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chanchao

Robbed & Beaten

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I volunteer for an emergency service center used by several insurance companies. Goal is to have someone on the ground to go meet people who experience some incident or accident while on holiday. This doesn't happen a lot, I'm asked to go see someone on average just once a year or so. Mostly it's medical cases, people getting a heart attack while on holiday and suchlike. Living in Chiang Mai, I'm often able to tell them what the best/easiest way is to go about things, perhaps translate where needed and generally help them get back on their feet.

Anyway yesterday I was asked to go see an older male tourist travelling through Thailand. He'd already seen the sights in Bangkok, went to Ayudthaya, now Chiang Mai where he was particulary interested in shopping at the Night Bazar, then planned to go on to Chiang Rai. Typical vanilla-vanilla tourist itinerary.

On his way back from the Night Bazar to his hotel (Winner Inn) last Friday at around 11pm, he was attacked and robbed in the road/soi close to his hotel. Hit from behind, held on to his bag, then hit (repeatedly?) in the face requiring surgery. He's still in hospital but recovering.

First aid people were very good, initial police response was very good, he was transported to Chiang Mai Ram hospital which is of course very very good and really the very best place to go especially if you have insurance.

Then on Saturday, next day after the event while still feeling upset and groggy from surgery, a different policeman comes to visit by himself, says his name is 'Tony' and from what I understand lays on this disgusting fake-jovial Thai police-dude thing ('you my friend' etc, etc) then after that proceeds to search his belongings and ask insinuating questiosn. He checked for 'hairs' on his jacket, repeatedly counted the 1400 baht he had left, (which was ALL he had left, passport, lost, ATM card lost, etc.), goes through his medications, even went so far as to take some glucose pill and licking it to check it out (the guy has diabetes too), asking if he went with prostitutes, so overall insanely intimidating behaviour. At this point the guy was wondering if he should just give the policeman some money, but witht the 1400 baht being all he had left (cash/ATM card all gone) he just couldn't do so. He's now scared to go to the police station just to make up the statement he needs to take to the embassy to get a replacement passport!

I guess this was exactly what this lone police guy was looking for: Pray on an innocent crime victim, shake the tree a little and see if some money falls out. I'm very very pissed off at this, perhaps more so than at the robbery itself which can happen in any city in the world.. Yet rogue Thai police is apparently very much a problem still, also in Chiang Mai.

I'm checking where I can go with a complaint on this. (Any thoughts?)

Chiang Mai's finest, indeed.  :o

I'm not sure I understand this, i just cant believe that a (even nasty) policeman would go out of his way for a considerable amount of time to try and shake down someone who had been robbed of all their money. Most of the time the entire Wallet would have been taken, what would be the potential for any extra money to be had by trying to go and rob him?

I agree, the story sounds somewhat suspect, now that you mention it.

Unless the cop knew those who assaulted the victim. Given the neighbourhood in which the attack occurred, this is a distinct possibility if we're talking about the same tourist police. Description please?

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Tel number is: 1676 (Corruption Hot line.) You can be anon if you wish.It certainly worked for us when we had a small incident last year with a Government official.

Thanks!

G

Great advice all the way through the thread, but if it were me I would inform my embassy early on. We had a problem with a local immigration officer and many had filed complaints nothing happened. A Brit filed a complaint through his embassy. That paticular officer has a very mundane job these days, where there is very little that they can can do to harm anyone.

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I agree, the story sounds somewhat suspect, now that you mention it.

Unless the cop knew those who assaulted the victim. Given the neighbourhood in which the attack occurred, this is a distinct possibility if we're talking about the same tourist police. Description please?

I trust the OP and his description of what happened. What the policeman was up to is hard for us to fathom, but then we don't live and think in the dark circles he does.

I certainly sounds like the same guy Tony and a nasty pice of work indeed.

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And, I thought they were supposed to be the 'good guys' to help dealing with the "big bad 'real' police"?

In my personal experience, the Tourist Police are just as big and bad as the regular police...

I have twice had to use the T.Police for serious stuff and both times the outcome was positive,once in Pattaya and the other in Udon.

I have always found them very polite, sympathetic and helpful and from my perspective would not hesitate to recommend using them.

I found that there was at least one officer who could speak and understand English

and they always went out of there way to assist me.

I always use the local office of the T.P. wherever i am rather than the local police.

I usually take a Thai friend with me but they have always asked for my version of events in English every time.

I would think that you should report to the T.P. as they will make a report out on anything serious and get a copy to back up your complaint for future reference.

