Hey Thai police, stop searching me!


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As my girlfriend and I stepped off the bus at Eakamai in Bangkok after a great weekend on Koh Samet, two snarling cops pulled us off to the side and barked at us to show our passports. We were then promptly marched to a little marquee to have our pockets and bags thoroughly searched.

There was a series of quickfire questions: “Where are you from? Where are you going? What do you do here?” There were no attempts at formalities. They were looking for drugs and seemed convinced that their search was going to bear fruit. Disappointed, they sent us on our way, but I couldn't help but feel a little annoyed by their rough-and-ready approach.

This was the second time I'd been stopped and searched in as many weeks. The first time happened as I was on my way home from work, riding on the back of a motorcycle taxi. A policeman on a motorbike pulled us over and asked to see my passport, which I'd left at home, before beginning a halfhearted search of my bag and pockets, only to find a few tissues and some pencils.

Has this happened to anyone else in Bangkok recently? Is it that time of the year? Beats me. As far as I'm aware, the law states that the Thai police are within their rights to stop and search people, but it's rather annoying.

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9 thoughts on “Hey Thai police, stop searching me!

  1. I've only ever been stopped and searched for drugas in two places, Eastern Bus terminal inbound and between Asoke and RCA on a motorcy. Guess the cops imagine backpacker bringing in weed from Cambodia or and taking yaba to the clubs or something.

  2. a long time ago, I used to get asked the question.. "how can you live so long in thailand without a job?" after maybe a year of asking this, they left me alone.

    my guess is – they checked me out with a fine tooth comb. even to the point of spying on me with a hidden camera.

    how do I feel about this?

    frankly, I wish the usa would do the same with all the illegal aliens running around the country.

    can you believe that in the usa you can't ask someone for their ID to confirm their status as a usa citizen? unbelievable.

  3. Jerry – Few people in the US have any proof of citizenship. The only "proof" is a birth certificate. Short of that, a passport, which requires a birth certificate to obtain. About a third of all Americans have a passport. So, if the ICE wanted to question the average American, asking for proof of citizenship, then most Americans would be swiftly deported.

  4. Thai police are the most corrupt agency in Thailand. This search technique is relatively recent as a scam that is meant to serve as a way of getting money from mainly tourists. You are fortunate they did not attempt to plant drugs on you. Plenty of others can tell you of this.

  5. I have been in Thailand for a Month now and the only searches were the mild Flashlight in the bag at Mall and Train station entrances.

    I have found by automatically offering to let them search my laptop bag (full bag lotta pockets with zippers) *moving towards them and starting to unzip they just wave me off*

    I have been to Koh Samet and back what a garbage heap…

    You may be targeted as an individual whom they don't want here trying to shine a negative light on Thailand by working for PLAN.

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