Replies: 19 - Last Post: Nov 19, 2012 2:41 PM Last Post By: BangkokBoy
Nov 18, 2012 11:10 AM
Cigarette ButYesterday afternoon I went down from Asoke BTS at the exit at soi 14, lighted up a cigarette and the minute I did this I saw a policeagent on a bike, which looked at me and used his radio. Alarm bells started ringing in my head at that point. I proceed up until Soi 10, where another agent on a bike was talking into his radio as well. I proceed up and very very weary to dispose of my cigarette as it became clear something was up.
Having said that, I thought, would they really try and "follow" me to see if I would drop the but ? Anyway, around soi 8 I finished my cigarette and went behind a bus stop, dropped the cigarette (which I doubt anyone would really be able to see) and walked on. About two hundred meters from where I dropped the but, I was approached by the same agent I saw at Soi 10 and of course he claimed he saw me drop the but. He told me to follow him, which I did, we went all the way back to between soi 12 and soi 10, where he pointed at a sign (in English) talking about littering and cigarette buts. Next to the sign was a ash tray (the only one in about two kilometers stretch of Sukhumvit !) and a boot.
We went inside the boot, and surprise surprise, the first police agent I saw at soi 14 joined us. Anyway, the guy shows me a document (in English) talking about respecting Thai law, dropping cigarette buts on the street, in the water or in the sewer being fineable with 10.000 baht, 2000 baht for first offender.
I pointed out the total lack of warning signs (execpt the one next to the boot of course, which I didn't see, as it is facing a building instead of facing the street) the total lack of waste bins or ash trays near where I dropped the cigarette. Anyway the guy kept on and on about respecting Thai laws, smoking was okay, but dropping the but wasn't, and he even had a smal container with two cigarette buts in them to make the point.
From the beginning I made it cristal clear I was not prepared to pay even a single satang, and after more lecture he simple said if I refused to pay, we would have to go to the police station, which I fully agreed with and I told him I would call a legal representative to assist me at the station, took out my Phone but before I could start making the call, all of a sudden they dropped the 2000 baht fine and suggested I took a photo !
So I "posed" in front of the sign, shaking hands with the more senior Police agent and that was it, I went on my way, not paying a single satang.
Now I simply posting this story to warn others of this apparent scam, by the Lumphini Police. When I returned back to Asoke, I walked on the other side of Sukhumvit (which is Thong Lor Police) and say a similar sign, Not sure if this police station is up to the same tricks.
It would be good if they stop this nonsense, because of course no Thai national will ever be approached, only foreigners. This scam is running in a few areas of Bangkok, where there are ample tourists, no way I would be approached at Thong Lor or Pridi with this utter nonsense.
When do they realise that scams by the police doesn't do the tourism industry in Thailand any good ?
Nov 18, 2012 11:22 AM
1I got caught in this scam once, my first time in Thailand, about 12 yrs ago, I talked down the fine, as I didn't know better at the time.
Nov 18, 2012 11:25 AM
2Sorry, tried to correct Butt for But and booth for boot, but couldn't edit the message anymore :)
@1 Well, I hardly ever walk around lower Sukhumvit (I usually walk between Sukhumvit 39 / 71, and no way I would have this kind of nonsense there.
I got warned around Siam once, but never paid anything, just a warning from the police officer. At least at Siam there are ample warning signs, allthough also there waste disposal stuff is comming up short.
Nov 18, 2012 1:50 PM
Nov 18, 2012 2:18 PM
4You still threw the butt after seeing the police? No, really, you didn't. Even after being warned before? Really, you made a big show of disposing of it properly, right. You are kidding right? Well, smoking is stupid anyway, but you knew that already and it is indefensible so don't get all mad at me.
Anyway, this is a well known game:
Nov 18, 2012 2:21 PM
5Glad you talked your way out of it, they never get Thais for the same "offence". But you DID drop your butt on the street, didn't you, I think you said behind a bus stop? That's littering and you should know better than the locals. Nobody who gets any fine for just dropping stuff on the street should then complain!
Nov 18, 2012 2:27 PM
6@4 "You still threw the butt after seeing the police? No, really, you didn't"
Yes I did, as said, there are no waste bins, ash trays or any other means of disposing of it properly.
@5 Well, littering is excusable if the BMA is unwilling to provide waste bins ! Look at Hong Kong, not only are there numerous signs warning people not to litter and the fine incurred if doing so, but there are maybe even more waste bins to dispose of the litter (including cigarette butts). My main complaint here is that they try to impose a law, but yet forget to provide means for people to comply with the law. Of course in this case this is done on purpose to get money from foreigners...
Nov 18, 2012 2:35 PM
Nov 18, 2012 3:16 PM
Nov 18, 2012 3:39 PM
9Thank you Sjaak for conceding the point about littering, saving us from a rash of volatile posts about littering and smoking in general.
The incident described by Sjaak is not about littering, smoking, fines, or by-laws. It is about extortion. None of these fines even go into the public coffers. I suppose there is some mechanism for reporting this.
Years ago a Thai poster named Anil mentioned a police department of internal affairs who dealt with corruption.
Good to see you post again Alaska Kevin, I was worried you had outgrown us.
Nov 18, 2012 4:58 PM
10What happened to "take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints" ?
No bins, so just toss it? Never acceptable, even on the "when in Rome" kick.
No ifs, no butts. Ouch, sorry!
Nov 18, 2012 5:12 PM
Nov 18, 2012 5:23 PM
12willyz: Thanks. I am planning to visit again this winter after a few yrs break, so am back on to see what is new. Starting out with a troll.
Actually OP is correct, they don't bother with the waste bins because they don't really care about litter. It is a game. There must be bins somewhere with the surplus of street dogs. Amazing that they seem to keep that picked up.
Nov 18, 2012 5:49 PM
13I am with the folks who are a bit shocked that you knew there was something going down, you had been caught before and yet you still went ahead and disposed of the butt on the street! Amazingly stupid. Why didn't you use your footwear to stub the butt out and carry it with you until you found a place to dispose of it correctly?
Oh I know that no Thai would ever get caught up in such a scam, but really, you were doing it to yourself.
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