Readers' Submissions

PHIT 14 – Corruption Is Good For you

  • Written by Anonymous
  • September 27th, 2008
  • 9 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok


Sometimes in between all them good girls Aha is enjoying he likes to take a break and read some of the other readers in these Ahallowed pages, yes he does. Let me tell you this submission by Rik The Boys / Thieves In Brown now that one really hit the spot Stickies. Me I think this Rik is another one of them naïve Aussies. They is so used to ‘honest’ cops down there that they just cannot understand how the Thai cop system works.

Let me tell you Stickies that the Thai cops actually do a very good job. You might not think so at first because you see the money grubbers they out there on the street stopping the little poor peoples to take their money in fake ‘fines’. Yeah, that’s true. They do do that. Rik asked why so I can tells you.

How much do you think a cop gets paid every month? It sure ain’t much, no siree. He’s lucky if he gets the bare minimum to keep belly button away from backbone if he’s a low-down cop. That’s only the beginning though. The Thai cop system is designed to encourage corruption. It starts at the top and it dribbles down like an after-binge crap down a slick sloping wall in a rainstorm. The money has to be paid upwards from the lowest ranks to the very top just like the American or Sicilian mafia works. The ‘soldiers’ they have to go out and get money wherever they cans. So every 15 and end of the month squads of them swarm out onto the streets and they stop the motorcyclists because they be the most vulnerable. You get 20 or 30 cops out on the street, every one of them extorting 100 Baht over a six hour period and how much money you going to be end up with eh? Let us be saying, for example that one cop pulls over 30 motorbikes an hour at a very conservative guess. That’s 3,000 Baht x 20 = 60,000 Baht x 6 hours = 360,000 Baht. Not bad for a few hours work eh? That is over 700,000 Baht every month going into the cop coffers. That is not counting all the other ‘fines’ levied on ordinary days. You can bet each cop shop is raking in at least 1 million Baht every month just from motorist fines.

So what happens when that money all gets back to the station house? For sure they grunts do not get to keep all the loot they collected. No siree. It goes into the big boss’ room and they stack it up on his desk. Then they start dividing up the loot. The lowest grade cops they get their cut, Then the corporals get a bit more, and the sergeants they get a little bigger cut and so on up to the station chief.

Now if you thinking each cop has a decent amount of money augmenting his very meager salary you be wrong! From that money they have to pay for they uniforms, a gun, billy club, motorbike, and if they wants to gets promoted they have to pay they bosses all the way up the line to the station or even district chief. The more they pays the faster they gets promoted and so they gets a bigger share in the loot. And so it goes.

How does this mean that the Thai cops do a good job then? A very good question and of course Aha he has the answer right here for you.

In the west these days the cops they is driving around in cars or they is relying on CC cameras to help they catch crooks. You notice that they are not too good at it eh? The crime rate keeps on rising. This is because they has lost touch with the very people they supposed to be policing. Now do not you be making the mistake that the cops are there to protect you from crime. No siree. That is not true at all. They will not act preemptively to prevent crime. They have to wait until someone commits a crime and then they try to catch the crooks. They success rate is not so very good eh? Let me tell you a little secret. Western cops are even more corrupt than Thai cops. They just hide it so well most peoples are not even aware what goes on. You think about this. Let’s say they catch a bank robber what got one million dollars from the heist. Read the papers after the arrest and they paper will say that the robber only got away with half a million, or some other low amount (not always and not everywhere). The rest of that money is shared to the cops themselves. That is just one way the cops in the west is corrupt. They is plenty of other opportunities for they to be corrupt. Just look at the Aussie cops recently who was busted for being drug kingpins. Wherever they is big money they is always the temptation to be corrupt.

