Author Topic: RTP Spokesman: Tourists DO NOT Need To Carry Passports  (Read 2842 times)

Offline thaiga

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RTP Spokesman: Tourists DO NOT Need To Carry Passports
« on: December 17, 2014, 07:07:49 PM »
According to this article, Tourists DO NOT Need To Carry Passports.

Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri, spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, has said tourists DO NOT need to carry passports at all times.

His comment came when he was responding to the recent tourist shakedown reports in various media outlets over the past month. He stated that if asked to show their passports, tourists can produce their documents at a later time if necessary.

With his clarification, Mr Thawornsiri brings an end to an expat point of argument spanning years relating to the need to carry a copy, the original or nothing at all.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline Roger

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Re: RTP Spokesman: Tourists DO NOT Need To Carry Passports
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2014, 09:59:55 PM »
Hi T. Thanks for posting that point ref. Tourists.
For myself, I carry a trimmed photocopy of relevant passport pages and it folds to credit card size in a wallet.
This copy helps at Hotels, Police checks etc. and at a cost of a few Baht, why not ?
But I'm glad the Police have eased the requirements for Tourists - that's just good sense.

Offline thaiga

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Re: Police Stop & Search: What You Need To Know
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2014, 01:29:36 PM »
In light of the recent publicity Pol. Col. Chutrakul Yodmadee of Thonglor Police District has answered a few common questions being asked on social media by concerned expats and tourists regarding police stop & search procedures and what rights you have if stopped.

Reasons For Search – Looking high or acting in a manner that suggests drug consumption – in plain English, generally looking f----- up and off your tits. Looking scared or suspicious of the police. However, sitting in a taxi or walking down the street don’t constitute a valid reason.

Legal Searches – It must be at a checkpoint with lights and signs with a ranking officer in attendance. Two or three random cops at the side of the road is not sufficient. During searches both parties should be polite.

Urine Test – These must ALL be carried out at the police station. No peeing in cups at the side of the road.

Phones – Mobiles can be seized during a search by officers who have reason to believe it contains evidence. After the search it must be handed back.

Passports – a laminated copy is acceptable, provided it shows BOTH the identification page and the visa page or entry stamp.

Expat Restaurateur Meets With RTP To Discuss Stop & Search

Expat restaurateur Dave Bell was yesterday invited to meet with Pol Lt Gen Prawuth of the Royal Thai Police to discuss expat and tourist concerns regarding the much-publicised stop/searches & alleged harassment by police officers around lower Sukhumvit.

Mr Bell, who has lived in Thailand for 14 years and co-owns a restaurant in the Sukhumvit area, asked and answered question with a number of high ranking officers including Pol Maj Gen Apichai Thi-amart, chief of the Tourist Police Division.

Following the meeting Mr Bell relayed via Facebook that the meeting was very encouraging and those in attendance were “extremely interested in what has been happening”. The police suggested those with a complaint relating to stop & search harassment should come forward now “so the issue can be addressed”.

The meeting was suggested to Mr Bell through Thai news media at the request of the RTP after he had posted to social media his own bad experiences and received numerous messages of similar incidents which led to press and TV coverage both here in Thailand and overseas.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline thaiga

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I wonder if the law is the same everywhere -  If you happen to be in bangkok :spin

Thonglor Police Leaflet Explaining Search Policy

Following a month of bad publicity regarding police stop and searches around the Asoke / Sukhumvit area of Bangkok, Thonglor Police District have printed a leaflet outlining your rights as a foreigner if stopped by the police.

Officers were seen passing them out in Soi Cowboy on Friday and Saturday night.

The contents of the leaflet covers most of the answers Thonglor chief Pol. Col. Chutrakul Yodmadee outlined in the Police Stop & Search: What You Need To Know.

Thonglor Police Station notice about searching foreigners for contraband

1. Searching foreigners

1.1 Foreigners may take photos of police office(r)s who do the search before searching begins.

1.2 Searching has to be done in a place with sufficient lighting and not be desolated.

1.3 Do not pay any amount of money to police officers whether you are asked to do or not.

1.4 In case you are on (in) a vehicle or a taxi, whether a private vehicle or a taxi,
police officers who stop a vehicle and do the search must be in a proper checkpoint, under control of a commissioned officers.

2. Collecting urine specimen must be done only in the police station.

3. Foreigners could carry a copy of first page and entry stamped page of their passport instead of the original one.

*** If there are further questions or any fairness requested.

Pol. Col. Chutrakul Yodmadee: 08-3349-3349

The back page lists useful numbers of local police stations and hospitals.

Police 191
Tourist Police 1155

Police Station

Thonglor Police: 02-3818853
Klongton Police: 02-3140041
Lumpini Police: 02-2555993
Bangrak Police: 02-2340242
Makkasan Police: 02-3181821
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline thaiga

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Re: Tourists DO NOT Need To Carry Passports ♦ Sukhumvit shakedown
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2015, 04:36:45 PM »
Random searches and on-the-spot drug tests on foreigners have left many questioning police integrity

It was about 9pm on a weeknight in March last year, and Mat, an American business consultant, was trying to hail a taxi on Sukhumvit Soi 36 when he was stopped by six policemen on motorcycles.

Who have we got here, then?: Policemen inspect a tourist’s ID card in Nana. Foreigners say the number of random checks has risen dramatically recently, especially in the Sukhumvit area.

