Get Those Handcuffs Away From Me
WRONGFUL ARREST? – Try this one for size lads: Back in the mid 1970’s six Irish men were wrongfully convicted of two pub bombings in Birmingham U.K. in which 21 people died. Sentenced to life, it was not until many years later they were
released following the re-examination of forensic evidence. Millions of U.K. citizens would have had those guys strung up at the time. At least one good reason for the abolishment of the U.K. death penalty in the 1950’s.
SCENARIO ONE: — I assume you have Thai friends outside the nightlife industry. Loyal trustworthy friends you have known for years right? Well one day a Thai friend calls up and invites you to a nice weekend away at the national park. You have accompanied
these friends many times before, but this time the vehicle is different and an extra friend of a friend is doing the driving. No big deal he seems o.k. At one of Thailand’s many police roadblocks your vehicle is routinely stopped and the
car boot searched> [read *trunk for our U.S. readers]. There is a bag of illegal narcotics sitting next to your bag. Do you think the driver is going to admit to this? No f…..g way! – That bag belongs to the farang! Not that it
matters. ALL the passengers are hauled into the monkey house and all are presumed guilty until proved innocent which is going to take time. A lot of time. In Asia it is called guilt by association and is not exclusive to Thailand. Furthermore,
don’t you dare have the audacity to claim innocence because that will be seen as an act of defiance. Those prison guards don't take kindly to acts of defiance by foreigners under their command. Now you better have lots of money and
some influential friends because your world has just come crashing down.
SCENARIO TWO: – O.K. so you don’t have any regular Thai friends, but you rent an apartment. The apartment owner always gives you a smile, but what you don’t know is he hates farangs. His wife has run off with a farang and he is bearing a
grudge. A big grudge in fact. He also knows that his farang tenant has emergency funds stashed away in the Bangkok bank. So he colludes with his gangster maintenance friend and it’s time to service your air conditioner unit. A phone call
to his local cop friend and a raid on the room will disclose a quantity of drugs lodged inside the unit. We are now talking massive 6-figure bribes to dig your way out. Either it’s big payout time or it’s off to the slammer.
SCENARIO THREE: – So you don’t rent an apartment, you only holiday in Thailand and stay in hotels. Nice clean reasonable hotels with good security. Still, you enjoy the night scene don’t you? Which male tourist doesn't enjoy a trip
to the bars? That special dancing girl is melting your heart, yet how come miss Buri Ram was so sweet and loving in the bar but so lousy in the sack? Still worse, next morning her smile has turned to a scowl and she is demanding triple the amount
of baht you were prepared to pay her. You have used up all your diplomatic skills and a row is brewing. She is angry, venomous and turning psycho on you. In a fit of rage she begins to trash your hotel room. Hearing all the commotion the manager
makes the dreaded phone call and the boys in brown are bashing on your door. Little miss trollop then panics and in all the noise and confusion she stashes her weekly supply of yaba tablets under the mattress …. the room is searched and
guess who is culpable? … Mr. farang, – those leg irons are lying in wait.
SCENARIO FOUR: – So many past visits to Land of Smiles you decide its time to broaden your horizons. You can't abandon Thailand, but decide to combine your next holiday split between Europe and Thailand. What better place to party in Europe then
that great bachelor playground known to all as Amsterdam. It’s your last night and you are going to push the boat out. Hit the bars. Indulge. Space cake, happy pizza and ganja. A damn good blow out combination from every party animal's
instruction manual. Nothing illegal there in the Netherlands, but you have got a flight out to Bangkok so you must now hurry to the airport. Eleven hours later you arrive back in the City of Angels and you really should get some sleep, but hell
no, this is Thailand and the bars are still open. Just your luck to pick a bar that is raided and everyone is piss tested for drug use. No need for the jury to retire when they get your results is there? You are well and truly up shit creek.
SCENARIO FIVE: – Your worst nightmare. Day of judgment. Your case is summed up and reads: "And in conclusion …. the evidence is incontrovertible – arrested on a drugs charge therefore he must be guilty. Why on earth would the police
arrest somebody if they were not guilty? – just think yourself lucky that in the case of a farang we always commute the death penalty to 50 years".
CONCLUSION: Are we to believe that out of the thousands of inmates that are incarcerated in Thai jails (or any other jail for that matter) – that ALL are 100% guilty? 100% means no grey areas. For that to happen, the judicial system would have to be 100%
perfect and for that to happen we need to remove all human element in the decision making process. Impossible. No policeman or judge or jury is infallible. Mistakes occur in court rooms all over the world every day. In the U.K., convictions must
conform to the "Beyond Reasonable Doubt" ruling – a vague statement if ever I heard one. I'm not saying Thailand is any harsher or fairer than anywhere else. What I am saying is that when people travel around in the tropics
they get dog tired and they get careless and they make mistakes. Over the years I've made dozens of mistakes and been lucky so far. There is a degree of risk to travelling in Asia and everyone must take their chances. Yet so many people are
quick to pass judgement when things go wrong.
Has my argument still not convinced you? Try asking those six Irish men who were eventually released and are still around to tell the tale.
Mind how you go lads.
One does have to be careful to avoid trouble in Thailand because you can get into hot water from seemingly nowhere and things can quickly spiral out of control.