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Thailand forum

Claims of Police 'corruption' in Phuket

Posted by brucemoon on 20/5/2009 at 12:15

Some may be aware of the plight of an Australian being held in a Phuket jail following what has been described as a 'prank' gone wrong:

Following this, more stories have emerged of foreigners (apparently) on the wrong end of the Thai legal 'process'. For example:

An issue here for all visitors to SE Asia is that the 'traditional' means by which gov't employees gain 'pocket money' is being restricted due to the 'Great Recession'.

This suggests a 'message': be careful in what you do and how you go about it.


#1 brucemoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by Joshq on 20/5/2009 at 12:47

I totally agree Brucemoon. When travelling in any country, respect has to be shown for their people and the legal system to which the country has.

Unfortunately, as extreme as this case is, a petty crime was committed.

On this subject - I think everyone should boycott the bar involved. The Aussie Bar in Phuket. The owner seems like a douche. It's a bar mat for gods sake. I certainly won't be gracing the Aussie Bar with my presence.

#2 Joshq has been a member since 29/1/2009. Posts: 16

Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 20/5/2009 at 19:25

Corruption in Thailand, are you mad?

But seriously, the lesson here it seems is 'DONT STEAL A BAR MATT'.

Put it in the bag for a joke? lol.

#3 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464

Posted by CunningMcFar on 20/5/2009 at 23:59

according to the article linked above, bar owner Steve Wood did not press charges for the theft/prank/whatever; I don't think this was ultimately about the attempted theft of the silly barmat, seems like a case of face-saving for the boys in brown when she did a runner on them and/or allegedly "abused" said coppers. And while she may have been innocent of the theft, I'm not sure she's really acknowledged that just maybe she might have been a drunken fool while dealing with the police, and this is what really landed her in the hot water. Thankfully, she's free now to go home to her kids, with an expedited trial, a guilty plea to the theft and a fine of 1000THB:

#4 CunningMcFar has been a member since 20/8/2004. Posts: 163
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Posted by somtam2000 on 21/5/2009 at 07:42 admin

As CunningMcFar says the drunken-beer-mat-nicker has gone home.

As others have mentioned, get out of control, do something stupid and abuse the Thai police is not particularly intelligent behaviour.

#5 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by Thaiman on 21/5/2009 at 15:55

Unfortunately too many tourists go to places such as Phuket,Pattaya etc and forget they are in a Foreign Country. Think they can get away with anything even if it was a silly prank.Perhaps Mr Wood is just sick of having bar mats stolen.

#6 Thaiman has been a member since 12/11/2008. Posts: 201

Posted by mic59 on 21/5/2009 at 19:36

This just raises the topic again of some overseas tourists feeling that as they are on holiday in a south-east asian country they can do what they want. They should ask themselves how would they feel if Thais came on holiday here and abused our police and walked into our art galleries, churches and museums in swimming gear? And it must be remembered that most of these people are highly religious so what we see as acceptable they may object to. Thais being naturally friendly people will not raise objections but they should always be treated with respect.

#7 mic59 has been a member since 30/7/2008. Posts: 107

Posted by Thaiman on 22/5/2009 at 04:03

You've got it spot on Mic

#8 Thaiman has been a member since 12/11/2008. Posts: 201

Posted by khunwilko on 23/5/2009 at 10:35

Mic - I’m sorry but I have to disagree completely with this post.

In ALL countries holidaymakers are out to have a good time – and they can go a little over the top – we don’t know HOW over the top this woman was at first.

Abusing police?? – The Thai police are not what we in the west think of as police men – they are more businessmen – they not only police but they often stand in judgement and above all are CORRUPT beyond belief.
This woman probably treated them in EXACTLY the same way she would have treated the police at home if confronted with a RIDICULOUS charge.

However the Thai police are a law unto themselves and furthermore will do anything to save face – so rather than treat the whole incident as Aussie European or US police might have done in a holiday resort town, they decided to get awkward – and probably thought they’d get a bit of cash into the bargain.

In the end it took a senior police officer to calm things down – I think it is highlylikely that as a result, some officers will find themselves transferred to some far kess lucrative postings.

As for “religious” – give it a rest!!!!

#9 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by Thaiman on 23/5/2009 at 12:40

I agree that it was a ridiculous charge but it was,none the less,theft.When I first started going to Thailand all I was there for was drinking and a good time but I don't ever remember stealing anything or abusing anyone.As i said before perhaps Mr Wood is just sick to death of seeing his profits disappear due to people taking what is not theirs to take.He may have demanded that the police take action.[even if they are corrupt]

#10 Thaiman has been a member since 12/11/2008. Posts: 201

Posted by khunwilko on 25/5/2009 at 12:59

If you own a business like a bar in a holiday resort tyou factor in certain losses - this is pure and simple a malicious action by police and even the barman - he shouldpack up and go if he's get anything to do with it.

#11 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by somtam2000 on 25/5/2009 at 14:40 admin

The Sydney Morning Herald has an interesting follow-up to this, saying, in part:

"Our embassy in Bangkok gets by far the largest volume of Australians behaving badly of anywhere in world."

Most of the really dumb things I did overseas were while living in the UK ... but it seems Thailand is top of the pops for most.

#12 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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