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Is police harassment in the Thong Lo area still a problem?


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Free advice: Omit the area, if you look/behave like a drug user (or are one) and you will not be harassed...

Yes, better to avoid this place, as it is full of Covid right now. And once  the cluster<deleted> will be resolved the police will be out with a vengeance, getting compensation for the lost busi

Some of my Canadian friends are fond of clubbing, but unfortunately the number of baby-seals in Thailand is rather limited. 🤪

Free advice: Omit the area, if you look/behave like a drug user (or are one) and you will not be harassed...

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On 4/15/2021 at 4:49 AM, edwardandtubs said:

I haven't seen any reports recently. Are they still doing drug searches on random foreigners?

 

 

I doubt the average ThaiVisa user is the type that the police would bother stopping, nor would the average ThaiVisa user be in the parts of Thong Lo that the police are watching.  

That said my friends and I used to regularly go to clubs and bars in the area and none of us have ever been stopped (in over 10 years).  I have heard of Thai friends getting stopped, some of them multiple times and having to pay between 100K - 300K to get out of trouble.

Have you been stopped in the past or are you just worried because you've heard that people get stopped there?

 

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25 minutes ago, seancbk said:

I doubt the average ThaiVisa user is the type that the police would bother stopping, nor would the average ThaiVisa user be in the parts of Thong Lo that the police are watching.  

 

I lived in Thonglor for twelve years before moving out of Bangkok to a coastal town a couple of years ago.

 

I regularly stolled through the area at various hours, even the area that housed some of the haunts that may now be considered dodgy, the Krystal Club was in my soi, I didn't always dress to impress and whilst I saw numerous police prowling on their motorbikes I never got stopped once.

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2 hours ago, seancbk said:

 

I doubt the average ThaiVisa user is the type that the police would bother stopping, nor would the average ThaiVisa user be in the parts of Thong Lo that the police are watching.  
 


True, although those friends of mine who have been stopped have been far from any kind of hippie / drug user type of look. More like businessman in their mid 20s look... (or maybe that's exactly the typical of Thonglo partygoer)

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I have lived Thonglor soi 13 for 12-13 years- never ever seen a farang being stopped, in fact rarely if ever see police patrolling and have not seen a road stop in a year or so. None of my friends i meet in the pub who also live in that area have ever been stopped either.

 

I have been stopped once in that time and that was Asoke. No biggie- does not bother me in the slightest.

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22 hours ago, SS1 said:

as possession of electronic cigarettes is not actually illegal as per the law.

is the illegal bit to what ?....sell, actually be caught using them?.....I ask because I see quite a lot of people using them now.

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54 minutes ago, SS1 said:


True, although those friends of mine who have been stopped have been far from any kind of hippie / drug user type of look. More like businessman in their mid 20s look... (or maybe that's exactly the typical of Thonglo partygoer)

 

There are people in their mid-twenties that look like businessmen?

 

In any event, best to not participate in criminal activity regardless of how you look or where you are. 

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1 minute ago, Surelynot said:

is the illegal bit to what ?....sell, actually be caught using them?.....I ask because I see quite a lot of people using them now.

 

As long as they are not dressed as businessmen they should be okay...

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22 hours ago, SS1 said:

Yes, I have still seen reports of "stop and search" of foreigners in the past 6 months around Thong Lo. I also saw a Thai writing about getting his car searched by the cops looking for electric cigarettes. This is a 100% scam, as possession of electronic cigarettes is not actually illegal as per the law. However, most will opt for a on-the-spot bribe, afraid of long court proceedings and jail. 

If I got stopped by the police, the first thing I will do before they even speak to me, is make it plain to them that they are not getting any money, though not in a hostile manner, I will always cooperate with them, but will not do anything I don't agree with.

I do not drink or take drugs, and I will not be joining the "scared of your own shadow" brigade.

Edited by possum1931
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Just now, possum1931 said:

If I got stopped by the police, the first thing I will do before they even speak to me, is make it plain to them that they are not getting any money, though not in a hostile manner, but I will cooperate with them, but will not do anything I don't agree with.

I do not drink or take drugs, and I will not be joining the "scared of your own shadow" brigade.

 

I've never been stopped on foot, but when driving I would always pretend I didn't know what they wanted. 

 

I have not been stopped for at least five years, maybe ten. 

 

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1 hour ago, SS1 said:


True, although those friends of mine who have been stopped have been far from any kind of hippie / drug user type of look. More like businessman in their mid 20s look... (or maybe that's exactly the typical of Thonglo partygoer)

It is also the type who always have plenty of money.

