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Thai police officers crippled by accumulated 270 billion baht debt




Thailand’s police officers have amassed a total of 270 billion baht in debts. The staggering accumulated debt trap of the country’s individual police officers was revealed yesterday by the national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk. During Covid there has been fewer hours and overtime for duty policeman. And in the popular tourist areas there have been fewer tourists to ‘police’ and many of the businesses that used to pay tea money for security and protection have either gone out of business or simply refused to make the payments whilst the tourist zones have been devoid of International tourists.

Around 209,000 officers had applied for and accepted loans to consolidated debt, purchase houses or cars. Acknowledging the problem and the challenges individual officers are now facing to pay down the debts, the police chief says he has asked Krungthai Bank and the Government Savings Bank to suspend debt payments during the Covid pandemic.

According to Nation Thailand, the police chief is also seeking alternatives for the officers and their families to generate additional revenue.

“One idea is to set up a market for police spouses to run businesses. Another is to look at assets confiscated by the Anti-Money Laundering Office.”

The national police office was also contacting corporations to seek scholarships for police officers’ children.

The police chief says he will do a live internet broadcast to go into further details about the Thai police force’s mission and allow members of the public to ask question during the live stream.

“I will not hide anything and am ready for all questions.”

SOURCE: NewsBeezer | Nation Thailand


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  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Wow. Although it may well apply to more police, 270 billion divided up amongst 209,000 police is 1.3 million each.

    That’s an awful lot of “overtime” and “tea money” lost in less than a year.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 4:41 pm

      Yes that is right. Maybe the police were in debt before the gullible tourists were prevented for entering Thailand.
      However it is only £32296.96 pence, which is not a lot in the West, but in Tha1land!
      Years ago, Pattaya coppers used to take second jobs such as security.
      I do not suppose that there will be any available at the moment, but people still have to eat.
      There should be plenty of opportunities for working on the night shift shelf stacking in the supermarkets.

  2. Avatar

    Phuket P

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    Many foreigners own houses illegally.
    Time to confiscate

    • Avatar


      Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 2:12 pm

      Yep and take all the house of Thai in UK and American ho and Germany. when it comes to being racist and xenophobic you will have to go along way to beat Thais.

  3. Avatar


    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    No brow envelopes full of cash to help them out anymore oh dear I so feel for them not
    I do feel for the genuine police I’m sure they’re some left maybe these are the ones In debt not the corrupt ones

  4. Avatar


    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    1.3 million each should be laid out item by item and the loan period. With these in mind, the debt is peanut.

  5. Avatar


    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Their income should be enough for a normal reasonable lifestyle and not depends on “tea money” or “protection money”.

  6. Avatar

    brian mc

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    credit where credit’s due.
    in fairness, i’m sure there are countless other people in the same situation so why is this story newsworthy? how many hard working hotel staff in debt and cant make ends meet.
    the story seems to suggest their hardship is a direct result of no tourists to fleece. if true, som nam naa
    simple rule, dont get into debt and dont depend on income from unethical means

    • Avatar


      Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 4:05 am

      There is a difference between police and hotel staff.

      Where I come from you will not get hired as a police officer when you have too much debts. It can also be a reason to get fired.

      Over-indebted police officers are vulnerable to corruption. That is probably what you see in Thailand.

  7. Avatar

    Tim Houston

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Another WTF news from the land of smiles !

  8. Avatar


    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    Leave it to the police to take it to the extreme. Wonder what the debt level is for other government workers right now?

  9. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    Must be a very difficult time for their mia noi’s and the shops that sell branded products.i have great
    sympathy for all of them.

  10. Avatar


    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    this story should be a clue for those who think that tourism is worth only 6% of GDP, maybe that’s what official government sources say but in reality it is a much higher percentage and as we have seen it also involves those who have one safe salary, it seems that without tourists not even cops can survive

    • Avatar

      Soi What?

      Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 6:02 pm

      I was pulled over by the police in Thailand, driving my scooter over the course of 18 months, more times than I had been pulled over in the my home country in my entire life. And almost every time I ended up having to fork over at least 1000 bht cash. When tourists start to return in larger numbers, there will be blood in the water. LOL. Everyone will be getting tickets, if they have white skin.

  11. Avatar

    Graham Smith

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 4:08 pm


  12. Avatar


    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    I don’t feel sorry for them at all!!! At least they still have a paycheck, unlike many people. I know several people who have (had) several small bars in O-Top in Patong and every month the police would come around to collect their “Protection money”. I also have watched and been victim to foreign tourists on motorbikes stopped and “tea” money solicited. Thai police are the most corrupt in all the countries we’ve visited in our 20 years of sailing around the world.

    • Avatar


      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 5:22 pm

      Maybe you have not been to the Philippines.

    • Avatar

      P D N

      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 6:00 pm

      You can’t have been very far then, it certainly has a corruption problem present in all levels of society but there are plenty of places much worse

      • Avatar


        Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 6:35 pm

        P D N, We have have visited 63 countries by boat and many more by plane. Yes some countries are more corrupt at the higher levels, ie immigration, customs and port captains but the Thai police dealing with tourists everyday are the worst. Our policy is “no official receipt, no payment”. The cruising community has an efficient grapevine and usually we know what to expect and how to handle the situation before arriving at a new country. Years ago Thai greeting officials were known to solicit bribes but a few years ago they cleaned up their act it was reported on the cruising nets. The local police though have not cleaned up their act and is still correctly reported. Many boats we cruised with have avoided Thailand and do their expensive maintenance and refitting elsewhere.

        • Avatar

          Toby Andrews

          Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 6:49 pm

          Thanks for that information Svcoquette.
          I am not being unreasonable when I call Thais rotten corrupt scamming rats after all.
          Yours is an educated second opinion . . .

    • Avatar


      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 7:13 pm

      Wow buying luxury cars and houses on loan and then surprised that they have to pay back the loan. And suggesting maybe use confiscating laundry money for their depth for cars and houses. Maybe next suggestion could we sell the confiscated drugs too. How deep rotten is that? Milliins lost their business or jobs because of the covid crises and they got their salary by tax money and now sombody should pay their depth for cars and houses?

    • Avatar


      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 8:40 pm

      A mexican police are the worst.

    • Avatar

      James R

      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 10:35 pm


      Yes I have seen the police arriving at a bar I frequented in the same O-Top last year for their payout, they do it in the open without a care in the world.

      They also had 20,000 baht from me which went into their back pocket for a driving offence.

      They did not produce any paperwork, they even escorted me to the ATM to take the cash out.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 6:46 pm

        “20,000 baht for a driving offence”?

        You must have been driving the getaway truck from the great sugar cane robbery, drunk, without a licence, in a stolen car, then fled the scene!!!

  13. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    I am not surprised to see tremendous debt amongst police officers. You may think they give you a raw deal, but they get a pretty raw one from the government, to begin with.

    The reason for corruption among most police forces around the world is that (like other public employees, think teachers) they are poorly paid. You want pros protecting you, pay for pros.

    I don’t condone the graft and corruption, but a Thai cop’s entry-level salary is about 9,000bt, with most of them making less than 16,000bt a month. I think they still have to pay for their own gun, handcuffs, transceiver, uniform, and more.

    I do feel sorry for them, because of their poor salary situation, but the job must still appeal because 10K Thais apply to the police force each year.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 8:15 pm

      The UK has no shortage of applicants for the police either, despite the reported low morale and poor T&Cs.

  14. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    I always say I cop in debt is a dangerous mother%(&%*&*

  15. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    When rats become hungry they start eating each other.
    The Thai cops will default on their debts. Thai will turn against Thai. The tourists are not around to be scammed.
    Foreign investment is going down. They had it good, but their stupidity lost their good life.
    However double pricing, rip offs, and corruption was ruining their foreign income anyway.
    Look at Burma, just cancelled a Thai contract because of Thai manipulations – there will be more Thai contracts cancelled.

