Locked Up, detained and deported for Vaping

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Dodger
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Re: Locked Up, detained and deported for Vaping

Post by Dodger » Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:22 am

Captain Kirk wrote:I think if for some reason I think I'm going to be approached by the cops it may be prudent to quickly turn the phone on to casually record the conversation.
Funny you should say that because a Thai friend of mine recently suggested that I have a camera installed in my pickup truck for the same reason. Apparently the police get a bit apprehensive about extorting money on a road side when a camera's rolling.

"Vaping" (smoking electronic cigarettes) became illegal in Thailand in 2014. I know because I was considering trying electronic cigarettes as a possible means to help me quit smoking. After this asinine law was passed I scrapped that idea.

My work in the U.S. took me to Mexico frequently where I would always stock up on Mexican dollars (Pesos) to use in Thailand under these very same circumstances. From memory, in the past 18 years I have handed at least a dozen police officers at road blocks a 20 peso note. Most of the officers just kept saying the amount they wanted in Thai baht usually ranging from 300 - 500 baht but after listening to me saying repeatedly (in a Mexican accent of course) "no baht only Mexican Dollars" they finally put the 20 peso note in their pocket and flagged me on my way. I think 20 pesos was worth about 30 Thai baht back then. Now that's not something your travel agent would tell you.

Bangkokian
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Re: Locked Up, detained and deported for Vaping

Post by Bangkokian » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:17 pm

Don't worry, it'll become legal and probably encouraged as soon as 'they' can find a way to tax it.

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Jun
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Re: Locked Up, detained and deported for Vaping

Post by Jun » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:30 pm

The court fine is proportional to the offence and reasonable.

The real issues are the alleged attempt by the police to extort 40000 baht and the possibility of spending time in a cell and being deported for trivial offences.

Presumably people smoking in bars, hiring prostitutes or exceeding the speed limit could be seen as offences of similar severity. [Although arguably the smoking is the least ethical]

Getting similar treatment to this lady would spoil a holiday or retirement. I have no problem at all with deporting people for severe criminal offences, or other minor offences such as vandalism. However, it seems disproportionate for a minor offence.

Also, well done to her for highlighting the alleged police attempts to extort a bribe. If all foreigners meekly paid up a generous sum such as 40000 or even 20000, we would be targeted like cash cows.

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Gaybutton
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Re: Locked Up, detained and deported for Vaping

Post by Gaybutton » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:27 pm

Jun wrote:If all foreigners meekly paid up a generous sum such as 40000 or even 20000, we would be targeted like cash cows.
Don't worry. Enough bar boys do that - and quite well too. Let's see, how many gay farang ended up broke and heartbroken? Sorry, I've forgotten. I lost count years ago . . .

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Jun
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Re: Locked Up, detained and deported for Vaping

Post by Jun » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:30 pm

Farang being fleeced by bar boys is an altogether different topic. Very easy to say no if people remain in control of emotions (and not doing so is where they go wrong).

I think there are 3 key issues in the original post:

1 Vaping appears to be illegal, so don't do it, or don't get caught (very easy, since I would not dream of vaping)

2 The police extortion issue. Well done to the lady concerned for raising it and refusing to pay. As I said, it's helpful if farang DON'T pay up, particularly when a disproportionate sum is requested.

3 Deportation for a trivial offence. I have no problems at all with deportation for significant offences, or even minor offences that harm others.

Dodger
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Re: Locked Up, detained and deported for Vaping

Post by Dodger » Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:47 am

Jun wrote:3 Deportation for a trivial offence. I have no problems at all with deportation for significant offences, or even minor offences that harm others.
Unfortunately, at least from what I can see written in Thai law, deportation can be imposed for ANY Crime regardless if it is classified as a minor misdemeanor or major felony. In actual practice deportation is most commonly applied for visa overstays and may also include being "black listed" restricting reentry to Thailand for a set amount of time ranging anywhere from 90 days to 99 years. With the exception of visa overstays which account for the vast majority of deportation orders, deportation is also imposed for other crimes typically of a major nature and not commonly imposed for minor legal infractions as was in the case of the girl from France highlighted in this post.

Thai police officers earn an average of 6,000 baht per month which of course is about half the salary of a 7/11 clerk. In Thai culture it is perfectly acceptable and understandable that these underpaid public servants receive, what they refer to as "respect money" in the course of their work and they simply don't see this or classify this as "corruption". From my own experience road-side "respect money" usually ranges between 300 - 500 baht for minor driving violations. Typically (not always) the amount of "respect money" being asked for is equal to or slightly less than if the fine had to be paid at the station. In-other-words there's typically a sense of fairness applied. What happened to the french girl was totally outside any and all boundaries set within Thai culture when it comes to establishing the amount of "respect money" which should be commensurate with the crime.

Dodger
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Re: Locked Up, detained and deported for Vaping

Post by Dodger » Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:55 am

GB wrote:
But I can't help the feeling there is more to the story.
It's always possible.

If by chance the girl was acting like a belligerent asshole and shooting her mouth off to the police than all bets are off.

Dodger
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Re: Locked Up, detained and deported for Vaping

Post by Dodger » Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:56 am

GB wrote:
But I can't help the feeling there is more to the story.
It's always possible.

If by chance the girl was acting like a belligerent asshole and shooting her mouth off to the police than all bets are off.

gera
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Re: Locked Up, detained and deported for Vaping

Post by gera » Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:30 pm

Dodger wrote:Thai police officers earn an average of 6,000 baht per month which of course is about half the salary of a 7/11 clerk.
This used to be the case many years ago. Minimal salary in Thailand s about 9000 baht and police salary (starting one) is about twice more than that.
This is not counting various allowances. As for the original story, it is typical for Thailand South. Things like arresting Russian tourists for feeding fish or a farang for exchanging (allegedly) fake UK pounds several days after the event come to mind. This is , of course, not talking about jet ski scams or beating passengers by songteo drivers who refused to pay crazy fees...May hardly happen in Pattaya or Chiang Mai.

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Gaybutton
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Re: Locked Up, detained and deported for Vaping

Post by Gaybutton » Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:37 pm

Dodger wrote:What happened to the french girl was totally outside any and all boundaries set within Thai culture when it comes to establishing the amount of "respect money" which should be commensurate with the crime.
If her story is the way it actually happened, then I agree with you. But I can't help the feeling there is more to the story. I'm not aware of anything similar happening to anybody else, so I'm a bit suspicious of the story.

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