At the same time report it to the embassy for serious stuff either in person if possible or use the hotline for asistance, always making sure you get the name of whoever you speak to.

Obviously the person relevnt to this particular case maybe cannot personally do this but then someone can on there behalf.

Again this is my personal view and not to say other advice isn,t useful

Please keep us all updated on the events following and good luck.

marshbags

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And, I thought they were supposed to be the 'good guys' to help dealing with the "big bad 'real' police"?

In my personal experience, the Tourist Police are just as big and bad as the regular police...

I have twice had to use the T.Police for serious stuff and both times the outcome was positive,once in Pattaya and the other in Udon.

I have always found them very polite, sympathetic and helpful and from my perspective would not hesitate to recommend using them.

I found that there was at least one officer who could speak and understand English

and they always went out of there way to assist me.

I always use the local office of the T.P. wherever i am rather than the local police.

I usually take a Thai friend with me but they have always asked for my version of events in English every time.

I would think that you should report to the T.P. as they will make a report out on anything serious and get a copy to back up your complaint for future reference.

At the same time report it to the embassy for serious stuff either in person if possible or use the hotline for asistance, always making sure you get the name of whoever you speak to.

Obviously the person relevnt to this particular case maybe cannot personally do this but then someone can on there behalf.

Again this is my personal view and not to say other advice isn,t useful

Please keep us all updated on the events following and good luck.

marshbags

This is not Pattaya or Udon and it is not about Thai police in general, just one policeman.

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Through someone I contacted I now have a picture of that police man. I will send it to the victim to confirm. After that.. I don't know. At the very least we will know if there's a particular (tourist) police officer that we need to watch out for / keep an eye on.

The intimidation wasn't severe enough to warrant pressing for legal action. It's hardly the first and wont be the last time some police officers have tried to pressure tourists for bogus reasons.

Cheers,

Chanchao

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Through someone I contacted I now have a picture of that police man. I will send it to the victim to confirm.  After that.. I don't know.  At the very least we will know if there's a particular (tourist) police officer that we need to watch out for / keep an eye on.

The intimidation wasn't severe enough to warrant pressing for legal action.  It's hardly the first and wont be the last time some police officers have tried to pressure tourists for bogus reasons.

Cheers,

Chanchao

Chanchao

Good work to get a pix of the "culprit."

But I too still have to wonder if all this is for real.

Questions that spring to mind & still need to be answered

1. What had the victim done "wrong", that enticed a policeman to visit him in hospital & pressure him to obtain …….?

2. The victim imagined he was being intimidated because / for........?

3. Where & with whom was the victim drinking before he got bashed up? Did something happen there that we / the victim don't know about (yet)?

Without clear answers to these it’s all a bit weird & somewhat murky.

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> But I too still have to wonder if all this is for real.

> Questions that spring to mind & still need to be answered

> 1. What had the victim done "wrong", that enticed a policeman to visit

> him in hospital & pressure him to obtain …….?

This is completely unclear. Note that the victim reported that the initial two police officers who got him to the hospital were excellent and very friendly. Then the incident with the lone police officer happened, after which he got so uneasy about the police that he didn't want to go to the station after recovering to do the report. I convinced him that the session at the police station would be as friendly and professional as the initial two cops who helped him. This indeed turned out to be the case. The victim actually commended everyone (also hospital staff) on how helpful they were. (Hospital staff gave him a ride to get a ticket to Bangkok)

> 2. The victim imagined he was being intimidated because / for........?

* Going through his things

* Finding 'a hair' on some jacket he had and examining it intently

* Asking if he went with prostitutes

* Asking for his remaining money (1400 baht) and 'examining' it and

counting it repeatedly.

* Discovering his diabetes medication, takign one of the pills and licking it

as if to test if it was illegal drugs.

Now.. When visiting a victim of a robbery, that's not normal behavior.

> 3. Where & with whom was the victim drinking before he got bashed up?

That's what I suspected as well on the way to the hospital. But no drinking was involved, no pubs were involved, it wasn't even very late at night. It was around 11pm and he was walking back from shopping at the night bazar. (See my original post, it's all there)

> Without clear answers to these it’s all a bit weird & somewhat murky.

It is! If it wasn't weird I wouldn't post about it! :o And I know drunk obnoxious louts get beat up around places like 'Spicy' pretty much on a weekly basis.

What I COULD imagine if that this police officer just laid on some misplaced 'big shot' show.. You know, the way some Thai officials do when they think they're big shots. Chances are that you or me in the same situation would be less freaked by this and would just have asked the guy to leave, and he would also notice that we'd be less freaked and would have given up his show.

