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Australian Women Arrested In Phuket Over Bar Mat


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Seems to me that most Aussies on here don't like this and think it's been taken over the top - as it may have been.

However, the majority of the Aussies who visit the Aussie Bar and other establishments in Phuket seem to get the idea that they own the place and they can do nothing wrong. I think this case is no different. Sounds like this woman and her friends thought they can do and say what they want, whether it's against the law or not.

Would her friends go putting bar mats in her bag if they were at a bar in Melbourne? Would she have a go at a police officer and verbally abuse the police officer in Melbourne? I highly doubt it.

As someone has earlier said, tourists in Thailand think they can't do any wrong and can't have anything wrong done to them. MOST Aussies, I find, are particularly guilty of this. There is a law here. Stealing things is illegal, as I'm sure it is in Australia. Don't go away thinking you can bend the law in the bendable Thai legal system. Just abide by the law and no problems will be had. Some respect towards the locals, especially the police, wouldn't hurt one bit.

I have lived here for 5 years and I fully understand the frustrations and the lack of common sense that prevails quite often, however all foreigners should realize that they can't just go breaking any law and expect to get away with it.

As for the Aussie Bar and Steve. It is a great place to go drink and have some food. It's a good night out where there's no hassles. Steve is a top-class guy and I just assume that those of you who are complaining about satellite signals being stolen, or that Steve is a bad guy, are just jealous of the business he has forged.

Yes the Aussie Bar has some police in the organization, as does every other foreign business in Thailand. That is the landscape here (especially in areas like Bangla Rd.) and as long as people just stay out of trouble and don't do anything that is illegal (stealing) then they probably won't know or need to care that there's police or influential Thai's associated with the business.

Tough luck for the lady and I hope that common sense is found and she is released. Hopefully this is a lesson to not only Aussies but all tourists and people come to have a good, fun holiday and don't get involved with anything that will get them thrown into a Thai jail. If something that is considered a crime in Thailand is the cause for tourist numbers to drop, then I'm sure the Thai's will welcome the tourists that aren't here to break the law.

My 2 cents and I'm pretty sure every Aussie won't like it but, there ya go.

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I'm sorry, but I find many of attitudes on here puzzling. IMO, it is all just more Thai-bashing from Westerners who feel that all of Thailand should bow and scrape to them.

The woman in question ran from the police during questioning, resisted arrest, and then verbally abused the chief-of-police. In the USA, where I am from, any of these crimes carry serious charges. But in Thailand, where the Westerner is to be worshipped at all cost because all Thais should be whores to the tourist dollar (regardless of their station), the Thais are awful for detaining her while they decide how to handle this case and what charges to press.

In the end, it will probably be a small fine and no jail time just as with the Burroughs case (and in his case he abused and threatened airport security and immigration personnel which would also be a big crime in the US). That is not a big punishment to pay considering the circumstances. The woman from Australia is the one who made a petty problem very serious by her actions. Consider in your home country what would happen if you fled the police, resisted arrest, and verbally abused the cheif-of-police. But in Thailand, tourists should be able to do whatever it is they want according to the reasoning of some.

I DO agree that Thailand has endemic problems with police corruption, and criminal justice can be a twisted thing in LOS. However, in this case, I think the Thai authorities are within their rights. What must the Thais think when they are asked to excuse serious crimes for the sake of sucking up to tourists (and, no, I am not talking about a stolen bar mat)? It perputuates the sterotype many Thais have that all Westerners think Thailand and its people should excuse any behaviour and any crime from tourists and Westerners to save face with Westerners and their media.

Many of us know the worst thing one can ever do in Thailand, especially with authorities, is to raise one's voice, especially if verbal abuse is involved. This is NOT a case about a bar prank or a missing bar mat, and it must infuriate Thais that Westerners and their media want to paint it as such. Now the woman and the media are trying to insult the Thais and the Thai authorites involved by conducting a media campaign that makes Thailand look bad for holding someone in such a case (fleeing a police investigation, abuse of police staff). That is not a winning move on her part as she is now just fanning the flames, making a bad situation worse, and hardening the attitudes of the Thai authorities involved.

And had this happened in a Western country to a Thai person (and Thais who travel to other countries would probably never behave in such a manner) that fled police when being questioned and verbally abused the police and their cheif, would all of us be in an uproar? The woman (and any of us) need to learn that one must respect the laws, the authorities, and the customs in ANY country in which we choose to travel, and that being a Western tourist in a devloping country dependent in part upon tourism and tourist money does not give us the freedom to act in whatever manner we like and to break any laws we wish.

JMHO, and presented as another opinion in the face of all the rampant Thailand-bashing in this thread and the "another-nail-in-the-coffin" crowd who frequent the TV forum.

