Connect with us

Opinion

Opinion: Moral conflict over tea money

Published

 on 

PHUKET: There are always stories of people who allegedly slip the immigration police money in their passport to cross the border into Thailand, whether it’s because they don’t have proper documentation or are perhaps nervous about the police giving them a hard time.

Recently a friend of mine went on a visa run to secure her non-B visa. She had all of the right documentation to receive the visa. However, upon arrival at the border the van driver allegedly instructed everyone to put 200 baht in his or her passport so that there wouldn’t be any issues with Immigration.

My friend was perturbed, as she didn’t want to perpetuate corruption and assumed that she had all the correct papers to cross back into Thailand without any problems.

Unfortunately, she was pressured not only by the driver but also other passengers to put the money in her passport because they didn’t want to wait for her if she was to be given a hard time by the police.

This made her livid, as she felt she was entitled to a corruption-free entry into the country where she lawfully worked.

She felt caught up in a catch-22 situation because Thailand wants to rid itself of corruption, yet one of the main places where the practice flourishes is at entry points throughout the Kingdom, and these areas do not allow cameras or picture-taking of any kind.

How is one supposed to give proof of corruption if it can’t be documented? There needs to be a better way to monitor the behavior of van drivers and police officers at borders in order to punish these people for existing conspiracies and to discourage any future ones.

I understand that for “security reasons” it’s difficult to allow private cameras at border crossings, but there needs to be at least some kind of control function there that will work in the public interest.

For a foreigner, it is difficult and perhaps unwise to complain about corruption in government, but I would hope that in time action will finally be taken against those who keep this vicious cycle alive, so that the primary victims of it, foreigners – at borders at least – will no longer be forced into the ugly and humiliating practice of paying bribes.

— Samantha Hodges

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World47 mins ago

Iranian forces kill young man for celebrating World Cup loss

Crime59 mins ago

Thai police seize 8 businesses in Phuket owned by Chinese gangster Tuhao

Thailand1 hour ago

Planning a small conference? Try Thailand’s super-luxury villas

Sponsored4 hours ago

Go global with Upbit Thailand: Worldwide digital asset market in your hands

Bangkok1 hour ago

50 crypto mines raided for stealing Thai electricity

Bangkok2 hours ago

Bangkok ranked No.6 in the top 10 best cities for expats

Thailand3 hours ago

Man armed with a pen gun arrested at seminar visited by PM Prayut

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Tourism3 hours ago

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport expects 130,000 daily passengers this month

Hot News4 hours ago

Racism scandal looms as Prince William and wife Kate arrive in US

Environment4 hours ago

Indonesia’s environmental protection plan- trust the billionaires

Hot News4 hours ago

Part one: the most haunted places in Bangkok

Hot News4 hours ago

Europe wakes up to US profiteering from Russia-Ukraine conflict

Crime5 hours ago

‘Pinky’ the alleged Forex 3D scammer released on bail after 3 months behind bars

Hot News5 hours ago

North Korea forces citizens to change names for a more idealistic sound

Tourism5 hours ago

Thailand’s southern islands are reeling in tourists

Thailand5 hours ago

Driver furious with BKK shopping mall after foreigner accidentally causes damage to her car | GMT

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending