Pubdate: Fri, 11 Oct 2002
Source: Nation, The (Thailand)
Copyright: 2002 Nation Multimedia Group
Contact: 66-2-317-2071
Author: Gilles


I strongly agree with the government's tough policy on drugs and believe 
that this problem has to be eradicated from this beautiful country. 
However, what happened to my cousin in Pattaya last week makes me wonder if 
this policy of catching the bad guys is not just a smokescreen.

My cousin, a passionate sportsman in France, who never had a drink, a 
cigarette or any type of drug in his life, was visiting Pattaya on 
vacation. He followed the crowd well into the night and ended up at a 
downtown disco packed with foreigners at 4.00am.

Suddenly the police showed up and asked for everyone's urine sample.

My cousin complied. In the line he was standing next to two young Thai 
ladies. They asked him if he could give them some of his sample as they 
were sure to get busted with theirs. He agreed and the girls stood in front 
of him in the line. Both girl's samples (really my cousin's) were checked 
negative, although it was obvious just looking at them that they had taken 
drugs. My cousin, with the same type of urine, was checked positive for drugs.

He tried to explain that he never took any; a policeman slapped him in the 
face. He was then taken to jail without a word from the police or any 
possibility to prove that there had either been a deliberate or 
unintentional mistake.

Once in jail, I could go and visit him. The police informed me that if I 
wanted to see him I had to pay the policeman on duty Bt300.

The racket did not stop here. It was another Bt200 every time I brought him 
drink or food. As for him he had to pay the policemen Bt300 every eight 
hours so that they did not move him in the hardened Thai convicts' cells.

After two days in jail, he was asked to sign a paper stating that he had 
taken drugs. He refused; he was slapped in the face again. Eventually, 
after he had learned that the police could keep him in jail for an 
unspecified period of time until he signed, he finally agreed to the 
charges. He will have to pay a fine, will be deported and blacklisted.

Well so long, fair police procedures, and so long to the end of extortion. 
It seemed that this whole Pattaya drug bust is just another smokescreen or 
is it simply the largest scam to get money out of some foreigners?

My question remains: why is there no police bust on some of the largest 
Thai discos in Pattaya where the crowds are exclusively Thai?


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