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I'm sorry, but I find many of attitudes on here puzzling. IMO, it is all just more Thai-bashing from Westerners who feel that all of Thailand should bow and scrape to them.

The woman in question ran from the police during questioning, resisted arrest, and then verbally abused the chief-of-police. In the USA, where I am from, any of these crimes carry serious charges. But in Thailand, where the Westerner is to be worshipped at all cost because all Thais should be whores to the tourist dollar (regardless of their station), the Thais are awful for detaining her while they decide how to handle this case and what charges to press.

In the end, it will probably be a small fine and no jail time just as with the Burroughs case (and in his case he abused and threatened airport security and immigration personnel which would also be a big crime in the US). That is not a big punishment to pay considering the circumstances. The woman from Australia is the one who made a petty problem very serious by her actions. Consider in your home country what would happen if you fled the police, resisted arrest, and verbally abused the cheif-of-police. But in Thailand, tourists should be able to do whatever it is they want according to the reasoning of some.

I DO agree that Thailand has endemic problems with police corruption, and criminal justice can be a twisted thing in LOS. However, in this case, I think the Thai authorities are within their rights. What must the Thais think when they are asked to excuse serious crimes for the sake of sucking up to tourists (and, no, I am not talking about a stolen bar mat)? It perputuates the sterotype many Thais have that all Westerners think Thailand and its people should excuse any behaviour and any crime from tourists and Westerners to save face with Westerners and their media.

Many of us know the worst thing one can ever do in Thailand, especially with authorities, is to raise one's voice, especially if verbal abuse is involved. This is NOT a case about a bar prank or a missing bar mat, and it must infuriate Thais that Westerners and their media want to paint it as such. Now the woman and the media are trying to insult the Thais and the Thai authorites involved by conducting a media campaign that makes Thailand look bad for holding someone in such a case (fleeing a police investigation, abuse of police staff). That is not a winning move on her part as she is now just fanning the flames, making a bad situation worse, and hardening the attitudes of the Thai authorities involved.

And had this happened in a Western country to a Thai person (and Thais who travel to other countries would probably never behave in such a manner) that fled police when being questioned and verbally abused the police and their cheif, would all of us be in an uproar? The woman (and any of us) need to learn that one must respect the laws, the authorities, and the customs in ANY country in which we choose to travel, and that being a Western tourist in a devloping country dependent in part upon tourism and tourist money does not give us the freedom to act in whatever manner we like and to break any laws we wish.

JMHO, and presented as another opinion in the face of all the rampant Thailand-bashing in this thread and the "another-nail-in-the-coffin" crowd who frequent the TV forum.

Agreed 100% sounds like she brought this on herself.

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A bar mat and an undercover policeman? Thailand is slowly becoming Burma. Phuket, pattaya, Chiangmai are all places that should be avoided at all price. Their police forces belong to the most crooked in the country. Unfortunately the lady in question did not realize that she could do anything except looking for publicity. the fact that this case is now in the open means that she will get 2 years, half off because she will admit to the case (standard procedure, after all half the Thai inmates are in for doing nothing). If this case would have stayed out of the press, she could have paid the police, the owner, the prosecutor of the judge, which is all standard procedure in Thailand. Involving an embassy and appearing in the press will cut these possibilities almost off. Hiring a lawyer is an expensive waste time and resources. Good luck to the lady, after all Australia is not very famous for helping its citizens in the LOS.

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Seems like it's nothing about the bar mat at all.

She probably could have talked her way out of the bar mat, though knowing a drunken lout Ozzie girl, she was loud, abusive, flipped out, and got a shock when she found out she couldn't command the circumstances. Isn't this the problem with feminism in developed countries...... now the women wear the pants, and we men have become the bitches. They they think they can scream and rave and get their way like they do in Australia. Equality is fine, but not feminism or macho ism.

There's an unspoken rule of respect for all peoples, especially authority. I'm glad she's scared. And now she's dissing the Aust. Govt for failing to help.

Ever heard the way many of these Oz girls speak?

As she said "It's a crock"..... I wonder if she was going to finish that sentence... a crock of what? Now, if she says that on radio, we can guess how polite she is when she's drunk. :):D :D

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Its the ozzie bar on Bangla.. Steve.. Who I am sure doesnt want this publicity or hassle.. This is in the Thai polices hands.

Too late for that, i think he should go down the copshop and demand that he does not want to press charges.

In the end, it's his bar and the mat is his property.

Fellows, The bar owner is NOT pressing charges. Here is part of the article:

But the owner of the Aussie Bar, Steve Wood, told 3AW that he believed Ms Smoel had been abusive toward the undercover police who had stopped her in the bar.

