Police arrests – Ladies, ladyboys in Pattaya

A local news site is reporting on the latest police raids that have been carried out last night in Pattaya. According to the report, 36 Thai women, 19 foreign women, and six ladyboys (kathoeys) were arrested and taken to the police station on Soi 9 and Beach Road. It is said by the Tourist Police Surachet Hakpal targeted areas including Pattaya Beach (Beach road), Jomtien Beach and Pattaya Walking Street. The report also says police caught some Thai teenagers using drugs. 

In a separate raid, it is said that 18 illegal immigrants from a number of countries were arrested. Uganda, Iran, Ivory Coast, Britain, Nigeria, Cameroon and India are mentioned.

A total of 12 different locations were targeted by police, including rented rooms, houses and guest houses, which had previously been under surveillance by police after they had received several reports from locals. 

the police suspect that the foreign nationals may have been involved in drugs, gambling and prostitution.

note that the outcome of these raids are usually that the perpetrators are issued a monetary fine and then released.

Tourists who are in Pattaya on holiday are rarely affected by police operations. At most you may see uniformed police officers enter a venue such as a nightclub where alcohol is being served and check ID cards to verify that everyone is above the correct legal age. Please note that while the tourist police can help you with issues such as theft and assault, it is unlikely that they are willing or able to mediate disputes about payment for services. These are best taken up with the staff or proprietor of the relevant establishment, most likely the mamasan. 

for those that do end up on the wrong side of the law, be aware that commonly throughout SE Asia, matters may be settled before going to the station by a demand for cash payment. It would be advisable to pay this to avoid a formal record being created, because if you are sent to jail for the night you will need to appear in court in the morning and this obviously creates a record that you were in trouble with the law. Simply paying the requested sum is the best way to be on your way and sleeping soundly in your hotel. If you are feeling very brave it is possible to haggle a bit of a discount, generally by pretending not to have any money, but this will possibly lead to you be escorted to an ATM or your hotel to pick up the required amount. 

This is generally true for traffic offences such as not wearing a helmet and low level DUI. Even if you get in a fight while drunk, odds are you will be relieved of some money and dropped off at your hotel or the hospital. If you are involved in drugs you are in deeper trouble as this is a very serious social problem in Thailand and penalties are harsh. Even offering a large sum of money probably will not save you. The moral of the story is do this at your own risk.

richard coxley

Richard Coxley is a business consultant with over 12 years experience in Asia. He enjoys playing golf. He has travelled extensively in Thailand and currently resides in Pratumnak, Pattaya.