Fake Police, Bangkok
You know the saying that "bad luck never comes alone"? After the whole shenanigan we encountered at Samboondee Restaurant, we encountered another one as my buddy and I were leaving the con man's restaurant by taxi. Only this time, it was trickier because it involved a corrupted policeman.
On our way back to our hotel from that fateful restaurant, we were stopped by a policeman at a roadblock. Upon questioning our taxi driver and learning that we were heading towards The Davis Bangkok, he immediately demanded for our passports. He then proclaimed that our passports were invalid and that we must follow him back to the police station.
This time our half-functioning brain (we had a very long day) saved us some money though. We argued that everything was indeed in order, and had never for the moment suspected that the thing was actually a ruse for us to offer him "coffee money". We only came to that realisation after returning to our hotel.
After 20 minutes of our constant insisting that everything was in perfect order and he seeing that we were not "smart" enough to just offer him money to "make the trouble go away", he decided that he did not want to waste any more time on us so as to move on to other preys. The taxi meter was obviously still running the whole time, but that was quite cheap compared to how much we were cheated of during dinner.
I do have to wonder if the taxi driver was in cahoots with the policeman since we gave him the instruction to head towards The Davis Bangkok, which was a 5-star hotel. Perhaps due to that, he reasoned that my buddy and I was rich or something....
Basically after this unfortunately day, my impression of Bangkok's as the "land of smiles" was totally shattered. This happened in October 2006, a month after the military backed coup which deposed the then prime minister, Thaksin.
Beware of some men approaching you claiming to be police agents and want to search your wallet. In Prutnam district, someone stopped me and showed me his ID. I could not see it clearly but there was something about Police written there. He looked foreigner, probably from East Europe but certainly not Thai. His English was fluent and perfect. His friend was on a motor bike not too far from him. He asked me for my ID and I showed him, then he searched my shopping bag. After that, he said he wanted to see my wallet. I had more than 5000 bhat in my wallet. I was hesitant but he threatend me. I held my wallet and he began sniffing the notes inside. I was fully prepared to hit him if he wanted to snatch my wallet. When he found that I was tough, he left the wallet and went to his friend saying that he was doing his job. If he really was a police agent, then why on earth, did he look foreign? I doubt if he was a police agent.
Beware of guys dressed as the police at Thieves Market . We had one trying to convince us to take a tuk tuk to another area for better shopping!! He was so friendly and convincing....he became too sale- sy though and it gave him away.
Around the majority of tourist attractions - there appear to be an abundance of so called 'Off Duty Policemen" who find it in thier heart to advise you of the best tourist attractions to see.
They will give you something along the lines of "It is a little too far to walk and I would not recommend that you take a taxi as that is too expensive and the buses are not the best in Bangkok either - I will get you a tuk tuk to take you it will be very cheap" and surprisingly a Tuk Tuk will appear in seconds few. Amazing !!!!
They are purely a rip off - they will tell you 20 - 30 Bhat, but the price will always end up being much higher - Do not take them and politely, but firmly, inform them "Thank you for the advice, but no thank you"
What used to happen (when I was there in '98) was you would take a tuk-tuk/taxi to for example, the Royal Palace & they would say it was closed. They would then ask a policeman who happened to be nearby (their pal who was no more a policeman!) & he would confirm their story. Then he would suggest bringing you somewhere else that was "very nice & interesting". They are normally on commission for these places they try to bring you to.
When I was in Bangkok in '98 the favourite scam happened if you took a tuk-tuk usually to the Royal Palace. The driver would say that it was a public holiday & then go over to a policeman who would corroborate his story. Then the driver would try to bring you somewhere else that he was in cahoots with. (drivers normally got a payment from establishments for bringing tourists there, usually from their pals who worked in/owned the places). It's probably old new now as I was there so long ago.
The police here in Thailand,
usually accepts that a vendor
may over charge you
or take you for a ride.
So do take this warning with attention,
since it is not usually of their kind to
have this kind of attention.
Beware of strangers who try to take you to buy cloths, jewelry, gems, silver, etc.
Please do not trust them!!
If you need help please
1) Call Tourist Police 1155
2) Contact the nearest police box
Bangruk Police Station
If you encounter anyone who claims he's International Police and tries to rip you off some money by pointing your pocket and asking "what's in your pocket" if you reply "my money ofcouse" he would ask "show me"
You don't have to do anything he orders,Just tell them "Sorry I don't believe you" and just walk away as soon as possible.If he's still bugging you by trying to take you to "Police Station" DONT pay attention at them.Just looking for police in uniform around there if possible and tell them what happened.Otherwise just tell those guys that you will call Tourist Police to check his ID that it's real or fake.(and ofcourse it doesn't even exist)
These people they're not even Thais.(In his card says "Turkish" but anyway you can't believe anything) These people are real trouble.Government don't even have a clue that this kind of people exist and I don't know how many tourists they've rip off them already.
They will try ask if you use drugs or stuff like that.Don't waste your time.Walk to most crowded areas as soon as possible and if they still wanna take you to police station.You might say "yes" BUT ONLY IF YOU WHO CHOOSES A POLICE STATION and ofcourse they won't go with you.It seems they work as teamwork.While one guys is trying to make a trouble with you,other one is waiting on his motorbike as they could run away anytime.
I was quite shocked to hear this story from my Belgian friend.(he encountered ones near Siam BTS station) So,becareful.