“When they talked to her all they wanted to do was chastise her, and they usually let you go, but she did a runner on them ... the police had to chase her down the beach,'' Mr Wood said.

“When they took her back to the police station, she continued to abuse everyone at the police station including the chief of police and I think this is what the problem is.

“It's more of an attitude problem than a crime problem.''

She was charged with a “night-time theft'' and imprisoned for four days.

Mr Wood said he had not pressed charges.

Her disrespectful behavior is the reason she is being held. Aussies and others can boycott if they want, but I applaud the Thai Police for teaching this bitch a lesson. Behave yourself and you will be treated as an a welcome guest. :)

Thank's Risky,

That certainly seems to be a plausible explanation.

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I'm sorry, but I find many of attitudes on here puzzling. IMO, it is all just more Thai-bashing from Westerners who feel that all of Thailand should bow and scrape to them.

The woman in question ran from the police during questioning, resisted arrest, and then verbally abused the chief-of-police. In the USA, where I am from, any of these crimes carry serious charges. But in Thailand, where the Westerner is to be worshipped at all cost because all Thais should be whores to the tourist dollar (regardless of their station), the Thais are awful for detaining her while they decide how to handle this case and what charges to press.

In the end, it will probably be a small fine and no jail time just as with the Burroughs case (and in his case he abused and threatened airport security and immigration personnel which would also be a big crime in the US). That is not a big punishment to pay considering the circumstances. The woman from Australia is the one who made a petty problem very serious by her actions. Consider in your home country what would happen if you fled the police, resisted arrest, and verbally abused the cheif-of-police. But in Thailand, tourists should be able to do whatever it is they want according to the reasoning of some.

I DO agree that Thailand has endemic problems with police corruption, and criminal justice can be a twisted thing in LOS. However, in this case, I think the Thai authorities are within their rights. What must the Thais think when they are asked to excuse serious crimes for the sake of sucking up to tourists (and, no, I am not talking about a stolen bar mat)? It perputuates the sterotype many Thais have that all Westerners think Thailand and its people should excuse any behaviour and any crime from tourists and Westerners to save face with Westerners and their media.

Many of us know the worst thing one can ever do in Thailand, especially with authorities, is to raise one's voice, especially if verbal abuse is involved. This is NOT a case about a bar prank or a missing bar mat, and it must infuriate Thais that Westerners and their media want to paint it as such. Now the woman and the media are trying to insult the Thais and the Thai authorites involved by conducting a media campaign that makes Thailand look bad for holding someone in such a case (fleeing a police investigation, abuse of police staff). That is not a winning move on her part as she is now just fanning the flames, making a bad situation worse, and hardening the attitudes of the Thai authorities involved.

And had this happened in a Western country to a Thai person (and Thais who travel to other countries would probably never behave in such a manner) that fled police when being questioned and verbally abused the police and their cheif, would all of us be in an uproar? The woman (and any of us) need to learn that one must respect the laws, the authorities, and the customs in ANY country in which we choose to travel, and that being a Western tourist in a devloping country dependent in part upon tourism and tourist money does not give us the freedom to act in whatever manner we like and to break any laws we wish.

JMHO, and presented as another opinion in the face of all the rampant Thailand-bashing in this thread and the "another-nail-in-the-coffin" crowd who frequent the TV forum.

:) Agree 100%. Well put.

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Seems like it's nothing about the bar mat at all.

She probably could have talked her way out of the bar mat, though knowing a drunken lout Ozzie girl, she was loud, abusive, flipped out, and got a shock when she found out she couldn't command the circumstances. Isn't this the problem with feminism in developed countries...... now the women wear the pants, and we men have become the bitches. They they think they can scream and rave and get their way like they do in Australia. Equality is fine, but not feminism or macho ism.

There's an unspoken rule of respect for all peoples, especially authority. I'm glad she's scared. And now she's dissing the Aust. Govt for failing to help.

Ever heard the way many of these Oz girls speak?

As she said "It's a crock"..... I wonder if she was going to finish that sentence... a crock of what? Now, if she says that on radio, we can guess how polite she is when she's drunk. :):D :D

Maybe so, but the fact that an undercover policeman makes his presence known for such an absurd case says more about the police than it says about the tourist. Tourists happen to be loud and drunk. If you do not like that part of tourism, put a sign on the immigration boot and refer to the next plane that goes to Cambodia, The Philippines or Indonesia.

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Corruption pure and simple.

I just asked my Thai wife what would happen if a Thai person was caught for the same offence.

Just a small fine was her response.

This kind of shit rarely happened when Thaksin was in power. Now corruption is at near plauge proportions. This is a common occurance. These cops are stalking tourist areas looking for shakedown opertunities.