  16. Avatar


    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    If we compare the average household debt to the gdp per capita, it is 130% in Australia, 120% in Debmark, 110% in Canada, 70% in Thailand.

    Most western nations have a much higher household debt compared to their income level than Thailand.

    • Avatar

      Roger C

      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:53 am


      I think the high income to debt ratio in countries you listed may be due to home ownership.

  17. Avatar


    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 12:39 am

    Ha Bloody ha. No sympathy from me. Karmas a bugga eh.

  18. Avatar


    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 1:38 am

    Even if the banks suspends debt payments during the pandemic, the money will still need to be paid back. That’s going to be a whole lot of police officers desperate to make extra money.

  19. Avatar


    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 5:36 am

    What am I missing here. The officers are still officers employed and paid by the state right? There are many many Thais getting nothing at all unable to rack up debt.
    The inherent danger in this is the obvious concern of greater corruption, more tea money, driving “fines” metered out to repay this debt.
    Even worse than previously. Dangerous situation.

  20. Avatar

    Sputnik 100

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 6:42 am

    Actually its not 1.3 million each. 209,000 is how many Officers just applied to consolidate debts, its not the total number of Officers period. There will be many who havent yet applied to consolidate debts and many who never will. Read the article properly and stop trying to make up your own headlines.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 6:58 pm

      If that’s for me, maybe you need to read my comment properly as you seem to have missed ” Although it may well apply to more police, …”.

      Sorry if that wasn’t clear, but it’s difficult to draw a picture here.

  21. Avatar

    Francis A

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Quite interesting side of Thailand showing now with one year of no tourists.

    You can’t blame everything on the Falang, this is who you are, now let’s deal with the actual problem, it’s not the white guy doing this, it’s domestic.

    This regards not just the police situation. It’s everywhere where an uncomfortable situation is.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 7:22 pm

      Thais aren’t blaming “the Falang”, or “the white guy”, or the black guy, or even the government (at least not for the results of the pandemic 🙂 ).

      They’re blaming the Corona virus, which seems pretty fair.

      The only people blaming anyone are a few whingeing farangs.

  22. Avatar


    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 10:47 am

    I must be the oddball Farang here…
    All of my encounters with the police over the past decade+ have been quite good.
    They even ‘rescued’ me last year…, on a mountain highway literally in the middle of nowhere very late at night, barely squeezed onto the median space between the white line and barrier at a sharp bend with large trucks occasionally roaring by right out my window after I obliviously ran out of gas near the end of a 12 hour drive…, and all I had to offer up in English to officers on the other end of the phone struggling to understand me and my ‘idea’ as to my location was an approximate distance between two far away points and the photo of the bend in the highway I was on with a small sign that was very far away…Almost everything I owned of value was in my car as I was moving. They found me, gassed me up and didn’t ask me for even a baht and even refused to accept my profound ‘baht of gratitude’ I offered up at my own free will and insisted without success that they accept. They even texted me a few hours later to see if I made it to my destination…
    Hope my comment here didn’t just jinx my run of comparative good luck with Thai Police… ??

    • Avatar


      Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 11:40 am

      Rob, count yourself lucky. The police probably figured out you are not a TOURIST. They seem to target tourists who they assume will not be around long enough to create a problem for them.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 7:27 pm

      Oh dear … it may not jinx your run of good luck with the Thai police, but it’ll definitely make you an “oddball farang” here, albeit not unique 🙂

    • Avatar


      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 5:33 am

      I actually agree, I have had one or two tickets from them for driving through a yellow light and speeding both of which l did and was at fault, l paid the fine was given a receipt and on my way,

  23. Avatar


    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    In other words he is saying that “Tea money” and “protection money” is OK? It’s funny that they call a bribe for “tea money” instead of what it really is – a bribe.

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