Friday, April 15, 2022

In which I am detained by the police at the airport in Rome

I confess! I did steal this photo from the internet.
But that's the only thing I'm guilty of!
Welcome back to Italy, and by the way, you’re under arrest! Not really, but that’s what ran through my mind when I was pulled aside by the police in Roma after I scanned in my passport at the airport customs checkpoint. When Lucy scanned her passport in the modern automatic entry point, the bar lifted immediately and allowed her to pass, but despite my trying and retrying, the gate would not open. Soon a poliziotto came and called me into a back room, saying I would have to wait while they checked something, leaving Lucy standing bewildered in the corridor and both of us speculating wildly about what was going on. She was not allowed to follow me, and she had no idea what she was going to do if I did not return.

My first thought is that the person who periodically and fraudulently uses my name and codice fiscale has done something wrong again. In the past, this person—or possible persons—has used my name to take out a phone contract and buy and sell a car without paying government taxes. And then there was the unpaid € 3.199,18 bill he ran up with the energy company Simecom for a house in Cremona.

I was able to convince Simecom to drop the case against me and unfreeze my bank account, but the unpaid taxes for the phone and car have never been completely resolved. I filed a denuncia with the carabiniere in Altopascio four years ago disclaiming responsibility for the phone and car transactions, but I never learned if the Agenzia delle Entrate (equivalent to the IRS) dropped its claim against me or just moves so glacially slowly that I will hear in the future that agents are still waiting for me to pay some massive fine.

While I was waiting in the police office to find out why I had been detained, these questions and many more ran through my mind. I started rehearsing what to say, in Italian, if the police tried to arrest me. After about 10 minutes, two officers came out and explained that I had been called aside because there was some paperwork waiting for me at the office of the carabiniere in Altopascio. I had a choice. I could wait for the document to be sent to the airport police office, or I could stop by the carabiniere office in Altopascio to pick it up. Of course, I chose the latter, thanking the officers for their courtesy. They stamped my passport and sent me on my way.

We retrieved our luggage, picked up our rental car and drove to Montecarlo, arriving around 9 p.m. last night. Our home looks in great shape. Our neighbor Juri has fixed our doorbell, which failed last fall. Even our bathroom lacks its usual foul water odor, the first time that’s ever been the case after a period of disuse.

So next week, I will find out what the next hurdle in my adventure in identity theft will be. There is a slight possibility that I will receive good news. In my fantasies, the carabiniere commandante will tell me that the fake Paul Robert Spadoni has been arrested and confessed to his ongoing crimes. Unfortunately, we live in reality, so I think it’s much more likely that I’ll soon be gathering more evidence and writing more letters. Stay tuned for our next exciting adventure.


For more on my previous misadventures with the tax agency, you can read here:

Another attempt to scam people using my good name

A high stakes challenge; I must fight the Italian IRS

Another scam attempt, this time unsuccessful


1 comment:

  1. Glad eventually after those challenges you are arrived at home safe.


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