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Thailand's police corruption problem

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More and more Thais have their own experiences with bad cops & the bad image they create hurts the tourism industry & brings loss of face at a national scale. 

MP & crusader against police corruption Chuwit Kamolvisit shows a flow chart detailing bribery allegations in Phuket involving high-ranking officials of Police Region 8.

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Opinion
COMMENTARY

Bad cops and the Thai image

21/12/2012
Kultida Samabuddhi

'I really want to go to Thailand, but I'm afraid that Thai police will plant speed pills on me and force me to confess to drug trafficking. I heard they do this often. I'm so scared.'

This is what my Zimbabwean journalist friend said to me when we met at a recent journalist workshop.

Her expression reflected the notoriety of Thai police in the eyes of foreigners.

As a Thai, I felt ashamed to hear someone talk like that about our police.

And as a Thai, I knew she had reason to be afraid.

Thai police have been involved in many unlawful acts, and this has been yet another year tainted by police scams.

The most recent incident involved five police officers in Nan province, including a police station chief - they were caught red-handed last week at a hotel in Ayutthaya with one million speed pills hidden in a police patrol car.

The five allegedly confessed they had been hired for 2 million baht by a drug trafficker in Chiang Rai to deliver the pills to a customer.

Just a day earlier, four police officers in Nakhon Phanom were rounded up on charges of robbing two Lao businessmen of 3.5 million baht in cash.

In October, police launched a manhunt for their colleague, Pol Snr Sgt Manas Seupho, a traffic policeman of Pracha Chuen police station in Bangkok, after he was accused of being a key member of a drug-trafficking cartel.

Pol Snr Sgt Manas allegedly drove a vehicle carrying 1.2 million methamphetamine pills and 5kg of crystal methamphetamine through a checkpoint in Lampang. He later turned himself in.

In May, a superintendent of Sai Ngam police station in Kamphaeng Phet province, Pol Col Pichit Kromprasit, was implicated in the robbery of 2 million baht cash from a commercial bank's cash delivery van in Sing Buri province. The officer is still on the run.

Apart from these suspected criminal acts, police have been the subject of many complaints about dereliction of duty, such as slow investigations and refusal to initiate legal cases when damaged parties report them to the police.

The Saeng-arun family in Chai Nat province are among many people affected by alleged police negligence.

Chavalit Saeng-arun, 57, a respected teacher and conservationist, was shot at his home in Hankha district on Nov 27. His former son-in-law has been accused of the crime.

The teacher was seriously injured and doctors had to amputate his right leg.

The shooting took place seven months after the same gunman allegedly gunned down Mr Chavalit's daughter, Pornpimon, at the same home.

Wilaiwan Saeng-arun, who was married to the suspect, said police did not bother to arrest him after the first shooting in which her sister was killed even though witnesses clearly identified him as the culprit.

"We have been living in fear. We asked the police to speed up the arrest and keep an eye out for our safety, but nothing happened. Finally he came back and shot my father," Ms Wilaiwan, also a local teacher, told me shortly after the second shooting.

Her voice was full of fear and despair.

I can't believe the Chai Nat police left this family's lives at risk for seven months. Despite being informed about possible repeat attacks, police did not provide extra protection for them.

An officer in charge of the case said an arrest warrant has been issued for the suspect. However, he said the police have not been able to catch the man because "this guy is good at hiding." 

The problems of cops-turned-criminals and negligence of duty by police have existed in Thai society for too long. More and more people have their own experiences with bad cops. 

Among the many crises Thailand is confronting, I think the crisis within the police force is one of the most serious and needs to be fixed urgently

This is because the right to feel safe, the right to feel secure about one's property and the right to justice when someone becomes the victim of a crime are the very basic rights that must be provided to all citizens.

The government's large-scale spending on foreign investment and tourism promotion will be useless because no one will want to come to a country where they feel unsafe and where they can't be confident that the police will help them when they get into trouble.

Kultida Samabuddhi is Deputy News Editor, Bangkok Post

(Source: Bangkok Post, Opinion, COMMENTARY, Bad cops and the Thai image, 21/12/2012, link)

 
Police Corruption

police corruption - action by the police to make money by abusing their power, taking bribes to act or not act on a case or to falsify evidence or even participating in organized crime themselves  (See Wikipedia)

image - an opinion that people have about someone or something; the picture of something that people have in their mind, what people think about something ภาพลักษณ์
the Thai image
bad cops and
the Thai image

plant - to put something or someone somewhere secretly ฝัง
plant speed pills on me

trafficker - someone in the business of buying and selling things illegally or of illegally transporting people for work in other countries or areas ผู้ลักลอบค้าสินค้าผิดกฎหมายหรือลักลอบขายแรงงานผิดกฎหมาย

drug trafficker -
a person who transports and sells ilegal drugs
drug trafficking - the transport and selling of illegal drugs

cartel - a group of people or companies that agree to work together and not compete so they can control prices and make more money
drug-trafficking cartel

force - 1. make a person do something they do not want to do; 2. strong and violent action กำลัง ความรุนแรง
confess - to admit that you have committed a crime สารภาพผิด
force me to confess to drug trafficking