Mat was completely sober, drug-free and dressed like a typical foreigner, in a T-shirt, cargo shorts and flip flops.

“You smoke ganja mai?” one of the officers asked, referring to marijuana, while pressing his index finger and thumb to mimic smoking a joint.

Without asking permission, the officers removed Mat’s backpack and started rummaging through it. Hands were thrust into his pockets, with the police pulling out his packet of cigarettes and wallet. They found nothing of interest, but the officers were apparently still not satisfied.

“Humiliation wouldn’t come until they ordered me to take the piss test. I felt very vulnerable,” said Mat, who requested anonymity because he still has business interests in Thailand.

The officer took a foil-wrapped packet from his pocket, showed Mat the expiration date, then ripped it open and held out a cup for him to urinate in.

“You take out your d**k. You pee-pee tee nee [right here],” said the officer.

Surrounded by the six policemen, Mat felt he had little choice but to comply with the request, so as diners ate in a nearby restaurant and foot and car traffic passed next to him on the street, he supplied a urine sample. It came back negative and the police walked away.

“I hailed the next taxi I could, offered [the driver] 300 baht to go to Thon Buri and got the f**k out of there,” Mat said.

Lots more here Bangkokpost
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline thaiga

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Re: probe into mistreatment of foreign tourists
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2015, 02:12:01 PM »
Article prompts Prawit to order probe into police action

In response to an article in Time magazine about Thai police's extensive extortion tactics and mistreatment of foreign tourists, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said yesterday that he had ordered Royal Thai Police chief Somyot Poompanmoung yesterday to scrutinise and deal with the issue.
He said such allegations damaged the country's reputation, and that the image of police should improve with the ongoing reform.

The article in Time's January 20 edition quoted people who had either directly experienced or had knowledge about Thai police extorting money from tourists. The article quoted UK Ambassador Mark Kent's tweet about him meeting officials from the Tourist Ministry to address complaints lodged by British tourists about random police searches and demands for bribes.

The article also cited former Rak Prathet Thai Party leader Chuwit Kamolvisit complaining about tourists being stopped on Sukhumvit Road to search for drugs and forced to take urine tests or facing demands for money.

The nation
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline thaiga

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Re: Police curb searches on foreigners
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2015, 01:52:40 PM »
Police curb searches on foreigners in Thai capital

BANGKOK: Police in the Sukhumvit area have been ordered to halt all searches of foreign nationals without due process following concerns of police harassment.

Harassment claims spur tighter rules

Pol Col Khajohnpong Jitpakpoom, the newly-appointed Thong Lor police superintendent, said unless a foreigner is acting suspiciously, his officers are prohibited from conducting random searches.

“I have instructed policemen under my command to strictly refrain from searching foreigners or asking to see their passports unless necessary,” Pol Col Khajohnpong told the Bangkok Post Sunday.

If a search is considered necessary, such as in a case where a foreigner appears to be “startled” by the presence of police, the search must be conducted in a public area under the supervision of two officers with the rank of sub-lieutenant or higher.

“But if the person sees an officer and appears to be calm, then we are not allowed to conduct a search,” Pol Col Khajohnpong said.

Previous complaints following a notable increase in random searches last year ranged from police demanding money from foreigners not carrying proper ID to bag and body searches and humiliating urine tests in public.

Out of the 297 policemen at Thong Lor station, 177 are patrol officers who roam the streets on motorcycles to ensure public safety.

But many foreigners who have been approached by the police say they were searched without any reasonable suspicion.

One Sukhumvit business owner and prominent member of a private Facebook group which documents cases of police harassment, who preferred to remain nameless, said he was “stunned” by the news.

“I was very impressed that the police reacted as quickly as they did before. I thought the Thong Lor pamphlet was excellent,” said the British national, referring to a leaflet issued by police explaining the rights of foreigners at police stops.

“But this latest announcement is extremely good news.”

He said halting the searches would go a long way towards repairing the relationship between Bangkok police and the city’s foreign community, which has been strained over the past year by the spike in claims of harassment.

“I think for a city that attracts so many tourists, it didn’t make sense to treat all foreigners as criminals without good reason,” he said. “I applaud Pol Col Khajohnpong for his decisiveness and prompt reaction.”

Pol Col Khajohnpong, who moved to Thong Lor station on Jan 15 from his old post in the Lat Krabang area, replaced former superintendent Pol Col Chutrakul Yodmanee, who was moved to a new position in Ang Thong province.

Since then, he was asked to meet with a tourism committee appointed by the army-led National Council for Peace and Order following media reports of intimidation and extortion targeting foreigners.

An internal investigation was launched in December last year, and has been continued by Pol Col Khajohnpong. However, he and his predecessor have not been able to identify any individuals responsible for the alleged harassment.

“Now it is our job as policemen to provide services to tourists rather than conduct searches. We need to create confidence for them,” Pol Col Khajohnpong said, adding that he has ordered an increase in distribution of the leaflets explaining foreigners' rights.

Patrol officers are not allowed to carry drug testing kits, he said, and the collection of urine samples for drug testing can only be conducted at a police station. If the testing produces positive results, a second test would be conducted at a state hospital.

Pol Col Khajohnpong said he would like all of his subordinates to undergo ethical and integrity training, provided that they have enough time to do so.

“I have told my men to speak like diplomats when they engage in conversations with people. They are asked to speak kindly, without any aggression,” he said.

“If we smile, they [tourists] will see us in a more positive way.”  ;D

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.