Thailand is graced with Land of Smile because of the smile of their beautiful fair ladies and the beautiful ladyboys ever popular at the tourist resort beach in Pattaya. However negative reports of scams and corruption among uniform personnel is nothing to be surprised about. Malaysians who use to cross the borderinto Thailand has been paying 'forced bribe' since time unknown.
Everybody who cross the border into Thailand with a valid travel document has to pay the so called petition writer stationed at booth set up just before the immigration booth. These petition writers who were not uniformed will register the travel document with a sum of fee. If you don't want to pay, he will just ignore you and you are not going to get your document stamped from the Immigration officer. Don't you think that is bribery? Just imagine how much money the officers gets daily from thousands tourist who enter Thailand at border towns. That is just bribe of the lowest form.
Mahaguru posted in his blog a case of Suvarnabhumi International Airport scam involving two British IT expert , Stephen Ingrim and Xi Lin. They were accused of shoplifting a wallet from a duty free shop. When the Thai authority approached them to check their baggage for the supposedly shoplifted wallet, their ordeal starts. Read the story HERE as reported in BBCNews.
Sometimes ago I received an email from a friend relating the same modus operandi scam also at the same airport. That scam involves Malaysian tourist to Bangkok. The incident also begins at the Duty Free shop. Read about it at If You Go To Thailand.
The two indicents might only be the tip of the iceberg. Phuket Wan has more to tell.
Just sit back and ponder. If you or any of your relatives or friend were to be the unlucky victim of the scam, how much help can you get from the Thai enforcement authorities when they themselves are part of the plot. Whichever way it goes the victim will still be the cucumber while the Thai authorities are the durian.
I have no intention whatsoever to scare tourist to Thailand or to spoil tourism to the Land of Smile but, just to share and warn about what others had been experiencing when travelling to foreign countries. It will take ages to clean up dirty tactics like corruption because it is already part of a lifestyle just like in Malaysia. However the government has to take serious action to safeguard and respect tourist since their visit helps the economy of the country.
A reader who visited my blog left a comment on my blog exposing that her husband too was a victim to such scam but happens in Medan, Indonesia.
This is what she posted in the comment; Suami saya menerima nasib yang hampir sama, tapi di Medan. Dia meringkuk di penjara selama lebih kurang 6 bln (?). Berpuluh ribu RM terpaksa dibayar kepada polis, negotiator dan juga hakim dalam usaha membebaskan beliau.
Malangnya, walaupun telah beberapa tahun berlalu, paspotnya masih ditahan oleh PDRM?