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  1. #1
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    Thai Police scam at laos border in Nong Khai

    Heard this week of 3 recent cases where farangs who have been picked up after they have gone through Customs by Thai police and made to pay exorbitant amounts or threatened with jail or their passports having a no further stay stamped in it.
    Obviously these "police" have a contact at the border who passes this on to the police who are reportedly up from Bangkok.
    The guys involved had one ream of cigarettes over the limit but got hit for 14000 baht and the other one 30,000baht.
    What makes it worse many farangs are being encouraged to slightly exceed the limit not knowing this may happen to them.
    Great publicity for Thailand and of course with so many farangs doing visa runs in Nong Kai they are not short of easy targets.

  2. #2
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    It also happened to a farang aquaintance of mine around 3 years ago, again at Nong Khai. I can't recall the exact amount of cash he parted with to escape the threat of arrest but know it was five figures.

    I'm not sure what i would do in the circumstances but may call their bluff by requesting a lawyer to see what type of response is received.

    Persona non grata for 'smuggling' 1 carton of cigs seems a wee bit on the harsh side, especially when the duty avoided is probably next to nothing

  3. #3
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    maybe you can bargain your way out
    if not , probly better to lick your wounds.
    and post on here.

  4. #4
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    Fine always used to be 10,000baht per carton, you pay it or go to jail, not much choice in the matter really and hardly a scam.

  5. #5
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    Supposed to be opening the border down our way in a couple of years for the ASEAN block countries. No passports required for the locals etc, don't know how the falang fits in to all this.

    Assume all borders will be the same so this rort should be on it last legs.

  6. #6
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    What rort? Everyone on the planet knows the duty free allowance. Break it and suffer the consequences.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat Hampsha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99 View Post
    What rort? Everyone on the planet knows the duty free allowance. Break it and suffer the consequences.
    DO you really think police are charging Thais 10,000 baht when they catch them with an extra carton of cigarettes? No doubt the violators are guilty but you have to wonder what happens when someone is caught.

    You could run a test just for the papers with two people going through, one a foreigner and one a Thai. Beforehand you know both are carrying exactly the same goods in their bags. Great news story for some investigative reporting but in Thailand there is no investigative reporting and no truth. The majority of police are just horrible criminals.


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hampsha View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99 View Post
    What rort? Everyone on the planet knows the duty free allowance. Break it and suffer the consequences.
    DO you really think police are charging Thais 10,000 baht when they catch them with an extra carton of cigarettes? No doubt the violators are guilty but you have to wonder what happens when someone is caught.

    You could run a test just for the papers with two people going through, one a foreigner and one a Thai. Beforehand you know both are carrying exactly the same goods in their bags. Great news story for some investigative reporting but in Thailand there is no investigative reporting and no truth. The majority of police are just horrible criminals.
    Sorry, but two wrongs don't make a right. A Thai policeman might think the Thai is just a poor guy trying to save a buck or two and would be unable to pay the fine. Locking him up might cause his wife and children to go hungry.

    Locking up a "falong" who can probably afford the fine without missing any meals, would just mean a bar girl or two wouldn't have to suffer the attentions of the whoremongering "falong".

    Although this was posted (partly) in jest, I can almost see how some Thai cops might view it this way.

    RickThai

  9. #9
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    Necron you miss the point,they are actually encouraging many farangs in supposed Duty Free to take above the limit in place. We are talking about a ream of cigarettes or even an extra bottle of alcohol.
    The police get information from inside and then apprehend those coming through with threats of jail or visa restrictions.
    Agree we all know the limits and should not be surprised if we get caught and have to even pay twice the duty required.
    However this is a set up aimed at farangs on visa runs who they know will not know how to handle the threats and therefore pay out to these vultures.
    Hopefully if nothing else the post may discourage any farang from taking a chance to bring in even a small amount over the limit.
    As per Mr Lick I would call the bluff and see what happened. Then again after hearing this best to just stick exactly to the allowance and disregard any advice to overstep the mark.
    If one brings in slightly over the allowance in Bangkok are they hitting them for these amounts?? I don't think so!