I really want to go to Thailand, but I'm afraid that Thai police will plant speed pills on me and force me to confess to drug trafficking

journalist - a person who specialises in gathering and publishing information about news and current events, trends, issues, and people, striving for balance and a variety of viewpoints

my Zimbabwean journalist friend
a recent journalist workshop

in the eyes of - how some people see or view a situation (the opinion they have of the situation)
in the eyes of foreigners

notoriety - being famous for something bad ชื่อเสียงในทางที่ไม่ดี
the notoriety of Thai police in the eyes of foreigners

expression - some you say or do that has meaning
reflected
- showed
the expression reflected ....

her expression reflected the notoriety of Thai police in the eyes of foreigners.

ashamed – feeling guilty or embarrassed because you have done something wrong, or think that you have not reached a standard that people expect ซึ่งละอายใจ, ที่รู้สึกผิด

feel ashamed
as a Thai, I felt ashamed to hear someone talk like that about our police.

reason - an explanation of an event, why an event happened เหตุ ; เหตุผล ; สาเหตุ
had reason to be afraid
and as a Thai, I knew she had reason to be afraid.

scam -
cheating and lieing to people to get money
police scams

tainted - spoiled by an unpleasant quality or feature มัวหมอง มีมลทิน แปดเปื้อน
tainted by police scams

yet another year tainted by police scams

acts - actions การกระทำ
unlawful acts - things that people do that break the law

Thai police have been involved in many unlawful acts, and this has been yet another year tainted by police scams.

police station
police station chief

caught red-handed - when a criminal is caught while they are breaking the law (so easy to prove and find criminal guilty in court)

patrol - to move regularly around a place in order to prevent trouble or crime or to watch for an enemy ลาดตระเวน ตรวจการ
police patrol car

incident - an unpleasant event
the most recent incident

the most recent incident involved five police officers in Nan province, including a police station chief - they were caught red-handed last week at a hotel in Ayutthaya with one million speed pills hidden in a police patrol car.

allegedly - claimed but not yet proven ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
The five allegedly confessed they had been hired for 2 million baht by a drug trafficker in Chiang Rai to deliver the pills to a customer.

charge (verb) - to accuse someone officially of committing a crime; bring a criminal case against a person ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา
charges (noun) - the crimes a person has been accused of (a trial in a court will determine whether the accusations are true and they are guilty)

rounded up - to gather together people; to get a group of people and bring them to one place
rounded up on charges of - when police catch the people accused of a crime to begin a criminal trial to determine guilt

3.5 million baht in cash
cash - money in the form of notes or coins เงินสด

Just a day earlier, four police officers in Nakhon Phanom were rounded up on charges of robbing two Lao businessmen of 3.5 million baht in cash.

launched - started, began เริ่ม เริ่มต้นดำเนินการ
manhunt - an organised search for a person, especially a criminal การล่าหัว การตามล่าจับกุม
launched a manhunt

traffic policeman - a policeman who works on the street enforcing traffic laws

colleague - someone who works in the same organisation or department as you do เพื่อนร่วมงาน
launched a manhunt for their colleague

key - important คนสำคัญ
key member - an important person in some group
accused of being a key member of a drug-trafficking cartel

In October, police launched a manhunt for their colleague, Pol Snr Sgt Manas Seupho, a traffic policeman of Pracha Chuen police station in Bangkok, after he was accused of being a key member of a drug-trafficking cartel.

vehicle - a machine that you travel in or on, especially one with an engine that travels on roads, e.g., a car, bus, van, truck, etc. ยานพาหนะ
checkpoint
- a place where people are stopped and questioned and vehicles are examined, especially at a border between two countries ด่านตรวจ
drove vehicle through a checkpoint

turned himself in -
went to the police and told them he was the one who did a crime

Pol Snr Sgt Manas allegedly drove a vehicle carrying 1.2 million methamphetamine pills and 5kg of crystal methamphetamine through a checkpoint in Lampang. He later turned himself in.

implicated in - when there is evidence pointing to someone being involved in illegal activities
implicated in a robbery

commercial bank - the usual bank that offers loans and bank accounts to people and companies

on the run -
avoiding the police who are looking for this person to arrest them for some crime

In May, a superintendent of Sai Ngam police station in Kamphaeng Phet province, Pol Col Pichit Kromprasit, was implicated in the robbery of 2 million baht cash from a commercial bank's cash delivery van in Sing Buri province. The officer is still on the run.

suspected - thought to be something; people believe that they might have done something wrong, but not yet proven เป็นที่สงสัย
suspected criminal acts

duty - something that you have to do because it is part of your job, or something that you feel is the right thing to do หน้าที่, ความรับผิดชอบ
dereliction of duty - not doing what you are supposed to do (your duty) and as a result, something very bad happens

complaints - when people say there is something wrong and they want it changed
the subject of many complaints about dereliction of duty

investigations 
slow investigations

parties - people or companies involved in some arrangement, deal or legal case
damaged parties

initiate - to cause something to begin and start ริเริ่ม
initiate legal cases

refusal to initiate legal cases when damaged parties report them to the police.