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6 minutes ago, Surelynot said:

is the illegal bit to what ?....sell, actually be caught using them?.....I ask because I see quite a lot of people using them now.

 

They are illegal to sell and import. There is no law prohibiting possession and use of one. 

 

5 minutes ago, Yellowtail said:

 

There are people in their mid-twenties that look like businessmen?

 

In any event, best to not participate in criminal activity regardless of how you look or where you are. 


Haha sure, plenty of younger farang office workers in Bangkok walking to and back from the BTS in business attire.

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Just now, possum1931 said:

It is also the type who always have plenty of money.

...and there seems to plenty of them around Thong Lo.......did a house sit there before Xmas....OMG the cars....

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2 minutes ago, SS1 said:

They are illegal to sell and import. There is no law prohibiting possession and use of one.

So if you brought one in from the UK, say, just for personal use, would that be classed as importing I wonder?

 

If not, then people could smoke them freely???.......The people I do see smoking them are very  furtive.

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3 hours ago, Surelynot said:

So if you brought one in from the UK, say, just for personal use, would that be classed as importing I wonder?

 

If not, then people could smoke them freely???.......The people I do see smoking them are very  furtive.

 

Yes, generally if they can indicate that you have imported the device (even for personal use) that could land you in trouble. I remember a case of a Swiss tourist getting arrested, paying hefty fines and getting deported for this type of "import". 

The reason why people are careful with them is because there is a widespread rumour that their possession is illegal, following an outbreak of fake news a couple of years ago. As many people now believe they are completely prohibited, the police are using this to their advantage for extortion. I know people who have paid bribes of 10-20k in order to not get arrested for possessing one. 

However, if you actually read the law it clearly states importation and sales are illegal - nothing about possession or use. A French woman was arrested in Phuket and went to court. She was deported due to overstay as a result of the arrest, but finally the court fined her for "smoking while driving" as they could not charge her with anything else. 

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Posted (edited)

The only time I've been stopped is Asok station and that was a really dodgy situation with a single cop (not sure if genuine or fake) putting his fingers in my wallet and generally acting in a very peculiar manner. Asok is under the jurisdiction of Thong Lo police but it sounds from the responses on this thread that the actual Thong Lo area itself isn't too bad.

Edited by edwardandtubs
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Last heard from Thai social media is that they've moved on to nabbing Japanese chefs from restaurant for a 'papers please' session at their station now, despite protest from restaurants full of staff that he had work permit and if they'd let them fetch the chef's passport and show it to them right there

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4 hours ago, digbeth said:

Last heard from Thai social media is that they've moved on to nabbing Japanese chefs from restaurant for a 'papers please' session at their station now, despite protest from restaurants full of staff that he had work permit and if they'd let them fetch the chef's passport and show it to them right there

 

You mean passport and work permit, yes? 

Edited by Yellowtail
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I've been stopped and had my bag searched by the Shell station on Sukhumvit and Soi 23.  It was a weekday night about 10:00pm.  Of course I wasn't doing anything illegal and I was on my way in less than five minutes.  There is a Facebook group that monitors the actions of the police at  Report Sukhumvit Police unsanctioned searches and harrasment. | Groups | Facebook  

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On 4/15/2021 at 1:59 PM, SS1 said:

I also saw a Thai writing about getting his car searched by the cops looking for electric cigarettes. This is a 100% scam, as possession of electronic cigarettes is not actually illegal as per the law.

No, it is not a scam, per se.

 

There isn’t a law that specifically bans vaping and the possession or use of e-cigarettes.   However, Section 20 of the Customs Act prohibits the import of electronic cigarettes as this section covers the category of goods that have not had tax levied on them and therefore their possession is illegal.  

 

So vaping and possession hasn’t been banned but if you have an e-cigarette in your possession then you must have brought it into Thailand illegally and are therefore breaking the law. 

 

The only way to get off the hook (officially) would be to show proof that you had brought your vaping equipment prior to December 2014 when the new laws was enacted, in which case it would have been imported legally.  

Edited by Liverpool Lou
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On 4/16/2021 at 12:00 PM, Surelynot said:
On 4/15/2021 at 1:59 PM, SS1 said:

as possession of electronic cigarettes is not actually illegal as per the law.

is the illegal bit to what ?....sell, actually be caught using them?.....I ask because I see quite a lot of people using them now.

Possession is illegal because, since the 2014 import ban, they must have been imported illegally, i.e. no import duty has been paid on them.   That's how they get you.

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On 4/16/2021 at 12:09 PM, SS1 said:

They are illegal to sell and import. There is no law prohibiting possession

There is.  If you possess one you do so illegally as, since 2014, it must have been imported illegally.

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