Pattaya Daily News

04 March 2013 :: 13:03:25 pm 71767

Corrupt Police Officers Bring Shame To Thailand

It seems more people are saying that Thailand is becoming a more difficult place to live. When it comes to crime, they may be partially right. The potential for corruption exists when bribery is considered an acceptable practice by the people in authority.
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So it’s not just the plentiful criminals and robbers roaming around, but also corrupt police officers who are casting dark shadows in the Land of Smiles. Instead of doing their jobs, the crooked Thai cops create trouble by threatening and fleecing people whenever they can.

The public is urged to help uncover corruption with advertisements from the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission. People are asked to report dishonest government workers without fear of reprisal. But the greed and hunger never stop.

In fact, police corruption is not a new issue that just popped up. Everyone knows outlaw police have existed practically forever. But no one dares to openly talk about it because they fear the power of the gun. Policemen are sworn to honor the dignity and integrity of the law, but some of them use their power in the wrong way.

Many Thai police checkpoints are really a sham. They are not really for catching criminals, but for making money for the cops, by squeezing the people on the fringes of the law. So the police make them pay bribes to avoid arrest or fines, especially the motorcyclists, pickup truck drivers, and taxicab drivers. The victims know very well what to do about greasing the palms of slimy cops.

There is even a Facebook page called “Kliadtamruadkhongthai”(I hate Thai police). It has gotten more than 100,000 “Likes.” Many Facebook posters are always are talking about the misbehavior of Thai police.

In the month of February so far, corrupt Thai police are already making headlines. There was the recent bust of Songkhla police officers involved in the smuggling of elephant ivories worth more than 10 billion baht. The officers were using the official vehicles of the Royal Thai police with red siren lights to transport the ivory. More than 10 elephants were killed for their black market tusks.

Thailand has the biggest illegal ivory market in the world, which continues to drive the poaching of African elephants. It’s shameful that some Thai police are involved in the slaughtering of elephants, a revered symbol of Thailand.

Another hot topic in this New Year’s gossip is the case of the police officer who came to “ask” for Chinese New Year money from a tailor shop owner in See Phraya. But a customer in the store happened to be a journalist from the Nation news media, so the crooked police officer rushed out of the shop in a hurry.

Pol. Lt. Gen. Kumronwit Toopkrajang, the commissioner of Royal Thai police office, has assured that corrupt policemen will be punished if they are uncovered and their guilt is proven. Yet the number of dishonest officers being caught are only a small sample of the widespread corruption.

There are a lot of good cops. But the image of robbers wearing police uniforms still exists in the mind of the public, which looks at police with suspicious eyes. If the police are serious about fixing the corruption entangled within their ranks, it has to be an integrated effort by everyone in the police force. But because of the entrenched position of those in power, change is unlikely.

Greedy police are a fact of life and human nature, and can never be eradicated in Thailand. Like dengue fever mosquitos, Thai cops infected by corruption will keep spreading misery in the Kingdom.

Photo : Internet   Category : Society

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