guide if we really had to pay. He was called immidiatly in by name by that rude guy.
Suprisingly the guide turned up again with that document we need to pay for but there was no price written on the document and their tires were not sprayed at all.
After 45mins we gave in as he did not let us pass and threatened to turn us around to Kyrgyzstan if we do not pay!
Tires were sprayed... no receipt was given... on each document was written from hand that we paid each 200 Somoni...
3. vehicle declaration - OFFICIAL: Defender 25USD, Ford Transit 45 USD - official receipt given
document preview: http://matatu.ch/matatu/external/matatu ... import.jpg
As we knew from and everything was handled correctly we ended up paying 25USD for my defender and 45USD for the Ford Transit.
The Ford has the same length and same weight as the Defender but is a bit higher and looks like a Mashrutka, that is why team Oskar had to pay more. Trying to get the same price did not help, even showing the inside and that this is a camper not a mini bus.
4. Police (or what ever he represented) - SCAM: 28 USD each
document preview: http://matatu.ch/matatu/external/matatu ... ration.jpg
There you will get the "Control Card and Registration of automobil vehichles".
This document is in Tajik, Russian and English but the officer won't let you see it and we will fill it in for you.
He asked us how long we intend to stay in Tajikistan and explained that each day will cost us 4 USD.
But since he is such a nice guy he will not write down for how long and only will charche us for 7 days and if we get stopped and asked we should just tell them we don't know why there is no durration on the paper.
Being a proud boxer with a beautiful nose and knowing some english he was such a smart ass (sorry for my language) that he did not really realise (seriously?) that we were able to read the document and that there is not a mention about any duration or fee...
We hat do pay as he, as well, threatened to turn us arround...
After we were done there, he was such a good friend that he really thought we will give him a lift to Murgab....
5. quarantine - SCAM: 30 Somoni each - fake receipt given
document preview: http://matatu.ch/matatu/external/matatu ... antine.jpg
We thought we were through as another guy turned up from a little house outside(?) the border post.
He said we need that document otherwise we won't be able to leave Tajikistan... he asked for 50 Somoni.
That was the point when I got my temper out and the more agrassive Russian words, we were sick and tired of that border as we were there already around 3 hours.
He charged us 30 Somoni each at the moment and we left.
Please mind, that each person of the border staff who had a look inside our cars tried to get his personal souvenir.
Do not anything laying arround visibly like money, alcohol, sunglasses or anything else they might fancy... what ever that might be....
It was the worst border crossing ever, by far worse than the Armenian one which I thought was not to top.
We did not know if they really can turn us arround, no cellphone reception and talking through possibility, we were easy prey.
Anyhow, we hope at least our shared experience helps some of you through less troubled.
One thought/tactic we had afterwards: Asking for the officers number and name, maybe taking pictures of him, might force them to be correct?