Apart from these suspected criminal acts, police have been the subject of many complaints about dereliction of duty, such as slow investigations and refusal to initiate legal cases when damaged parties report them to the police.

alleged - claimed, but not yet proven ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
negligence - when you do not give enough care or attention to someone or something ความประมาท, ความไม่เอาใจใส่
people affected by alleged police negligence

the Saeng-arun family in Chai Nat province are among many people affected by alleged police negligence.

respected - admired by many people for your qualities or achievements ที่เคารพ
conservationist
a respected teacher and conservationist

shot - to shoot a gun at someone
shot at his home

Chavalit Saeng-arun, 57, a respected teacher and conservationist, was shot at his home in Hankha district on Nov 27. His former son-in-law has been accused of the crime.

amputate - cut off a leg or arm
amputate his right leg
the teacher was seriously injured and doctors had to amputate his right leg.

gun man - a person who is hired by to skill people
gun down - shoot someone with a gun to kill them
the same gunman allegedly gunned down Mr Chavalit's daughter

suspect - a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
she was married to the suspect

did not bother to - did not something important they should have done
police did not bother to arrest him after the first shooting in which her sister was killed  

identified - named ระบุชื่อ
culprit - the person responsible for something bad happening
identified him as the culprit.

witnesses - a person who say an event, usually an accident or crime that they describe, an eyewitness
witnesses clearly identified him as the culprit

local - in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น

keep an eye out - to watch carefully for something that might happen

"We have been living in fear. We asked the police to speed up the arrest and keep an eye out for our safety, but nothing happened. Finally he came back and shot my father," Ms Wilaiwan, also a local teacher, told me shortly after the second shooting.

despair - a feeling of sadness (that you cannot do anything to help a bad situation)

her voice was full of fear and despair

at risk - the possibility that something dangerous or unpleasant might happen ความเสี่ยง
provide - to give someone something that they want or need

I can't believe the Chai Nat police left this family's lives at risk for seven months. Despite being informed about possible repeat attacks, police did not provide extra protection for them.





issued - made available ออกใหม่
An officer in charge of the case said an arrest warrant has been issued for the suspect. However, he said the police have not been able to catch the man because "this guy is good at hiding." 

The problems of cops-turned-criminals and negligence of duty by police have existed in Thai society for too long. More and more people have their own experiences with bad cops. 

crisis - an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation วิกฤตการณ์  วิกฤต
the crisis within the police force

urgently - needing to be dealt with immediately อย่างเร่งด่วน
needs to be fixed urgently

among the many crises Thailand is confronting, I think the crisis within the police force is one of the most serious and needs to be fixed urgently

secure - safe from attack or harm ปลอดภัย
feel secure

property - the things that you own
one's property

feel secure about one's property

justice - when people are treated fairly and equally (See Wikipedia) ความยุติธรรม
the right to justice

victim - someone who has been harmed, injured or killed as the result of a crime เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
the victim of a crime

rights - what the law allows you to have and do สิทธิ์  (See Wikipedia)

This is because the right to feel safe, the right to feel secure about one's property and the right to justice when someone becomes the victim of a crime are the very basic rights that must be provided to all citizens.

scale - size (relative size)
large-scale spending

investment - taking your money and putting it into projects to make a profit or earn interest (buying stock shares, bonds, real estate)
foreign investment - money coming into the country from other countries to invest in businesses

tourism
promotion - helping to increase tourism at a place (by advertising and coverage in the media)

confident
- being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future มั่นใจ
can't be confident that the police will help them  

The government's large-scale spending on foreign investment and tourism promotion will be useless because no one will want to come to a country where they feel unsafe and where they can't be confident that the police will help them when they get into trouble.





suspect - to believe that something is true, especially something bad สงสัย  เป็นที่สงสัยว่า

secure - to get or achieve something
secure - to get or achieve something important เพื่อเป็นประกันว่า
secure - to get or achieve something การได้มาซึ่ง
secure - to get or achieve something ได้รับ, ทำให้ได้ผล
secure - to make an area or building safe ป้องกัน ทำให้ปลอดภัย
secure - to make an area or building safe รักษาความปลอดภัย
secure - get, make sure the country has ให้ได้มา
secure - get something that is difficult to get ได้มาซึ่ง secure a food supply
secure - get something that is difficult to get secure rice supplies
secure - safe from harm, protected insecure
secure - get guaranteed

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