Does anyone know the name of this Aussie bar?

It is going to be very interesting to see where this will lead now the Oz PM is involved. It will be interesting to see if the Thai government has any control over the police forces. My guess is NON and now the whole judiciary will be involved.

It's all about money. Shame on you Thailand, shame.

Name is the Aussi Bar... And unless there is more then one its in Patong. I assume other Australians have already told the owner what they thought of it.

Its kind of a silly thing what happened as these beermats are cheaply or freely available. On the other hand the bars in that area arent seemingly doing too well....

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Schapelle Corby comes to mind.

We have the husband and the woman saying she is innocent, well they would, wouldn't they!

Until all the evidence is tested in court, all of this discussion is academic.

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I'm sorry, but I find many of attitudes on here puzzling. IMO, it is all just more Thai-bashing from Westerners who feel that all of Thailand should bow and scrape to them.

The woman in question ran from the police during questioning, resisted arrest, and then verbally abused the chief-of-police. In the USA, where I am from, any of these crimes carry serious charges. But in Thailand, where the Westerner is to be worshipped at all cost because all Thais should be whores to the tourist dollar (regardless of their station), the Thais are awful for detaining her while they decide how to handle this case and what charges to press.

In the end, it will probably be a small fine and no jail time just as with the Burroughs case (and in his case he abused and threatened airport security and immigration personnel which would also be a big crime in the US). That is not a big punishment to pay considering the circumstances. The woman from Australia is the one who made a petty problem very serious by her actions. Consider in your home country what would happen if you fled the police, resisted arrest, and verbally abused the cheif-of-police. But in Thailand, tourists should be able to do whatever it is they want according to the reasoning of some.

I DO agree that Thailand has endemic problems with police corruption, and criminal justice can be a twisted thing in LOS. However, in this case, I think the Thai authorities are within their rights. What must the Thais think when they are asked to excuse serious crimes for the sake of sucking up to tourists (and, no, I am not talking about a stolen bar mat)? It perputuates the sterotype many Thais have that all Westerners think Thailand and its people should excuse any behaviour and any crime from tourists and Westerners to save face with Westerners and their media.

Many of us know the worst thing one can ever do in Thailand, especially with authorities, is to raise one's voice, especially if verbal abuse is involved. This is NOT a case about a bar prank or a missing bar mat, and it must infuriate Thais that Westerners and their media want to paint it as such. Now the woman and the media are trying to insult the Thais and the Thai authorites involved by conducting a media campaign that makes Thailand look bad for holding someone in such a case (fleeing a police investigation, abuse of police staff). That is not a winning move on her part as she is now just fanning the flames, making a bad situation worse, and hardening the attitudes of the Thai authorities involved.

And had this happened in a Western country to a Thai person (and Thais who travel to other countries would probably never behave in such a manner) that fled police when being questioned and verbally abused the police and their cheif, would all of us be in an uproar? The woman (and any of us) need to learn that one must respect the laws, the authorities, and the customs in ANY country in which we choose to travel, and that being a Western tourist in a devloping country dependent in part upon tourism and tourist money does not give us the freedom to act in whatever manner we like and to break any laws we wish.

JMHO, and presented as another opinion in the face of all the rampant Thailand-bashing in this thread and the "another-nail-in-the-coffin" crowd who frequent the TV forum.

Sorry, Bub, in the USA--where I am from--verbal abuse is NOT a crime and is, in fact, called "freedom of speech" and guaranteed by the US Constitution. But, it's obviously a hanging offense in Thailand.

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I'm sorry, but I find many of attitudes on here puzzling. IMO, it is all just more Thai-bashing from Westerners who feel that all of Thailand should bow and scrape to them.

The woman in question ran from the police during questioning, resisted arrest, and then verbally abused the chief-of-police. In the USA, where I am from, any of these crimes carry serious charges. But in Thailand, where the Westerner is to be worshipped at all cost because all Thais should be whores to the tourist dollar (regardless of their station), the Thais are awful for detaining her while they decide how to handle this case and what charges to press.

In the end, it will probably be a small fine and no jail time just as with the Burroughs case (and in his case he abused and threatened airport security and immigration personnel which would also be a big crime in the US). That is not a big punishment to pay considering the circumstances. The woman from Australia is the one who made a petty problem very serious by her actions. Consider in your home country what would happen if you fled the police, resisted arrest, and verbally abused the cheif-of-police. But in Thailand, tourists should be able to do whatever it is they want according to the reasoning of some.

I DO agree that Thailand has endemic problems with police corruption, and criminal justice can be a twisted thing in LOS. However, in this case, I think the Thai authorities are within their rights. What must the Thais think when they are asked to excuse serious crimes for the sake of sucking up to tourists (and, no, I am not talking about a stolen bar mat)? It perputuates the sterotype many Thais have that all Westerners think Thailand and its people should excuse any behaviour and any crime from tourists and Westerners to save face with Westerners and their media.

