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Published On: Sat, Dec 6th, 2014

Police Scam Tourists in Thailand Under Pretence of Drug Testing

Bangkok, Thailand. Police are persistently harassing Western visitors in what is claimed to be an effort to crack down on illegal drug use. Tourists and expats are now being regularly stopped by Bangkok police then interrogated, searched, and forced to provide urine samples for drug testing.  Urine which tests positive for illegal drugs results in heavy prison sentences and/or fines despite the fact they have a 10% margin of accuracy. This means that even those who have not taken drugs could potentially test positive.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

Random urine tests are not new in Thailand, but recently they have become much more common in the tourist areas controlled by the Thong Lor and Lupini district police. In the November 29th, 2014 issue of the Bangkok Post, a visitor named Reese Walker described how she and her fiancé were stopped twice by police in two days, interrogated, searched, and required to provide urine-samples. The reason for the two instances of harassment were being in a taxi cab and walking at the popular Asok intersection. “This is our first and last visit to Thailand,” she wrote in her letter to the editor. “The harassment of tourists is unacceptable… [we] won’t be recommending other people to visit Thailand based on two frightening incidents of what we believe to be racial profiling.”

Critics of the police say that these activities are not intended to reduce crime, but are a means to elicit bribe money from unsuspecting and often terrified tourists. Since the harassment is primarily a means of extortion, even those who are not in possession of drugs and have not tested positive for illegal drug use are in danger. Incriminating evidence can be planted and urine samples can test as positive due to the use of a contaminated container, for example.

Visitors are advised to travel with a Thai speaking friend as the police will not always provide translation services in the event of arrest and detainment.

Guest Author: Lolita Di

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

Displaying 6 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. […] A number of recent letters to English-language daily the ‘Bangkok Post’ highlight the present protocol: tourists, either in taxis or on foot, are stopped, searched and ordered to show ID; often even required to provide an on-the-spot urine sample. […]

  2. […] A number of recent letters to English-language daily the ‘Bangkok Post’ highlight the present protocol: tourists, either in taxis or on foot, are stopped, searched and ordered to show ID; often even required to provide an on-the-spot urine sample. […]

  3. […] A number of recent letters to English-language daily the ‘Bangkok Post’ highlight the present protocol: tourists, either in taxis or on foot, are stopped, searched and ordered to show ID; often even required to provide an on-the-spot urine sample. […]

  4. Please make it big news and record videos, we will fuxx these monkeys the same way they try to fuxx us !

  5. […] It is being reported across multiple news outlets. It is unfortunate if true…..I have been going to LOS for 5 years and I have never made it to BKK and it on my agenda this year. Last year the riots and grenades….this year stop, frisk and piss. Police Scam Tourists in Thailand Under Pretence of Drug Testing – The Global Dispatch […]

  6. andy says:

    totally unacceptable , out of order! to learn about other scams in Thailand go to http://howtomakemoneyinthailand.com/thailand-scams-and-how-to-avoid-them/

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