Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
10


‘I AM NOT GENETICALLY CODED TO UNDERSTAND THE EXPRESSION ‘THIS IS THAILAND’ - SAYS FORMER OFFICER OF U.S. COURT

Culture shock - Don't be late with the rent

Held in a hotel for 5000 rising to 13,960 baht
Thailand’s ruling military government has been asked to investigate complaints by an American teacher with 15 years in law enforcement,  who claims she was the subject of what was tantamount to ‘kidnap and coercion’ by Thai police working for a Bangkok businessman.

The teacher, a former member of the Hawaii Judiciary Probation Service, and as such an officer of the court, who also worked for a trauma unit for sexually abused children in New Zealand, said the incident happened in a suburb of Bangkok on August 11th.

She said she was held captive for nearly five  hours by four officers called in by the businessman. who threw and air punch at her and repeatedly clenched his fists. before she was allowed to make a call to her Embassy.

Phone threat? Lows?
And when she did reach the Embassy she claims that the FBI Special Agent who took the call said: “Mam, if the police are telling you to go to the police department with them, then you'd better go to the police department with them. This is not The Embassy's jurisdiction. You need to contact Thai authorities."

With the Thai authorities being the people who were allegedly ‘kidnapping’ her she reacted angrily.

 "You want to put that in writing? I have been held against my will for nearly 5 hours. I think this is called 'kidnapping. I am afraid of what might happen. What do you think they so badly want to hold me for nearly 5 hours? I told you that the landlord tried to assault me. They are using terror tactics."

'This is Thailand'

Air punch then on the phone to Embassy
“At one point, from the Special Agent, I got a, ‘Well, this is Thailand!’. ** “ My response; ‘What is that supposed to mean as if the answer is genetically coded in me.’ 
“The Thai police commander and my landlord stated to me that ‘things are done differently in Thailand’ and laughed at me when I said they couldn't do this to me”

It was only after she held up the phone to let US officials hear the commotion that a US official stepped in and spoke to the Thai businessmen and senior police officer and informed him neither he nor the police had the right to hold her.  The incident happened on August 11.

The woman walked out to the road to catch a taxi but says she was harassed as a senior policeman demanded the taxi driver's mobile phone number so he could find out where she was going.

The woman whose father was a Lt. Colonel in the US Marine Corps, 7th Fleet (Asia Pacific) finally had the matter settled*** on September 12th  at a meeting witnessed by  two ‘officers' from the US Embassy, (call out fee 7,623 Thai baht)

US 7th Fleet (can't help)


Amazingly the row was over a 5000 baht ***(disputed) overdue rent bill for a small room in Bang Phli rented to her by the Thai businessman.  The woman had gone to work at a University on Thailand’s eastern seaboard and had decided to keep the cheap room (2800 baht a month) on as she was unsure of her new position.

As she suspected might happen the University appeared to have trouble paying her salary on the date expected.

She previously had had an amicable relationship with her landlord, an ardent red-shirt supporter, but sensed a problem when he said he would be keeping her belongings against the unpaid rent,  and asked a Thai policeman who she knew in Bang Saen to speak to him to see what the problem was and accompany her back to Bangkok to see the landlord.

"I could easily have transferred cash from the United States if I thought it was going to come to this. But I am trying not to use any of my savings."

The policeman turned up in a taxi and started driving her back to  her apartment in Bangkok.

Former probation officer
She asked the policeman if he had spoken to her landlord, which he denied, but she actually believed he was speaking to her landlord as they were driving to Bangkok.

On arriving in Bangkok the landlord and three police officers were waiting.  They demanded she sign an agreement in Thai, which she said she believed was a document signing over all her belongings…and she refused.

She had refurbished her apartment with new furniture and also had about 20,000 baht’s worth of jewellery there.

She said they demanded she go with them to the police station, but she fled to a nearby hotel owned by a Briton with a Thai wife.

“What happened to me was terrifying--violence on women (particularly foreign females who may have little legal recourse against crime against them in Thailand). The UN, in 2013, reported Thailand as the 5th most dangerous country for women.

“My life has been impacted, alongside my health. This experience pretty much gutted me. 
“Had I not been able to get through to the US Embassy for aid, how would that night have ended? What were these males' limits? 
Chonburi policeman - British hotelier - 
Had I not had nearly 15 yrs. experience in law enforcement, and I was the female victim the perps believed me to be--a "rich American" alone in Thailand, and a teacher--what could have become of such a female? 