Now take a look at Thailand. Every community has its police station and in some cases they have a small booths distributed throughout a big district where they is always a few cops stationed. These cops they know the peoples in their area. They talk to the criminals and to the local peoples and to the local bosses and to everyones. They know whats is going on in their area and if someone does commit a crime they generally know very quickly who to go and arrest. When they do arrest a perp who committed a serious crime they lines him up with the proceeds of his crime, or the tools if it was a murder or something, and they take pictures for the newspapers. So them perps is already tried and convicted before ever they get in front of a judge. All the judge he has to do is listen to the evidence presented by the cops and then pass sentence. Bingo! Off the criminal goes to jail and that’s another bad ‘un out of the way and we honest peoples can breathe safely.

What about big criminals you ask? What about the politicians?

This is Thailand. If you have money you can get away with anything. The more money you have the bigger the crime you can get away with. Aha he has heard of guys shooting someone and paying maybe a few million Baht to the cops and paying someone else to serve the time in jail if the criminal is unlucky enough to be summoned to court.

So here is a few pointers for you to help you stay out of trouble or how to handle trouble if you do have a run in with the cops.

Rule number 1. Stay away from the cops at all times if possible. If you have a problem with someone do what the Thais do and try to negotiate your way out of trouble. Flash a bit of money and the problem will probably go away. The bigger the problem the more money you have to part with but it will not be half so much as if you calls in a cop to help you resolve the problem. Every time you call a cop it is going to cost you and the other guy more money for sure.

Rule number 2. If you do have to talk to a cop smile, smile, smile and be nice to him. Even if you be wrong smile and make nice-nice. Do not lose your tempers. No siree. Losing your temper will cost you more money. No matter what the problem do not lose your temper. This applies to every problem. Getting angry will not help you. If you do feel angry just open your wallet and look into it for a minute. Imagine ALL your money flying out of that wallet because that is what will happen if you do get angry.

Rule number 3. Get to know some influential people and get their name cards. The higher up the social scale the better. At the very least if you does not know any real influential peoples go to your local cop shop and ask to meet the boss. Maybe you can offer him a gift of whisky or something (make sure it’s top quality whisky – no cheap shit ok?) and thank him for looking after you and your neighborhood. Make sure you get his name card. Maybe you can ask him and his deputies out for a lunch or something. Anything you can do to get in good with an influential person is money well spent. None of us is immune to problems in Thailand. An angry ex-wife or ex-girlfriend can cause you problems. Or maybe you piss off your condo security guard and he does something to you. That connection with an influential person can make a problem magically disappear. Using this influence to avoid or evade problems with the cops is all part of the game. If you have the name card of a top cop to flash about no little cop is going to even question it. They will back down, give you a big wai and wave you on your way. You win the game this way. And it is a game. You just gotta learn how to play the game. Forget your Ethics or Morals. They is none in Thailand. The words does not even exist in Thai. There is only Face and keeping it intact.

So Rik me I hopes you understand a bit better now why the Thais happily pay that cop money. It helps make the problems go away, and it ensures there is a functioning and well oiled machine in place to grab the really bad guys and lock them away so that the rest of us feel safe. Everyone, Thais and tourists alike all say that Thailand is one of the safest places in the world. It’s true! You can walk down any street any time of the day or night and be almost 100% sure you will be safe…unless you be foolish enough to live in Pattaya. That place is dominated by too many foreign mafias and there is no telling what those crazy bastards will do.

Here’s one more pieces of advice too Rik. Next time you see what you think is an iniquity being foisted on a Thai by a Thai cop, stay the fxxx out of it. Sit down quiet and shut up. You don’t understand Thai culture. Judging Thailand by the standards you is used to back in your country is only going to get you into big trouble. You was smart enough to turn off your camera and back down when the cop challenged you. Remember this. The cop is THE MAN in this country when he stops you. He can do anything he likes and get away with it. If he had decided to shoot you because you were going to make him lose face you would be dead and no one would give a damn about you. You are here to enjoy life. Don’t lose it because you be too stupid to stay out of something that doesn’t concern you.

Stickman's thoughts:

Some really excellent advice here.