a bridge club got raided in pattaya

4 Feb

london 6.03am 8.2C thursday 2016

you might well ask, what has that got to do with me? haha. you are right of course, but i got british friends living in thailand, and one of them sent me this. its a 50man raid by pattaya police against a bridge club that has  regular meets for 15yrs without any trouble.

they were charged with possessing 120 playing cards, ( at first i thought it was deck of cards, but it seems it is each individual card. there are 52 cards, 54 including jokers, in a deck of cards.)which is an offense it seems in thailand, to prevent gambling.

gambling is illegal. but there are lots of other ways to gamble, like bets made on cock fighting, for eg. thailand must be unique for having this law. so they dont have horse racing then? or casinos?

but this raid is just the police wanting some money now that chinese new year is coming. haha. i wonder also if the thai new year is also round the corner too. everyone knows that in s.e.asia, the police are extra vigilant to enforce any laws around this time, to get kopi money. they are hoping all the players will quietly pay a fine and go away. haha.

i remember reading of  incidents of police in one district in pattaya which was targetting tourists , finding something trivial , like not having id on them, and asking them to pay a fine on the spot. it got so bad, social media got hold of it, and it became well known. so much so that the head of that district was quietly removed and posted elsewhere. this was because the military has tightened up so many things, like imposed a curfew on the bars, etc, that there were fewer things to find that the police can charge the clubs on, and extort bribe money from, so they have to resort to getting the tourists instead. this might be another variant.

not many know that the police and the army are two distinct powers and their interests do conflict. the immediate reaction is to say well thailand is getting very anti tourist now they got military rule, but the more complicated picture is that the police income from fines etc,is drying up with people restricting themselves and being cautious about their activities… the military had signaled very clearly they wont tolerate it anymore, ( things like opening late, or having underage people in the club, or drinking, or drug dealing etc, something that the police in the past can get kopi money and so does not police strictly).  

times must be hard for the police to get cash, if they had to resort to raiding a bridge club.

it is one of the things i dislike about living in s.e.asia. all this under the counter dealings. i mean one ploy is for traffic police to catch motorists speeding, or accuse them of speeding…and when they stop u, they will look for anything else wrong with your car… non working lights, etc many will just pay an on the spot fine… knowing full well it will never get reported officially and will just be pocketed. … so around the time of any big festival, that country’s new year usually, when everyone is looking to increase their income, u get this spate of law enforcement.

these things they never tell u when u are thinking of retiring there.

oh i forgot, in other countries ( i am looking at you malaysia)they raid the gay saunas, clubs, too,(or even straight ones) around this time, easy pickings, all those caught there will be glad to just pay kopi money. this is if that club or sauna do  not pay enough in the first place. many do.

i bet now that india has got a anti gay law back on again, such raids and bribes will be rich pickings for the police. 

added. actually he sent me a link to a thaivisa forum website. it is an interesting place, giving news of what is of interest to expats and where those expats living in thailand can air their views. 

added.5.2.16 7.26am .it has got onto the national press. this morning i saw an article about it in the dailymail.

added. 7.31pm 6.2.16. looks like it is the military that raided the bridge club. someone complained to the anticorruption centre.

“Pattaya police chief Sukthat Pumpunmuang told AFP Thursday the raid was sparked by a member of the public complaining to the government’s anti-corruption centre. It was initiated by district officials, local media said, not by Pattaya police.”

 

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