  10. #10
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    Ha ha. I have no sympathy at all for stinking smokers.

    The scam that irritated me years ago was that they wanted to be paid in US dollars for the Lao visa at the bridge. They then said they have a friend who will change money. I am Australian, and my government paid for that bridge ! We were standing on it, and they were trying to scam me.
    .
    .
    .

  11. #11
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    My "Tour Guide" always brings in any Extras for me.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat Hampsha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickThai View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Hampsha View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99 View Post
    What rort? Everyone on the planet knows the duty free allowance. Break it and suffer the consequences.
    DO you really think police are charging Thais 10,000 baht when they catch them with an extra carton of cigarettes? No doubt the violators are guilty but you have to wonder what happens when someone is caught.

    You could run a test just for the papers with two people going through, one a foreigner and one a Thai. Beforehand you know both are carrying exactly the same goods in their bags. Great news story for some investigative reporting but in Thailand there is no investigative reporting and no truth. The majority of police are just horrible criminals.
    Sorry, but two wrongs don't make a right. A Thai policeman might think the Thai is just a poor guy trying to save a buck or two and would be unable to pay the fine. Locking him up might cause his wife and children to go hungry.

    Locking up a "falong" who can probably afford the fine without missing any meals, would just mean a bar girl or two wouldn't have to suffer the attentions of the whoremongering "falong".

    Although this was posted (partly) in jest, I can almost see how some Thai cops might view it this way.

    RickThai
    Nice idea but the poor Thais don't often go to Laos. Many are going to gamble too , maybe the Thai police should do the right thing and stop them. The police can easily look at another Thai and tell if that person is loaded. They are afraid of the wealthy Thais because they know the law and their higher ups often will not be on their side should they pull a shake down on them.

    I worry like hell when I pass through borders just because I don't know what is legal or not. I hate smoking too. But it seems like the police are just ripping off farangs as usual. Why give them any credit. They have absolutely no history of doing the right thing.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Tigger View Post
    Necron you miss the point,they are actually encouraging many farangs in supposed Duty Free to take above the limit in place. We are talking about a ream of cigarettes or even an extra bottle of alcohol.
    The police get information from inside and then apprehend those coming through with threats of jail or visa restrictions.
    Agree we all know the limits and should not be surprised if we get caught and have to even pay twice the duty required.
    However this is a set up aimed at farangs on visa runs who they know will not know how to handle the threats and therefore pay out to these vultures.
    Hopefully if nothing else the post may discourage any farang from taking a chance to bring in even a small amount over the limit.
    As per Mr Lick I would call the bluff and see what happened. Then again after hearing this best to just stick exactly to the allowance and disregard any advice to overstep the mark.
    If one brings in slightly over the allowance in Bangkok are they hitting them for these amounts?? I don't think so!

    Not missing the point at all.
    "These people want me to buy more stuff. I know it's going to be against the law to carry it and there may be consequences 'cause this is a thrid world country an all, but what the heck, they seem honest. And I might save like, 10 bucks on duty."

    Duh....

  14. #14
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    Every time some over eager tax collector starts sniffing my bag at suvarnaphum asking about how many cigarettes i've bought with me I always explain that in my country a pack of smokes is 400bt. Seeing as i'm coming to a city where they sell packs for 40bt why in the world of fuckery would i have bought some with me?

    It's like smuggling cocaine into Bolivia.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat Hampsha's Avatar
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    How much are they in the Dubai airport on the way?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Lick View Post
    It also happened to a farang aquaintance of mine around 3 years ago, again at Nong Khai. I can't recall the exact amount of cash he parted with to escape the threat of arrest but know it was five figures.

    I'm not sure what i would do in the circumstances but may call their bluff by requesting a lawyer to see what type of response is received.

    Persona non grata for 'smuggling' 1 carton of cigs seems a wee bit on the harsh side, especially when the duty avoided is probably next to nothing
    I have found, generally speaking, if you know all is bollox and stand your ground, challenging their bluffs....they'll back down- especially with Farang that appear to be confident.