“I turned the tables on these males. I had some skill not to allow them to tear me down, all through these hours, I felt like I was fighting for my life.

“I asked myself--as the hours I was held against my will--ticked away...2 hours, 3, hours, 4 hours, "What was their motivation? What did they have to gain? Why were they so determined? 

“I attempted 3 times to leave, but was refused. I was very concerned about my personal safety. Why wouldn't these police, and landlord just let me walk away after so many hours, as the senior officer sat drinking 2 glasses of wine poured by the British owner of hotel.”


The woman was very shocked at her treatment because she had been a successful teacher and had been given the Royal Emblem, the same 7th Cycle pin worn by General Prayuth and former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, for her work teaching Thai children in a monastery school.



The National Council for Peace and Order have confirmed they have received the complaint. But the teacher is aware that the NCPO has been inundated since taking power and other major matters may have to take precedence,

NOTES

** TIT - This is Thailand, a phrase coined by Bernard Trink the former Nite Owl columnist on the Bangkok Post to describe the inexplicable.
*** She finally settled at 13,950 Thai baht - She says she paid just to end it all. While she turned the tables - there was a price.

FAWLTEE TAU-ERRS

COMMENT: And the moral of this story....is. Well there is no need to comment. But what I will say is that the reviews and management replies on TripAdvisor for the hotel in question, which I cannot name, must be amongst the funniest I have ever seen. It has to be the 'Fawlty Towers' of Bangkok.

10 comments:

  1. These tactics are simply a mechanism filling the void created by a country that has no meaningful rule of law, either in criminal or civil matters.
    Personal disputes are often resolved by inappropriate use of policemen who are essentially for hire or are obligated through personal relationships.
    TiT but then most livimg here know this. Paying occasionally against one's will is just a trade off and in petty disputes it could be seen as part of the premium payable to live in a country with low taxes and a cheaper infrastructure. Of course, graver disputes can involve a greater premium and in some case the indemnity could be terminal.

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  2. Re:These tactics are simply a mechanism filling the void created by a country that has no meaningful rule of law, either in criminal or civil matters.

    Agree completely with the above statement. However, and I could be completely wrong, her personality and attitude appears not to have helped the situation. Comments and implied statements such as "I turned the table on THESE MALES", "I was very shocked at my treatment because I am a SUCCESSFUL teacher and have been given the Royal Emblem, the same 7th Cycle pin worn by General Prayuth and former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra" .... what the heck does that have to do with unpaid rent from the Landlord's perspective.

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    1. Yes. But you have taken her quotes totally out of context. She was late with the rent because the university she worked for did not pay her. If she thought she was going to lose the apartment she would have had cash transferred. And of course she is to be applauded for putting up a spirited fight. What would you have done in the same situation? At no time has she said" He can't do this to me because I am the recipient of a 7th cycle pin. That's a Thaivisa.com argument.

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    2. Of course if you put up a spirited fight in Thailand you are often still going to lose, but I bet she felt a lot better for it.

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    3. Being the devil's advocate, what has the university not paying her got to do with her not paying rent. I doubt very much that there is a clause in her rental agreement stating that if she doesn't get paid by her employer the landlord doesn't get paid ... (smile). The thought that she would not lose her apartment should never have come into her decision making to pay rent. Most probably the landlord had heard so many similar stories from tenants taking advantage of the inadequate legal system, as previously mentioned, and followed common protocol. Just my opinion, Andrew!

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  3. Thailand's laws are that a landlord cannot seize possessions of any tenant due to late rent--full stop. You can bet the landlord knew this. The cops certainly knew this. But what happened really has nothing to do with "rent. Mark my word, the American woman had some valuables worth something in that apartment, and something more sinister was unfolding. The landlord was required to file a complaint with the Courts, and goes from there. Let's face it, this guy brought in the goon squad to terrorize this foreign teacher--thugs who held her for 5 hours? US Embassy had to get her out of this mob's clutches? What do you think these males were going to do to her? I reckon these rogues got more than they bargained for. I take my hat off the American woman. Because of her, this mafia ring may think twice about doing this to another female. The American woman's father was a Colonel with the US Marine Corps and she has been awarded a Royal Emblem, 7th Cycle pin? Looks like these males sure targeted the wrong female. I'll bet the Army General and NCPO hold these lawless males accountable.

