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Another scam by Bangkok's finest

Posted by neosho on 16/7/2010 at 09:21

While I can applaud the efforts of Bangkok to cut down on litter, the police have as usual found out how to exploit it. If you smoke, don't throw the butt on the ground. That is a 2,000 baht fine for the first offense. With all smiles, they will gladly show you the ordinance in english. No paper work gets filled out though. They even hailed a cab for me. They have been targeting the main bar areas where tourists hang out. Happened to me recently and before everyone jumps on the bandwagon,yes, I was technically guilty of littering.

#1 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386

Posted by sayadian on 16/7/2010 at 16:14

I don't know what the difference between technically guilty and guilty are. You admit you did it.Basically you are complaining because you feel the law is only used against farang.(well, that's the impression I get)
Believe me the police are only too delighted to take money off their own people too.Normally for small infringements-like not having a valid driving licence ;),no helmet etc.
If you had been caught in a European country you would have got the same treatment except you would have got a receipt and the money would not have gone into the cops pocket.
The system CAN work in your favour.If you get into trouble you can sometimes buy your way out rather than face a criminal record and jail time. Like it or not this is The way it is in Asia and Africa.

#2 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
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Posted by exacto on 16/7/2010 at 22:57


bummer dude. but thanks for the heads up too. this kind of stuff pops up now and again, and like you noticed, has nothing to do with improving traffic or reducing litter. on the bright side, at least the officers were all smiles and courteous enough to hail a cab for you!

again, appreciate you letting us know and hopefully a few folks will avoid this unhappiness as a result. cheers.

#3 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,759
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Posted by MADMAC on 17/7/2010 at 13:07

I with Sayadian here. If you know the rules of the game... and don't play by them, you can't really complain. Although I will say that out here in the sticks the police have been more than fair with me.

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Posted by titanio82 on 17/7/2010 at 18:16

See the difference between technical guilty as I was recently too, and guilty as the difference between dropping a butt into a drain instead of dropping it on the street, as all motobike taxi's do! Corner of Asoke and odd side of Sukhumvit Rd there is a police boot where they are catching farangs only and do not bother about the motobike taxis littering on the same spot. TIT!

#5 titanio82 has been a member since 17/7/2010. Posts: 1

Posted by MADMAC on 17/7/2010 at 21:39

The solution to that problem is to just stop doing it - then you won't get fined. I have lived in Thailand three years and NEVER been fined for anything. Ever.

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Posted by Risha on 18/7/2010 at 18:58

You are obviously new to Bangkok, the metropolitan police have been prosecuting litter offenders on the spot for at least a decade now.

It is not a scam at all. It is law enforcement.

#7 Risha has been a member since 23/2/2010. Posts: 20

Posted by neosho on 19/7/2010 at 19:08

exacto...Thanks for seeing the post for what it was. A "heads up" for others. Nothing more.
MadMac...Like you I have never had a problem with the police anytime before. When I have talked to them, they were always nice and courteous.
Risha...Not new to Bangkok. Been there enough to know it's not my cup of tea. I only use it to fly into and out of Thailand.
sayadian...I am all to aware they are equal opportunity.
I am now back in my village in Issan. It's a toxic waste dump. Rather than preach, I try to set the example. I pick up the trash that swirls around and lands in my yard. I gather up a bunch of kids and clean the main intersection with an ice cream treat for helping, while explaining that if a buffalo eats a plastic bag (they will), it will die. I've finally managed to get about 90% of the people that come to our store to use the trash barrel out side about 80% of the time. Slow but still steady progress. So if you want to judge me for throwing a cigarette butt on the street. So be it.

#8 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386

Posted by shaydan_01 on 26/7/2010 at 13:47

Posted from within Vietnam.

It's sad that it does take something like this to stop people from littering...

#9 shaydan_01 has been a member since 16/11/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 80
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Posted by sayadian on 26/7/2010 at 14:58

Certainly not judging you Neosho and appreciate the heads up.I was just surprised that you call this a scam! Enforcing the law then pocketing the money without a receipt is par for the course in this part of the world but it wouldn't make much difference to you anyway.The people who are being scammed are the local populace who get no benefit from the revenue generated from fines.
It's great to hear that someone is educating people about litter too.Though Thailand is no way as bad as Cambodia when it comes to toxic trash.

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