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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
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    Bribes in Thailand...... Playing by the rules.

    I recently had to get a police clearance certificate for the processing of a work visa for Brazil. For this I had to go to the Special Branch office in Bangkok and I took my missus with me for the trip so that she could assist with the officials and so she could look at shoes and bags in Paragorn after helping me.

    I filled out the form and handed all the required documents to the official helping us and asked how long it would take before it would be ready for collection. I wasn`t happy with the answer of 3 months as it would mean that I wouldn't be able to make it to Brazil in time for the work that my company required me to be there for. This is when the missus took over the negotiations handing the guy an envelope with 1000 baht inside and asking again how long would it take to process.... The new answer was 1 week if we put another 500 baht inside the envelope. Fine... Did that and had the certificate 1 week later.

    Obviously the Special Branch dont give receipts for bribes but I included the cost in my expense sheet to my employer along with all the other costs that I had to pay in getting the visa.

    I got this reply today from my work:

    Hi, This just to let you know I have had to deduct the total of your expense claim to 271.68, this is due to the bribe that you paid for police clearance certificate. This is not to be paid as the company cannot be seen as accepting this kind of payment.Regards,

    My reply:

    Hello, Regarding the deduction in my expenses. I understand the company policy with regards to paying bribes and will not pay any in the future if I need any documentation processing in Thailand.In this case it was for a police clearance certificate required for the Brazil visa. Paying the 30 bribe to the special branch officer that processed my certificate allowed me to have it in 1 week. If no bribe was paid I was told that I should wait 3 months before contacting them again to find out if my certificate had been processed.This may have an impact on any future visas that I might need processing for other work regions in the world. Regards...


    Fuck 'em.

  2. #2
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    only way to go if you want things quick in Thailand..pay the bribe

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
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    Exactly... But if it is for my work I wont be doing it any more as they wont reimburse me. It will impact on them because they wont be able to send me to work sometimes.... I am salaried anyway so it wont affect me.... I will play by the rules and the company policy until told otherwise.

  4. #4
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    I remember my friend running a construction job in one of the Western African states. on his expenses sheet he had several amounts under BBBM. When after a few months the company questioned him about just exactly what was BBBM he explained it was " Bribing Big Black Man "
    They always paid him and never asked again
    Treat everyone as a complete and utter idiot and you can only ever be pleasantly surprised !

  5. #5
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    Next time Rawlins, when you submit the paperwork, word it a little differently.

    Standard service 3 months
    Express service +500bt

    500bt is not a bribe - it's to pay someone to do overtime and process your paperwork.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
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    Big Fella... I will try BSTM as the code next time.

    But there wont be a next time because the fuckers wont pay me a measly 30 quid.

    Shagnastier.... 1500 baht for the express fee.... Still not much in the grand scheme of things.

    I am happy to pay bribes to get things done and to get away with things...The system works well.

  7. #7
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    Tell the company to do it for you.

  8. #8
    Lord of Swine
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    Many countries have anti corruption laws that make it illegal to pay bribes, even overseas.
    Having a document listing an expense item as "bribe" is material,evidence of a crime.
    No responsible company would accept that.
    You should have just called it a fee.

  9. #9
    Burn All Hippies
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    If it is a big multi-national oil company then they probably have policy statements that state they do not use bribes to do business as any evidence of corruption can reflect very badly if reported to the press somehow back in the west.

    It is pretty normal for people to absorb some personal costs from time to time in the course of doing their work.

    Since admitting to using bribery is going to be outside what the company can do through expenses I think you should just absorb this as a personal cost of doing business.

    It is very small money compared to what they company will pay you above board to stay on the books.

  10. #10
    Newbie Laphanphon's Avatar
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    Why a Thai police clearance to get a work visa for Brazil? Are you a Thai citizen?

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat
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    A thai police clearance certificate because my address for work purposes is Thailand and that is what was used for the visa application.

    I do understand that officially the company cant be seen to pay bribes..I should have imade some sort of receipt up as a processing fee and put it in like that. In this case I would actually take the cost myself because working in Brazil is beneficial to me for being on comfy boats and beneficial local tax rules....