Many of us know the worst thing one can ever do in Thailand, especially with authorities, is to raise one's voice, especially if verbal abuse is involved. This is NOT a case about a bar prank or a missing bar mat, and it must infuriate Thais that Westerners and their media want to paint it as such. Now the woman and the media are trying to insult the Thais and the Thai authorites involved by conducting a media campaign that makes Thailand look bad for holding someone in such a case (fleeing a police investigation, abuse of police staff). That is not a winning move on her part as she is now just fanning the flames, making a bad situation worse, and hardening the attitudes of the Thai authorities involved.

And had this happened in a Western country to a Thai person (and Thais who travel to other countries would probably never behave in such a manner) that fled police when being questioned and verbally abused the police and their cheif, would all of us be in an uproar? The woman (and any of us) need to learn that one must respect the laws, the authorities, and the customs in ANY country in which we choose to travel, and that being a Western tourist in a devloping country dependent in part upon tourism and tourist money does not give us the freedom to act in whatever manner we like and to break any laws we wish.

JMHO, and presented as another opinion in the face of all the rampant Thailand-bashing in this thread and the "another-nail-in-the-coffin" crowd who frequent the TV forum.

Agreed 100% sounds like she brought this on herself.

Perfectly written/.

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Assuming that there is not more to the story, I am seriously considering not visiting Thailand anymore. I do NOT condone theft, even petty theft, but this appears to be extremely harsh, especially for a country that has all sorts of hard-core criminals walking around free.

Another nail in the coffin that is Thailand tourism :)

I suspect she was drunk, was abusive to the police, etc. People often forget they are guests in this country, and should treat it and the people with utmost courtesy. I am amazed at the garbage attitude many farangs have toward Thailand. I think they should get out.

I love it here, when in need of help, I've never been turned away. The Thai's have always been honest to a fault, and courteous also. We just need to remember it is easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar.

Thailand advertises itself as a tourist destination. People go on holiday to enjoy themselves, lie on the beach and get drunk at night.

Thais should expect foreigners to act in this way. If they dont they shouldnt be trying to attract tourists.

The problem with Thais is they believe they are a superior race, when in fact they are 50 years behind the western world.

This is 2009, multiculturalism all over the world - do Asians come to our countries and act the same way we do... I think not!

This should have been dealt with a 500B fine and night in the slammer would have been plenty enought punishment

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He says bar employees told him police saw Smoel's friends roll up the bar mat and place it in a bag. He says when police confronted Smoel 'she did a runner'.

So is the charge theft or what?

If the police actually saw the friend roll up the mat and put it in her bag, then they know that she is not guilty.

I don't know this bar, but assuming that it is a Farang tourist spot, would undercover Thai police go in? Most tourist bars that I know, Thai men customers would stick out like a sore thumb.

Some big bars, keep some off duty cops around, so as to help out in any security issues..

Theres a lot more off duty cops than most people realize.. Sit back when sober and look around the bangla frontage.. Around shipwreck, rio, a few places.. Often a couple of plain clothes sitting watching the road.

Having lived here many years I donot have any beer mats in my house... Most of the ones you use get wet and who wants that in a hand bag!!

On the other hand if you want nice ones consider that a polite talk with the barowner will be the least troublesome way to end up with the mat of your wishes.... And if he has a silly price ask why as some but obviously not all mats come from other countries.

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So,this is some Thai scumbags bar a

Sorry,I thought we were in Thailand,which as a lot of people don't realise is the Thai's homeland. Mind you if everyone went to jail that stole a beer mat/bar towel from my place, the jails would be as overcrowded as UK

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Assuming that there is not more to the story, I am seriously considering not visiting Thailand anymore. I do NOT condone theft, even petty theft, but this appears to be extremely harsh, especially for a country that has all sorts of hard-core criminals walking around free.

Another nail in the coffin that is Thailand tourism :)

I suspect she was drunk, was abusive to the police, etc. People often forget they are guests in this country, and should treat it and the people with utmost courtesy. I am amazed at the garbage attitude many farangs have toward Thailand. I think they should get out.

I love it here, when in need of help, I've never been turned away. The Thai's have always been honest to a fault, and courteous also. We just need to remember it is easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar.

Tourist are 'guests' in this country? do you make your guests pay to stay at your house? That is a ridiculous over-used line. They are customers who have chosen Thailand out of a multitude of other countries to enjoy some vacations. Not every foreigner care to spend the time to learn local customs. Thailand is a major tourist destination, and as such it is expected that foreigners will sometime behave as they would in their country. Phuket as a tourist hot spot should train its police force to deal with 'unusual' farangs. Obviously they do not, leading to crazy situations like the one facing Ms Smoel.