But most tourists and visitors of Chiang Mai aren't you or me.. And the behavior of the lone police officer was VERY inappropriate, to say the least.

If this police guy does this to a guy who knows he misbehaved in a pub/bar/disco, it's quite possible some money could be extracted to 'let the matter rest'.. Thats the only 'motive' I can think of. And the victim told me he WAS thinking of giving him some money, the only reason he didn't was that this 1400 baht was really the last cash he had. IF he would have had some travellers cheques left in his room then he would have had loads more money, and chances are he would have given some of it to the police guy.

Cheers,

Chanchao

Edited by chanchao

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If it was indeed tourist police Tony then there is nothing that you can do. Yes, he is the same one that is still got a lot to answer for in KJ's murder. He did dissapear for a few months when the DNA tests were being done on the tourist police here in CM, but since his return has continued his repuration for intimidation and extortion. But his connections, whatever they are, means that he is untouchable.

I am surprised he bothered with such 'small fry' but it could very well be a power game or God knows what else goes on in his head.

My advice (I don't know him personally, but know a fair bit about him) is to tell your friend that he just got unlucky. You don't want to cross this guy. He is untouchable in CM.

And no, he is not the head of the tourist police, you are right, Nuttawut is - and seems like a fairly pleasant fellow - but he is a tourist police. Doesn't wear uniforms, patrolls night bazaar and bubbles and loves white chicks. 'Nuff said.

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I volunteer for an emergency service center used by several insurance companies. Goal is to have someone on the ground to go meet people who experience some incident or accident while on holiday. This doesn't happen a lot, I'm asked to go see someone on average just once a year or so. Mostly it's medical cases, people getting a heart attack while on holiday and suchlike. Living in Chiang Mai, I'm often able to tell them what the best/easiest way is to go about things, perhaps translate where needed and generally help them get back on their feet.

Anyway yesterday I was asked to go see an older male tourist travelling through Thailand. He'd already seen the sights in Bangkok, went to Ayudthaya, now Chiang Mai where he was particulary interested in shopping at the Night Bazar, then planned to go on to Chiang Rai. Typical vanilla-vanilla tourist itinerary.

On his way back from the Night Bazar to his hotel (Winner Inn) last Friday at around 11pm, he was attacked and robbed in the road/soi close to his hotel. Hit from behind, held on to his bag, then hit (repeatedly?) in the face requiring surgery. He's still in hospital but recovering.

First aid people were very good, initial police response was very good, he was transported to Chiang Mai Ram hospital which is of course very very good and really the very best place to go especially if you have insurance.

Then on Saturday, next day after the event while still feeling upset and groggy from surgery, a different policeman comes to visit by himself, says his name is 'Tony' and from what I understand lays on this disgusting fake-jovial Thai police-dude thing ('you my friend' etc, etc) then after that proceeds to search his belongings and ask insinuating questiosn. He checked for 'hairs' on his jacket, repeatedly counted the 1400 baht he had left, (which was ALL he had left, passport, lost, ATM card lost, etc.), goes through his medications, even went so far as to take some glucose pill and licking it to check it out (the guy has diabetes too), asking if he went with prostitutes, so overall insanely intimidating behaviour. At this point the guy was wondering if he should just give the policeman some money, but witht the 1400 baht being all he had left (cash/ATM card all gone) he just couldn't do so. He's now scared to go to the police station just to make up the statement he needs to take to the embassy to get a replacement passport!

I guess this was exactly what this lone police guy was looking for: Pray on an innocent crime victim, shake the tree a little and see if some money falls out. I'm very very pissed off at this, perhaps more so than at the robbery itself which can happen in any city in the world.. Yet rogue Thai police is apparently very much a problem still, also in Chiang Mai.

I'm checking where I can go with a complaint on this. (Any thoughts?)

Chiang Mai's finest, indeed.  :o

I'm not sure I understand this, i just cant believe that a (even nasty) policeman would go out of his way for a considerable amount of time to try and shake down someone who had been robbed of all their money. Most of the time the entire Wallet would have been taken, what would be the potential for any extra money to be had by trying to go and rob him?

Two possible motives, both of which assume the policeman in question was in league with the muggers: 1) to find out what the victim could remember about the assault, due to ID concerns; 2) to check how much was left in the wallet, to compare with the take the muggers reported to their 'protection' (the policeman), who may have been owed a kickback.

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