Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday, February 05, 2016

Want to find a foreign criminal? Try the Rotary or Masons!

Flying Sporran’s Midweek Diary

The  amusing raid yesterday by the local Department of Provincial Administration has possibly in ‘one foul’ swoop  reminded the world that all is not well in the Thai provincial city of Pattaya.

In 24 hours the story has gone around the world and back.

As around them every conceivable vice in the Bible and a lot more were being indulged in, military government soldiers and DOPA officials raided essentially a foreign senior citizen’s Bridge Club. Of the 30 members there the youngest was fifty – the oldest over 80.

They thought they were raiding a gambling den. But dammit there was no money to be found anywhere.

But the district chief (Nai Amphur) was having nothing of it.  The raid would go on.  Ah, there are more than two packets of cards on the table. Thai law stipulates there cannot be more than 120 cards on the table.’ Book em’ Danno!”

Queries on his arithmetic went nowhere. Even with two packs the sums did not add up.  Must be a few extra jokers. It was going from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Caught in the raid was the club’s founder Barry Kenyon, 74.. He is a former British Corresponding Consul more accustomed to dealing with ‘Brits in the Sh*t’ than being one.

‘They just would not believe we would play for fun and points no matter what we said.”

DOPA and the military were not convinced. ‘What are in those cassette boxes? What’s in the computer?’

“I see.  You  put it all in the computer and settle up later!”

The District Chief was not convinced. ‘Take them down to the police station and charge them’, he ordered, and the motley bunch one with a walking stick were led into the waiting songteow.

But while this may seem incredibly funny, and it certainly was the first time I read it, what happened next was not.

The 30 foreigners were detained for 3.30 pm yesterday to 3.30 am today.  No food was provided but a local 7/11 shopkeeper provided a delivery service. Every time a member went to the toiler he or she had to be escorted by police.

Herding old aged pensioners like that says more than anything else. It’s blatantly inhuman. It’s totally at odds with the Thai reputation for ‘hospitality’ and 'respect for the elderly' and  and may even lead people to question that reputation or whether foreigners are included.

All were bailed in the sum of 5000 just under £100 baht but the group’s new President Jeremy Watson, 74, had to pay 50,000 baht (£1600 plus).as he was the ring 'il cappo di tutti capi'.

They reported to the police station at 10 am to board a bus to the court.  But the court appearance was cancelled at the last minute.

The plan was foiled after Khunying Chodchoy Sophonpanich (Sophie) the Thai president of the Asia-Pacific Bridge Federation, explained Bridge rules to local authorities.

Now lets hope they get an apology in person from the District Chief - and no baying of 'If you don't like this country - Go back home!'

Had not the Khunying intervened and the case not been cancelled the foreigners could have been embroiled in a court case which could have lasted for years and cost each member tens of thousands of pounds not least from avaricious lawyers. Because the case was brought by the authorities no pre-trial presentation would have been necessary.

They might have had to sit through months of testimony as each officer was brought to testify  before they had a chance to answer – and ,even if they won, the prosecution could appeal – and in that case they would remain on bail. By this time the trial could be in its third year.

Had they planned to leave the country during this time, they would have to go to court to apply to leave and pay extra bail of at least another 100,000 Thai baht…and so it goes on The only way to avoid such problems would have been undercover payments.

Is this an isolated incident? Actually no. In Koh Samui a woman aged 88 was among many arrested and taken to court on a charge with working without a visa.   Her crime – to take part in an owners meeting of the estate in which she had bought her home.  The estate was managed by a foreign landlord who should much rather have been locked up himself.

The Department of Public Administration in Pattaya collects fees from go-go bars, massage parlours etc in Pattaya. The sex trade is technically illegal. But that illegality is dealt with by paying the fees.
With the military now in control in Thailand it seems there are more people to pay.

Of course if the Department of Public Administration and really wanted to hunt down foreign criminals, by all  historical accounts they would have fared better raiding a local Rotary Club, Masonic Lodge, Expat Club, ot Property Company.

(Club Pictures PattayaOneTV)


Dave said...

How is TAT going to spin this TITsup?

Steam Punk said...

whats next: monopoly, chess, checkers?? Meanwhile, murders, rapists, RTP coverups and total ineptness flourishing.
Xenophobic pathetic daft hypocrits. said...

This kind of crap gives Thailand a bad name,The cops are as crooked as ever!

Horizons said...

In the previous story a boiler room king guilty of defrauding pensioners of hundreds of millions, walking freely and protected by police. And here a bunch of pensioners guilty of nothing, busted and held in police custody. Thai justice in a nutshell.