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Even if she'd been the most loud-mouth, abusive tourist in the whole of Phuket, there's an easy way to deal with this that doesn't involve throwing her in the slammer (or wherever) for god-knows-how-many-days....

"You're bard. Goodbye."

Didn't get there for some reason.

I am "bard" ??? What does that mean and who are you? Are you Aussie by chance?

How would you deal with this situation, if you were a policeman?

What a person "gets" isn't always what a person "deserves"..thats reality.

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I'm sorry, but I find many of attitudes on here puzzling. IMO, it is all just more Thai-bashing from Westerners who feel that all of Thailand should bow and scrape to them.

The woman in question ran from the police during questioning, resisted arrest, and then verbally abused the chief-of-police. In the USA, where I am from, any of these crimes carry serious charges. But in Thailand, where the Westerner is to be worshipped at all cost because all Thais should be whores to the tourist dollar (regardless of their station), the Thais are awful for detaining her while they decide how to handle this case and what charges to press.

In the end, it will probably be a small fine and no jail time just as with the Burroughs case (and in his case he abused and threatened airport security and immigration personnel which would also be a big crime in the US). That is not a big punishment to pay considering the circumstances. The woman from Australia is the one who made a petty problem very serious by her actions. Consider in your home country what would happen if you fled the police, resisted arrest, and verbally abused the cheif-of-police. But in Thailand, tourists should be able to do whatever it is they want according to the reasoning of some.

I DO agree that Thailand has endemic problems with police corruption, and criminal justice can be a twisted thing in LOS. However, in this case, I think the Thai authorities are within their rights. What must the Thais think when they are asked to excuse serious crimes for the sake of sucking up to tourists (and, no, I am not talking about a stolen bar mat)? It perputuates the sterotype many Thais have that all Westerners think Thailand and its people should excuse any behaviour and any crime from tourists and Westerners to save face with Westerners and their media.

Many of us know the worst thing one can ever do in Thailand, especially with authorities, is to raise one's voice, especially if verbal abuse is involved. This is NOT a case about a bar prank or a missing bar mat, and it must infuriate Thais that Westerners and their media want to paint it as such. Now the woman and the media are trying to insult the Thais and the Thai authorites involved by conducting a media campaign that makes Thailand look bad for holding someone in such a case (fleeing a police investigation, abuse of police staff). That is not a winning move on her part as she is now just fanning the flames, making a bad situation worse, and hardening the attitudes of the Thai authorities involved.

And had this happened in a Western country to a Thai person (and Thais who travel to other countries would probably never behave in such a manner) that fled police when being questioned and verbally abused the police and their cheif, would all of us be in an uproar? The woman (and any of us) need to learn that one must respect the laws, the authorities, and the customs in ANY country in which we choose to travel, and that being a Western tourist in a devloping country dependent in part upon tourism and tourist money does not give us the freedom to act in whatever manner we like and to break any laws we wish.

JMHO, and presented as another opinion in the face of all the rampant Thailand-bashing in this thread and the "another-nail-in-the-coffin" crowd who frequent the TV forum.

Agreed 100% sounds like she brought this on herself.

Perfectly written/.

Definitely agree. Not all the facts are in.

1: Why can't an off duty undercover cop drink in a bar?? Never seen it in Oz, UK or US? If half of you " I owned a bar" posters never saw an off duty cop in a bar then are 2 choices. One means you need a seeing eye dog. The other ???

2: Stealing is wrong no matter if it is worth 1 or a million baht. If you look at the justice system in most western countries the smaller the crime the bigger the sentence.

3: Abusing officials is the same thing the British guy did and in the end he went through the system no thanks to his own ability to mouth off even after he was briefed how to behave.

Can do it with impunity in the US. BS!!

Try it in other Asian countries. Don't just use it to knock Thailand so you can see your name in print.

4: Doing a runner when drunk is a time honoured practice but not in Asia. If you run you are guilty no matter what

5: It's Thai rules that count not the rules of most of the posters who can only quote the Thai system as being corupt because they have never been here or if so never left Pattaya which makes them an expert

6: By the way if the various posters who indicate they wont holiday or whatever here. Fine. Don't. We are better off without you.

7: I like Icpossum's final line! That should get the do-gooders going

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Even if she'd been the most loud-mouth, abusive tourist in the whole of Phuket, there's an easy way to deal with this that doesn't involve throwing her in the slammer (or wherever) for god-knows-how-many-days....

"You're bard. Goodbye."

Didn't get there for some reason.