    If it was a requirement for Nigeria or somewhere similar I now have the get-out clause that I shouldnt be paying bribes...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rawlins
    A thai police clearance certificate because my address for work purposes is Thailand and that is what was used for the visa application.
    Does it need translation to English also?

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat
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    ^ It came in English. On the application for it I stated that the requirement was for the Brazilian consulate and I think I may have also stated that the certificate be given in English.

  14. #14
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    ^Cheers...thats useful to know for future - I just have a UK clearance

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rawlins
    I do understand that officially the company cant be seen to pay bribes..I should have imade some sort of receipt up as a processing fee and put it in like that. In this case I would actually take the cost myself because working in Brazil is beneficial to me for being on comfy boats and beneficial local tax rules....
    if you had really wanted the money back, you should have listed it as "Express Service fee" and the company may have paid that

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat
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    ^ i did actually say it was a special processing fee but I also used the word bribe as being the reason I didnt have a receipt for it.

    You live and learn.... I think it has worked in my favour in the long run.

  17. #17
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    My wife went to that same special services branch a few years ago to get finger prints done. Was given the same kind of run around by a man in uniform reading a newspaper. My wife, loud enough for those near by to hear, said "If you got off your bum and stopped reading the newspaper then perhaps it would not take three months but perhaps just three days!" With that she turned to me and said lets go and we split leaving the bloke with his face turning red part with anger and part embarrassment.

    We flew back to Australia the next week and went to our local station here where they finger printed her and posted them over to the same branch in Bangkok. Two weeks later we had our clearance and didn't cost a cent!
    News is what someone, somewhere is trying to suppress - everything else is just advertising.

  18. #18
    Neo
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    30 = 2 hours work.
    Pissing in the wind = Priceless

  19. #19
    Newbie Laphanphon's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter what your address is for work it's your passport that matter's. Why would Brazil what a police clearence from Thailand if you have a UK or other country pasport. You are not a citizen of Thailand. Chances are you are not even a legal resident by your own admission on another thread. Nice story anyway.
    Last edited by Laphanphon; 11-06-2013 at 05:17 PM.

  20. #20
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    Bribes are 3 rd world things, when they catch up with the west, it's the Government that gets the kick back.

    Aust Fed police check.

    $139.00 for a fingerprint and National Police Check application, where fingerprints are taken and processed by the AFP.

  21. #21
    Burn All Hippies
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    ^Not a kickback if it is a level playing field.

    The Chinese embassy doesn't let worries about corruption worry it. They process visas in a week but for $100 surcharge you can have it the same day!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99
    You should have just called it a fee.
    It's what you call it.
    In the UK, the private, thieving companies contracted through big bungs to collect all the traffic violation revenues call them "Fines for breaking the law" and "fixed penalties" whereas regular folks call it "Extortion"

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looper View Post
    ^Not a kickback if it is a level playing field.

    The Chinese embassy doesn't let worries about corruption worry it. They process visas in a week but for $100 surcharge you can have it the same day!
    May be not a kick back, but you can't get a cheaper price down the road. Jim

  24. #24
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    Just out of interest I had a look at the Thai Gov web site on this. Prints can be taken by the local BIB. It can all be done by post and turn around time if no history 14 days.
    No fee, but you may have to pay the locals for doing the prints. Jim

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laphanphon View Post
    It doesn't matter what your address is for work it's your passport that matter's. Why would Brazil what a police clearence from Thailand if you have a UK or other country pasport. You are not a citizen of Thailand. Chances are you are not even a legal resident by your own admission on another thread. Nice story anyway.
    Well I got the fukin certificate which I needed for my visa application even though I only was in Thailand on a tourist visa at the time. You don't need to be a citizen of Thailand to get it.

    They will give you a 'residency certificate' even if your visa stamp only allows you in for 30 days.

    No I am not legally a resident of Thailand but I am legally in the country every time I am there so where does that come into it?

    I am in Brazil right now on the visa issued by the Brazilian consulate in Bangkok based on my home address being where I live in Thailand.

    You want to tell me where else I went wrong?

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