About . . . . Classes . . . . Books . . . . Vita . . . . Blog. . . . Podcast

by Peter Moskos

January 21, 2011

Bangkok Police Rackets

If you open a bar or restaurant in Bangkok, you can expect for the local police commander asking for $500/month.

"Why?" a business owner asked.

"In case you do something illegal."

"What if I'm not doing anything illegal?"

"Better to pay."

"I'm not paying."

We'll see how this plays itself out.

Should you want to stay open late, the first hour would cost $500/month. Each additional hour costs $300. One time party? Just hire two cops for $50 to sit outside your place. They'll proceed to get drunk in uniform. But you won't get shut down.

Sounds corrupt. And it is. But then in New York City restaurants and bars pay a lot more to the city in the form of licenses and inspections, which is just a form of legal shakedown.

Keep in mind this is a city with some very rich people, but a cleaning woman earns about $200 a month. A police office, officially (before the bribes begin), makes maybe twice that.

Should you be a foreigner caught with drugs, the police will happily take you to an ATM to make a cash withdrawal.


Anonymous said...

Like the police thievery in MI at medical marijuana dispensaries... emptying patron wallets too!

thailand holidays said...

This is condemnable. I have seen reports where cops harass tourists via extortion.