I am "bard" ??? What does that mean and who are you? Are you Aussie by chance?

How would you deal with this situation, if you were a policeman?

What a person "gets" isn't always what a person "deserves"..thats reality.

I meant "barred" - thought it looked wrong.

Incidents like this must happen up and down Thailand every night. What allowed this one to escalate? Pretty sure there'll be more facts unfolding soon.

In the meantime, it's difficult to see this reflecting positively on Thailand in any way.

For the record, I'm a Brit.

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if the falangs would stop to talk from the top down to the thais as if they where dogs none of this shit would have happened. show a bit respect to everyone and you can probably get out of this kind of situation easily. now the aussie pm has 'publicly denounced the Thai justice system'. i mean how stupid can the PM be? does he have consultants in cultural affairs at all?

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I'm sorry, but I find many of attitudes on here puzzling. IMO, it is all just more Thai-bashing from Westerners who feel that all of Thailand should bow and scrape to them.

The woman in question ran from the police during questioning, resisted arrest, and then verbally abused the chief-of-police. In the USA, where I am from, any of these crimes carry serious charges. But in Thailand, where the Westerner is to be worshipped at all cost because all Thais should be whores to the tourist dollar (regardless of their station), the Thais are awful for detaining her while they decide how to handle this case and what charges to press.

In the end, it will probably be a small fine and no jail time just as with the Burroughs case (and in his case he abused and threatened airport security and immigration personnel which would also be a big crime in the US). That is not a big punishment to pay considering the circumstances. The woman from Australia is the one who made a petty problem very serious by her actions. Consider in your home country what would happen if you fled the police, resisted arrest, and verbally abused the cheif-of-police. But in Thailand, tourists should be able to do whatever it is they want according to the reasoning of some.

I DO agree that Thailand has endemic problems with police corruption, and criminal justice can be a twisted thing in LOS. However, in this case, I think the Thai authorities are within their rights. What must the Thais think when they are asked to excuse serious crimes for the sake of sucking up to tourists (and, no, I am not talking about a stolen bar mat)? It perputuates the sterotype many Thais have that all Westerners think Thailand and its people should excuse any behaviour and any crime from tourists and Westerners to save face with Westerners and their media.

Many of us know the worst thing one can ever do in Thailand, especially with authorities, is to raise one's voice, especially if verbal abuse is involved. This is NOT a case about a bar prank or a missing bar mat, and it must infuriate Thais that Westerners and their media want to paint it as such. Now the woman and the media are trying to insult the Thais and the Thai authorites involved by conducting a media campaign that makes Thailand look bad for holding someone in such a case (fleeing a police investigation, abuse of police staff). That is not a winning move on her part as she is now just fanning the flames, making a bad situation worse, and hardening the attitudes of the Thai authorities involved.

And had this happened in a Western country to a Thai person (and Thais who travel to other countries would probably never behave in such a manner) that fled police when being questioned and verbally abused the police and their cheif, would all of us be in an uproar? The woman (and any of us) need to learn that one must respect the laws, the authorities, and the customs in ANY country in which we choose to travel, and that being a Western tourist in a devloping country dependent in part upon tourism and tourist money does not give us the freedom to act in whatever manner we like and to break any laws we wish.

JMHO, and presented as another opinion in the face of all the rampant Thailand-bashing in this thread and the "another-nail-in-the-coffin" crowd who frequent the TV forum.

100% right.

the case is not about the bar mat. the case is about the way she behaved when approached by the police.. she ran from the police during questioning, resisted arrest, and then verbally abused the chief-of-police.

i wonder if a Thai woman in Australia under the same circumstances would be treated differently.

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I read the story in other papers too - so in my opinion this lady have clearly handled against the law and additional quarreled, disrespected and tried to escape during investigation - and now she plays the poor and good mother who is totally innocent and she can not understand all this as it is a joke???

What happen to some people - if you run away from the police in some other countries they will shot after you!!!

I see nothing wrong from the Thai authorities here, and I also she would she behave accordingly, the Thai police would just investigate and let her go - but just inform yourself people what she did was not smart and clever at all.

It also have to be clear stated that the mat has been found in her hand bag - so if she can't approve otherwise it is a theft action!

Its just not understandable how some people and herself try to bring the story in a different light!

I life in Thailand since 20 years, I am Austrian and in all this years I never ever had problem with the Thai police - some just have to handle them in the same way you would handle an authority at your home country. And just because you are white does not mean you are better, they need you there and some can do whatever!! That's my two cents n to this incident!

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What a crock of sh1t,, as if this is the real reason, a bar mat really, anyone with half a brain that knows thailand will know this "offence" wouldnt have left the bar, OR police negotiations,i think western "principles " will be involved, lets wait and see,.