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  4. Thailand's laws are that a landlord cannot seize possessions of any tenant due to late rent--full stop. You can bet the landlord knew this. The cops certainly knew this. But what happened really has nothing to do with "rent. Mark my word, the American woman had some valuables worth something in that apartment, and something more sinister was unfolding. The landlord was required to file a complaint with the Courts, and goes from there. Let's face it, this guy brought in the goon squad to terrorize this foreign teacher--thugs who held her for 5 hours? US Embassy had to get her out of this mob's clutches? What do you think these males were going to do to her? I reckon these rogues got more than they bargained for. I take my hat off the American woman. Because of her, this mafia ring may think twice about doing this to another female. The American woman's father was a Colonel with the US Marine Corps and she has been awarded a Royal Emblem, 7th Cycle pin? Looks like these males sure targeted the wrong female. I'll bet the Army General and NCPO hold these lawless males accountable

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  5. Re:Thailand's laws are that a landlord cannot seize possessions of any tenant due to late rent--full stop. You can bet the landlord knew this. The cops certainly knew this. But what happened really has nothing to do with "rent.

    And from the article the American woman, who has worked in Thailand for some time, also knew this as she thought she would not lose her apartment. Being Devils advocate one could argue she was taking advantage of the situation. From the article it is not known if she had communicated when she would pay the rent. It appears that she left the landlord in the dark.

    Re: Mark my word, the American woman had some valuables worth something in that apartment, and something more sinister was unfolding. The landlord was required to file a complaint with the Courts, and goes from there

    20,000 baht in Jewelry with a street value of say between 5 to 7 thousand plus some new furniture shared between 4 officers and the Landlord. Hardly worth it, is it? As to your comment that the landlord is required to file a complaint with the Courts, in my opinion, is where the crux of the problem lies. Because of inadequacy of judicial system in terms of backlog of cases and costs involved (just to name a few) Thais generally circumvent the system which result in these ugly situations.

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  6. Observer stop imagining scenarios that did not take place. Have you never ever said to someone 'You can't do that' and they have?

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  7. Observer, where do you get the idea that the American teacher left the landlord in the dark about paying rent?

    She was driving to BKK to speak to the landlord in person. Do you remember? And, she asked the Chon Buri cop to speak to her landlord--sounds like to translate. She certainly was not trying duck and run--clearly.

    The story reads that the American tenant and her landlord had an amicable relationship? Would any Thai landlord ever have a friendly relationship, or dare allow a tenant to maintain an apartment, and work in another part of Thailand, if the tenant had been unreliable in paying rent? No way--wouldn't happen. You know that for certain.

    Exactly Observer--what is noted in the story to valuables seems like little to bother with--good point. If this truly were the case, do you really think the thug landlord would call in a goon squad, and these corrupt mafia cops kidnap this foreigner females for 5 hours?? Over this smitten of belongings?

    No, I think there was much more than that in valuables, plus something more sinister was unfolding. All signs point to foul play.

    In your mind, how would this story have ended had the American female law enforcement officer had not gotten a call through to the US Embassy, and the US Embassy shake the teacher free from the clutches of this mafia crew?

    She had been held for 5 hours, and repeatedly refused to walk out.

    Why?

    This whole incident has stamped all over it that it had nothing whatsoever to do with unpaid rent. "Unpaid rent" looks like no more than an avenue to kidnap this foreign female.

    Thailand's Royal Thai Army General Prayuth, and the American woman's father, who is a US Marine Colonel, have a great deal in common. Wouldn't you say? On top, the American teacher was given a Royal Emblem pin for her teaching Thai children.

    These lawless cops and landlord stepped over move than one red line when they kidnapped and terrorized, assaulted the daughter of a high ranking US Military Officer, and this US Marine Commander's daughter, who wears The Royal Emblem, 7th Cycle Pin.

    I reckon there will be hell to pay for these mafia goons. Eradicating corruption is a priority for the NCPO and General. This is a perfect incident in which the players deserve being hit hard. Will this really be allowed--the victim being the daughter of a US Military Colonel's daughter?? I don't think so.

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