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Thailand, a Paradise for Criminals from around the world


alan bucknet:
         World mafia under tropical sun

Thailand, a Paradise for Criminals from around the world
by S├ębastien Le Belzic
April 5, 2012

Thirty million tourists land in Thailand each year. Most are only there for the beaches. Others taste his other specialty: corruption.
"Guns, girls, gambling, ganja and gorgeous beaches" , the 5 G described by the British writer John Burdett summarize pretty well the depraved climate that reigns in the City of Angels, Bangkok, and especially at his little sister in Pattaya, the "Disneyland of sex" described by some, where we find all the ingredients of the good American polars.

In a New York Times article in June 2011, Thomas Fuller questions the reasons for this attractiveness. He sees essentially one: corruption. He quotes Lieutenant-Colonel Wiboon Bangthamai, the head of the Thai immigration police who, without dismay, tells how customs officers at some border posts are experiencing strange computer problems as wealthy foreigners enter the country illegally.

Some, however, are caught. They are rare, less than five per year on average. These are the big fish or the most unconscious.

Like this Sicilian mafia leader who was arrested on March 30, 2012 at Bangkok airport. Vito Roberto Palazzol might have lived the dolce vita in the sun of Thailand? He should be extradited to Italy ... Or this Russian musician accused of pedophilia; or the arms dealer Viktor Bout extradited from Thailand to the United States. Even these three Iranian terrorists photographed with prostitutes in Pattaya a few hours before committing an attack in Bangkok last February.

In 2011, the arrest of Peter Andras Sakardi had helped to restore some of the Thai police's image. This Hungarian was wanted by Interpol and was spending quiet days in his villa in Pattaya with his comfortable money: 10 million euros, fruit of his crimes in Europe.

Very exceptional arrests

And then there are these settlements, as in 2007, these two young Russian women shot on the beach of Jomtien in Pattaya and whose photos are around the world. Strangely, no one is arrested.

Cases that are so common, but arrests that remain exceptional. More often than not, thieves profit peacefully from their retirement, sometimes investing in a bar gogo or tourist traps. Robert Marguery, 58 years old, a former of the gang of the Hairpieces, thus lives in Thailand since 1988 and strolls the visitors on some elephants that it bought. He also reportedly invested in a few go-go bars in Patpong, Bangkok's red light district.

Almost forty million tourists landed in Thailand in 2017

Most of them, fortunately, are only there for the beaches. Europeans, Americans, Australians or Japanese do not need a visa. A quick stamp at the airport and they are able to spend a few months or a few years there.

Cross the border a few hours to Malaysia, Laos or Cambodia (another paradise of criminals) and it is the insurance of a new stamp and an extension of stay. "Forget" to leave the Kingdom, spend quiet days in Pattaya and you will have little chance to see the immigration police one day.

Even so, we often deal with police for hundreds of baht. The cases Sakardi and Bout remain exceptional. The Thai police wanted to look good with Interpol and the FBI. "Only international pressure can bend Thais. They do not act with great zeal, says a police officer employed in a Western Embassy in Bangkok. Here, with their pennies, they can buy a quiet life, a visa, a new passport and invest in restaurants or bars. "

Thailand is the backbone of mafias around the world.

Corruption is one of the biggest scourges in the country. According to a recent poll in the Bangkok Post, 84% of Thais accept corruption in business and 51% in politics. So do not expect much from the Thai authorities in this regard.

The Kingdom is however the third country of extradition of criminals to the United States, the FBI having much more influence in Thailand than the European police. France, in particular, arrives only very occasionally to obtain the extradition of these criminal refugees in Thailand.

The diplomatic telegrams revealed by Wikileaks thus highlight the American concerns, as in one of the cables, dated 2009:

     "The borders of Thailand are extremely porous. And the country is very vulnerable to international criminals of all kinds. Most of them have knowledge and equipment beyond the means of the Thai secret service. Courts lack the facilities of modern justice and the police, prosecutors and the judiciary do not work together effectively. The system is still based on confessions rather than evidence. "

The Thai authorities promise each year to clean up the Kingdom. No result. Thailand's 5Gs are likely to attract criminals from all over the world for a long time.

S├ębastien Le Belzic


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