Exactly.. The 'crime' isnt the beer mat.. the crime is running away from the cops, fleeing when they told her to stop, and then gobbing off at the chief of police back at the station..

Simon spent 3 weeks in a jail and months sorting this out and everyone on here slated him.. He must have been 'aggressive' or 'rude'.. Anyone whose seen the hen night type ozzie shielas down Bangla will have a guess how this went down.

I feel sorry for this Lady - Innocent fun and now facing Years in a Thai Jail.

The admit they did it "as a prank"..

And 'innocent' of resisting arrest ?? They wouldnt do a runner from an Aussie cop.. but they think just cos they are in Thailand and western they can act out and do what they like..

Agreed, this is more than about taking a stolen mat, it's more that you're pretty much telling the Thai authority to <deleted>#k off in their own country. I doubt this has anything to do with the bar owner, more that the Thail local officals taking interest in the matter. I agree this is bit too harsh for the lady but what did you expect when you run away from the cops and than insulting them?

What would have happened if a Thai National went to Australia for vacation and got wasted at a bar, stole something and when confronted by Aussie cops, they pulled a runner and than insulted the officers back in the station? As an American, I can say that if a Thai national (Or any nationals for that matter) pull that crap and ran away from police officers here in New York City, they be <deleted>*ked. First the cops would chase them down, taser/mace them, tackle/slam to the ground, cuffed and taken to the station for booking charges. They be charged with resisting arrest, fleeing from scene of the crime, assaulting police officer, and whatever charges the DA's can think off. They be put in jail awaiting bail and eventually be bailed out with most the charges eventually being dropped. They would be fined and kicked out the country. This is exactly what's going on in Thailand except they already bailed her out.

You all know she won't get any jail time from this, but they will do what they can to make an example out of her. Not for stealing a $60 mat, but more that you should respect the authorities especially when you are a guest in someone else's country.

Thailand is still one the best vacation spot in the world, with some of the most hospitable people in the world. I'll take Thailand over Malaysia and Indonesia anytime.

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Corruption pure and simple.

I just asked my Thai wife what would happen if a Thai person was caught for the same offence.

Just a small fine was her response.

This kind of shit rarely happened when Thaksin was in power. Now corruption is at near plauge proportions. This is a common occurance. These cops are stalking tourist areas looking for shakedown opertunities.

Does anyone know the name of this Aussie bar?

It is going to be very interesting to see where this will lead now the Oz PM is involved. It will be interesting to see if the Thai government has any control over the police forces. My guess is NON and now the whole judiciary will be involved.

It's all about money. Shame on you Thailand, shame.

If this was a shakedown then surely she wouldn't have been arrested?

I don't get the "Shame on you Thailand"? If she had done this in Australia then she would have been arrested too. What makes the thing so sad is the mat is probably only worth a couple of dollars anyway, why couldn't she just have bought it off the barman instead?

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There's GOT to be more to this.

A frameup, with a bar girl putting a bar mat in someone's purse on the QT.

Miraculously, the police know just who to stop randomly to check for stolen goods.

And she gets an over the top penalty of years in prison, instead of a small fine or warning.

Who did this woman REALLY piss off, and how?

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"The owner of the Aussie Bar, Steve Wood, told 3AW that he believed Ms Smoel had been abusive toward the undercover police who had stopped her in the bar. “When they talked to her all they wanted to do was chastise her, and they usually let you go, but she did a runner on them ... the police had to chase her down the beach,'' Mr Wood said. “When they took her back to the police station, she continued to abuse everyone at the police station including the chief of police and I think this is what the problem is. It's more of an attitude problem than a crime problem.''

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And here she is, 10 minutes of a telephone conversation.

http://www.3aw.com.au/displayPopUpPlayerAc...90509_Smoel.mp3

And it sounds like she mouthed off at her Embassy in Bangkok too, listen around 8:12.

"I probably got too upset with Melissia (?) at the Australian Embassy in Bangkok".

Sounds like she is just being too rude to everyone. Maybe a bit of RESPECT for the authorities and those who could help might go a long way. How about a few APOLOGIES Annice????

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...The woman in question ran from the police during questioning, resisted arrest, and then verbally abused the chief-of-police. In the USA, where I am from, any of these crimes carry serious charges. But in Thailand, where the Westerner is to be worshipped at all cost because all Thais should be whores to the tourist dollar (regardless of their station), the Thais are awful for detaining her while they decide how to handle this case and what charges to press...

Everything I have read so far in this topic about the charges against the woman is that the police charged her with "night-time theft", not with running away from the police, not with resisting arrest, not with verbally abusing the chief of police.

What is the truth? Can anybody post a copy of the charge sheet here?

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