Ally said...

And yet Brian Goldie is still rampaging free and living it up in Thailand with an arrest warrent now 6 weeks old. An individual who has conned, defrauded and stolen the majotity of his wretched miserable worthless life.....Explain this to the bridge club and Goldies victims.

Lancashirelad said...

I do hope I'm not being too naive here, but in Thailand are Police bail and Court bail not returned to the bailee when bail conditions are met?
A person is released on Police bail to return to the Station on a future occasion while further enquiries are conducted. A receipt is issued.
When the bailee returns to the Police station, the bail is either extended; returned to the bailee who is released without charge, or if charged the bail is changed to Court bail.
Again, receipt issued.
In Court, if acquitted the bailee has his Court bail returned to him.
If convicted, the Court bail either pays any fine the Court imposes - or at least goes towards payment.
Having served as a Police officer for 26 years, this was my bread & butter.
Is this not how things work in Thailand?

Bob Kneale said...

The police, crooked or not, were not involved in this raid and displayed no corrupt activities whatsoever, they simply did what they were initially obliged to do by the DPA and eventually those arrested were freed and did not have to go to court. That was a decision made by the police. Apart from bail money, which would be returned to the arrestees there were no other payments involved.

Bob Kneale said...

Well, in a nutshell, Thai justice in this case was the police not proceeding with the charges after the PDA raid and releasing the innocent bridge club members when they knew nothing could stick.

Andrea Sisaran said...

lancashire lad. When bail is granted, depending on the crime will determine what Mr plod gets next. Charge. Sex with Underage girls. Big bucks and who would want to go back and see out that court case when you can forfeit the bail money = Justice is done Thai style and plod gets new car or what ever. That is the Thai system. Pay and ok. Try and get money back.. Good luck

Lancashirelad said...

I'm afraid your version seems somewhat at odds with what I have read, Bob.
You state, inter alia, that "the Police...were not involved in this raid." The video footage clearly shows Police officers taking pet in the raid. Whether they were the instigators or merely "supporting" DPA agents is immaterial - Police took part.
AD supports your contention that the arrested persons did not have to go to Courts. But it was a damn close-run thing. AD tells us that they actually did report back to the station at 10:00 hrs to board a bus to take them to Court - having only been released from Police custody at 03:30 hrs.
It was only a last minute intervention which prevented them from a Court appearance.
Why are you such an apologist for such a vile, repugnant, corrupt, incompetent regime?

Lancashirelad said...

In any decent, civilized, democratic society Bob, there is such a thing as "unlawful arrest." Even you cannot deny that these people were most definitely "arrested" and taken to a Police station.
I would submit that their arrest, from what has been made available on this and other websites, was most definitely "unlawful."
And in the sort of society which I have described above, people who have been subjected to unlawful arrest have legal recourse to the Courts for financial compensation.
Does such a situation exist in Thailand?
I can almost hear the chortling from some of the regular contributors to this forum as I write.

Drew Noyse is a convicted criminal. said...

I don't think tis case is over yet. There has been reports that they still want to peruse the case as the venue wasn't "registered", its face saving and racism at its best.
However....I know many people who have received their bail back reasonably quickly with no fuss or dramas.

D. Farang said...

I've been picking up garbage and broken glass, even a few used needles on Thai beaches for 10 I've evaded arrest is anyone's guess, just another obvious example where fact is much stranger than fiction..

Only in amazing Thailand you say?

Steam Punk said...

Is garbage picking illegal and subject to arrest in Thailand? Or is this a work permit issue?

Megalodon said...

Do you mean "peruse" the case as you have written, or do you mean "persue?"

Andrew Drummond said...

My dear Mega Magister . The sun is shining. The daffodils are out all ready. But my eight year old is raiding the larder, six year old is swingng on the bannister and 3 year old has found the Play Doh. In normal circumtances I guess I could find this. And I am grateful for your corrections. They are often left unthanked because I know you the delight you get in the insults. But do not think they are not appreciated. Can you give me a clue. Is it near the top? bottom? how does the paragraph start? Sometimes I am totally blind but will recognise it when directed - the old codger that I am now.

Andrew Drummond said...

already! (sorry)

genuinej said...

"persue"?? Presumably you mean "pursue"!!

Ally said...

Yes, yes, yes does it really matter? Review mistake.
Dam, I wish that's all I had to worry about.

genuinej said...

That should be "Damn".

Ally said...


Ally said...

Damn! Yes it should.