Our venues


Posts tagged with 'seized - the border and customs uncovered'

New immigration display for Seized!

1 October 2015 by Andrew

Visitors meet a Border Force Officer at passport control

Visitors meet a Border Force Officer at passenger control

Seized! The Border and Customs Uncovered is the UK Border Force national museum. Located in Merseyside Maritime Museum’s basement, this week we unveil a new display looking at the work of Border Force Officers who work on passenger control. Read more…

Fake the facts!

3 August 2015 by Andrew

Counterfeit objects seized by UK Border Force on display at Seized!

Counterfeit objects seized by UK Border Force on display at Seized!

This Friday 7 August, the Seized! education team host an informal free talk about fakes and counterfeit goods. Using the objects we have on display, learn about where they come from, who produces them and the dangers associated with buying them. Curator Katherine Lloyd writes this special blog on the subject:  Read more…

Border Force family fun days

25 May 2015 by Alison

Sniffer dog at work

Seized! is a permanent gallery situated in the Merseyside Maritime Museum at the Albert Dock Liverpool. The gallery explores the mysterious world of smuggling and the way in which the Border Force protects society against harms caused by this illegal activity. Read more…

Ele Friends

5 September 2013 by Alayna

Two visitors with their Ele Friends finger puppets

Two visitors with their Ele Friends finger puppets

Jane Donnelley, Border Force Officer talks about a new Education event at Seized! The Border and Customs Uncovered:”

Throughout the summer holidays the Seized! team deliver its public events programme, which includes a variety of craft sessions for the children and families. These sessions are free and offer the opportunity to come and be creative. Our most recent addition to these sessions is Ele Friends, where visitors can make their own elephant friend in the form of a felt finger puppet with lovely coloured tusks. Read more…

Snoop dog

16 August 2013 by Alayna

Two young visitors sitting with a sniffer dog

This week’s star sniffer dog Rodney, with visitors Faye and Alice

Jane Donnelly, Border Force Immigration Officer is on secondment to Seized! The Border and Customs Uncovered. Jane talks about her most recent experience.

“I am a Border Force Officer trained in ‘Legacy Immigration and Customs’ work. I am usually based at Manchester Airport and since the beginning of May 2013 have started a secondment at National Museums Liverpool with the team at Seized! I have been assisting the Curators with ideas for the gallery and shadowing the Education staff, learning how to facilitate sessions for visitors to the museum. Read more…

Wildlife under threat

2 April 2013 by Alayna

Seized! CITES display of endangered species

New display of endangered species


2013 marks 40 years of CITES the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. To commemorate this significant year, the Seized! gallery is showing a new, hard-hitting display of wildlife seizures.

On display are primate skulls and dried bats from the home of a retired couple in West Yorkshire. Hundreds of animal parts were discovered at their home, illegally imported from Indonesia and Africa. The couple were selling the specimens for a profit on eBay. Shocking imagery in the gallery shows their home filled with boxes of seized skulls. Read more…

Drugs Rush at Seized!

11 February 2013 by Sam

school pupils watching performance of play

A scene from the play

Here’s an update from Joyce Parr and Sarah Han, education managers at Seized! The Border and Customs uncovered, about this year’s Rush programme:

“It has been lovely to welcome schools again to our drugs awareness event, Rush which takes place each January at Seized! UK Border Force National Museum, based in the Merseyside Maritime Museum. After it finished were exhausted, but we have had a brilliant time, like the kids!

Despite the snow, we welcomed more than 700 young people. The award winning Rush programme (Kids Count Award in 2010) was developed because of concerns about the impact of drugs misuse on young people. We are lucky to work with the UK Border Force who give the museum lots of helpful back up. Read more…


5 November 2012 by Alayna

Twin masted sailing ship in bay

On a recent trip to Falmouth we visited the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, interviewed Cornwall’s last remaining Customs Officer and chatted to the creator of a newly built 18th-century style lugger!

On our last day we got up early and travelled along the sunny south-east coast of Cornwall to Millbrook boatyard in Plymouth. Here we met professional sailors Marcus Rowden and Freya Hart, with their little toddler Malachi – the inspirational team behind the Grayhound.

The original Greyhound was an 18th-century Customs cutter commissioned by John Knill, collector of Customs and mayor of St Ives. Having discovered the plans for the original vessel, Marcus and Freya decided to build their own version from scratch. This would not only be an important part of Cornish maritime history, but ultimately their future place of work and family home. Read more…

Seized drug suit on display

30 October 2012 by Alayna

two curators holding up a body wrap and trousers with pockets for hiding drugs

Holding up the bodysuit with curator Steve Butler before it went on display

Last week we displayed a bodysuit used in a plot to smuggle £5m worth of cocaine into Europe. This fascinating new object was acquired by the museum from the UK Border Force after it was seized on board the ‘MSC Orchestra’ cruise liner in 2010.

A gang of eight Bulgarian and Lithuanian drug smugglers joined the cruise in Brazil destined for Amsterdam. When the ship berthed at Dover on 6th May 2010, UK Border Force officers with a sniffer dog entered the ship to search their cabins. Stashed inside suitcases were eight cocaine filled bodysuits intended to be worn under clothing. In total, officers recovered 35 kilos of cocaine valued at nearly £5m. The eight smugglers were sentenced to a total of 87 years imprisonment. Read more…

Our helping hand at Seized!

6 July 2012 by Lucy Johnson

Schoool children touching a stool made from an elephant's foot

Ben Forshaw tells us more about what he’s been up to during his work placement:

On my fourth day at NML, along with Jacob from the same school as myself, we learnt about illegal importing at the Seized! gallery. We also helped set up a presentation about the smuggling of endangered animals for school children.

Before the school arrived, Sarah Han from the education team gave us a tour of the gallery. I was very surprised to learn that people managed to import substances such as cannabis, by swallowing bags of the drug and excreting them, and that unlikely objects such as garden gnomes and cricket bats have been used to bring prohibited materials into the country. We learnt about the smuggling of items by fake brands eg, Polystation rather than Playstation. Despite it being evident that a Polystation is fake (some items appeared more genuine than others), people still bought them, not knowing the danger they posed. I was horrified to learn that a young child bought a fake Nintendo DS and, as a consequence of how it was made, died through being electrocuted. And while items like fake football kits cannot cause harm, the clear lack of authenticity in most cases suggest that child labour was used to create the clothing. This is why the Customs Officers are so important, as they, for our benefit, try to ensure that the importing of prohibited goods is prevented. Read more…

About our blog

Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.




We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.