    This will apply to almost all this bullshit, not just immigration related scams.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Shagnastier View Post
    Every time some over eager tax collector starts sniffing my bag at suvarnaphum asking about how many cigarettes i've bought with me I always explain that in my country a pack of smokes is 400bt. Seeing as i'm coming to a city where they sell packs for 40bt why in the world of fuckery would i have bought some with me?

    It's like smuggling cocaine into Bolivia.
    Or visiting Thailand with your girlfriend ...

  18. #18
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    ^ Indeed. Like taking a packed lunch to a fine restaurant.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    Fine always used to be 10,000baht per carton, you pay it or go to jail, not much choice in the matter really and hardly a scam.
    Call it corruption and maybe it is, but I much prefer the Thai system of being able to buy your way out of almost any problem. The Homeland Security people at home could and probably would be just as petty but without the get out jail for a fee option.

    No, so long as the violation is real, this is not a scam, although encouraging a violation is pushing it.

    I'm going through a hassle trying to get my US Driver's License renewed and I would certainly love the chance to pay a "fee" and receive special service. The alternative will be landing at LAX and not being able to rent a car. Bureaucratic corruption which causes gross inconvenience to people while accomplishing nothing is just as bad.
    Last edited by BobR; 09-04-2012 at 11:38 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Shagnastier
    Indeed. Like taking a packed lunch to a fine restaurant.
    I'd say you're being too kind; taking a hamburger to MacD seems more appropriate...

  21. #21
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    The moral of the story is to not bring anything across that may attract attention or have limits. I learned this after years of travelling across the American/Mexico border.

    Also, I do not smoke, so no problem there.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickThai View Post
    .... A Thai policeman might think the Thai is just a poor guy trying to save a buck or two and would be unable to pay the fine. Locking him up might cause his wife and children to go hungry.

    Locking up a "falong" who can probably afford the fine without missing any meals, would just mean a bar girl or two wouldn't have to suffer the attentions of the whoremongering "falong".... RickThai

    So is what your saying that the poor local should get less of a penalty or fine just because he is poor? If so, that's Bravo Sierra thinking and acts as a catalyst for the poor to go out and commit crimes or violate the law again. Laws and rules are established for all and the penalty should be similarly imposed.
    "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff....and it is all small stuff"

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    Fine always used to be 10,000baht per carton, you pay it or go to jail, not much choice in the matter really and hardly a scam.
    Call it corruption and maybe it is, but I much prefer the Thai system of being able to buy your way out of almost any problem. The Homeland Security people at home could and probably would be just as petty but without the get out jail for a fee option.

    No, so long as the violation is real, this is not a scam, although encouraging a violation is pushing it.

    I'm going through a hassle trying to get my US Driver's License renewed and I would certainly love the chance to pay a "fee" and receive special service. The alternative will be landing at LAX and not being able to rent a car. Bureaucratic corruption which causes gross inconvenience to people while accomplishing nothing is just as bad.

    If you have a Thai driver's license why not get an international driver's license at the Thai drivers license issuing office for use in the USA?

  24. #24
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    Obviously these "police" h
    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Tigger View Post
    Heard this week of 3 recent cases where farangs who have been picked up after they have gone through Customs by Thai police
    I don't know about Customs, which I suspect to be under the Crown but Immigration for sure IS the police so they could all be one and the same. Just with different pockets.

    How can it be a scam if the perpetrator is doing something illegal?

    Answer is simply don't smuggle.

    Of course there may be another answer simply that the police are checking up on the Customs Dept. A similar thing happens in Indonesia. One gets stopped at a police road block then just around the corner is an Army checkpoint. When asked why they said they were checking the police.
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal
    How can it be a scam if the perpetrator is doing something illegal?
    scam is probably the wrong word. it does sound like entrapment though, assuming the duty-free workers have been briefed to encourage farrangs to take more. this might not look so good in court, even in Thailand, so it's probably worth calling their bluff.

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