Anyone ever been shaken down/hassled on the road or airport?

#1 Nov 16th, 2004, 17:05
Join Date:
Mar 2004
  • monkgonemad is offline
I'm just curious if any of you western tourist types have been searched/shaken down as you were:

1. incoming traveller via airport or overland. Were they just having a look or searching for over the limits of booze, tobacco, dope, whatever...

2. tourist on the road in transit (train, bus)

3. hanging out and either up to no good OR not bothering anyone

* if so, did your appearance or action warrant it?
* did they try to shake you down for bribe money even though you had nothing warranting a bribe? did you have to pay over the odds for nitpiky items? was it an excuse to steal/bribe?

I'm just curious. I've never been what I could term hassled in 13 years of travel. I had a cop go through my handbag in a bus station once in Thailand. The guy in front of me got a going over while going thru customs leaving Pakistan. That's all I've really seen. I actually had some great fun with some police in the NWFP in Paki. But the cops in Indonesia are to be feared -they are VERY corrupt and mean. the cambodian immigration officials are hugely corrupt.
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#2 Dec 28th, 2004, 09:50
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Oct 2004
  • himadventures is offline

Security In India

Well-this could be a stray incident.
usually this is not a scene in India. Remember ! India gets millions and millions of over seas travellers every year.

No police do like this unless you are not suspected of carrying something like drugs, anti national activity etc etc...

Otherwise ! Police in India are bit hesitant to mis behave with travellers..incident with you is worth feeling sorry !
#3 Aug 27th, 2005, 05:22
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Aug 2005
Carrollton, Georgia (USA)
  • livin-in-india is offline
i've had my bus stopped by the arm between sunali (the nepalese border) and varanasi, and the army searched everyone's bag except for the two of us who were obviously non-Indian.

i've driven through road blocks stopping all of the indians to check their papers.

i've been given VIP treatment by the police always, without exception, in any searching situation. even in delhi without a helmet on i got away with just a warning. never had to pay one traffic fine or one paisa (do they still have paisa here?) of baksheesh.

foreigners are unpredictable. and we are novelities in most of india. the police smartly tend to treat us with respect.
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#4 Aug 27th, 2005, 05:35
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Texas/New York
  • MeCasa is offline
Hell ya, but -M2- was chuckling when he told me it's going to get a helluva lot worse
#5 Aug 27th, 2005, 06:29
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  • bijapuri is offline
been stopped and shaken down for baksheesh several times recently. Bargained hard, wasn't much of a "fine." MP/UP is the worst for this I've seen.
#6 Aug 27th, 2005, 17:25
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Jul 2005
  • navinkurian2002 is offline
"No police do like this " is a bit far feteched people (all the way up the food chain politicians, clearks, cops(panduhavaldars) ,coolis )are all looking for an opportunity to make a quick buck . Looking confident and knowing where you are going helps to keep them from asking or shacking you down (even if you dont know where your going lol )
#7 Aug 27th, 2005, 20:22
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Oct 2004
Ottawa, Canada
  • Casey is offline
I was stopped at a "roadblock" in a taxi going to the trainstation in Goa at 5:00am. He stuck his head in, had a long look at me, made some strange arm waving gestures, chatted to the cab driver who then turned to me and asked "do you have any cigarettes for him?". I said no and after a bit more arm waving and finger pointing we were on our way. I think I was too sleepy to be concerned.
#8 Aug 27th, 2005, 20:35
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Jul 2002
the Netherlands
  • cyberhippie is offline
Searched twice on the train and narrowly missed a third one when the senior cop turned up and motioned the constable to leave the tourists alone!
#9 Aug 27th, 2005, 20:45
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Sep 2001
Land that shakes and bakes.
  • edwardseco is offline
Once on rail travel through India. I waved my documents (always collect letterhead) and threatened to have him transferred to Bihar. He vanished somehow. Customs once pulled a routine to get a normal favor and I was in such a bad mood I didn't give it. He was such a dolt He never discovered what I was carrying in (diversion). Its rare and makes for adventure..
#10 Sep 8th, 2005, 21:17
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Jul 2005
In NYC, dreaming of Nepal
  • Gargi is offline
It hasn't happened to me in India, but I was hassled by customs agents at the Kathmandu airport, who questioned the newness of every thangka and statue in my bags despite the necessary wax stamps certifying that they were not antique, and despite the accompanying school director lama translating for me(what would I have done without him?). Personally I think the agents were bored-not too many foreigners were in Nepal at the time. Delhi was a breeze by comparison.
#11 Sep 16th, 2005, 10:24
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Sep 2005
New York
  • King is offline
Yea, it happen to my dad, the mumbai police had stopped him because he just had a PS and a Camera, but he got out because he knows most of the officers on the airport.
#12 Oct 5th, 2005, 23:53
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Oct 2004
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  • ananda2193 is offline
After an overnight bus trip from Almora to Delhi a traffic cop pulled my rickshaw over and asked for documents. I think he did this because my friend had long hair. Anyway's I was cranky from lack of sleep and gave him a hard time for stopping us. He then let us go on our way to our hotel.

When I was in Madurai, I was in a bar drinking brandy (which make me very sick) and a cop comes in and goes to the bar and the bartender pours him a big glass of whiskey(probably 8-10 oz.). The cop gulps it down in like 5 seconds, turns around and leaves, without paying!
#13 Oct 6th, 2005, 01:07
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Aug 2004
Taipei Taiwan
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Biggest shakedowns I've ever experienced were coming back to the US.

Once from UK, had all my luggage gone through, delayed at customs for over an hour. I had absolutely no contraband or undeclared items. I just had long hair.

Second time driving across a rural border from Canada. We had our entire car gone through while we sat in a customs offices. all the gear taken out, bags opened so they could lay out every single item. Nothing found, just one of the women in our party had purple hair, she was a school teacher. Three hours later we were on our way.

Coming back from europe, a little older and with short hair. I've come across with CASES, literally cases of wine and liquor. Sitting on top of all my luggage in the orginal boxes. We had the forms filled out and were ready to pay our duty. Nobody bothered to take them.

Came back from India last year with $$$ worth of bronze sculptures in our luggage. Again, nobody bothered to give us a second glance.
#14 Oct 6th, 2005, 01:49
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Aug 2003
  • Sprocket is offline
One fine day in central Karnataka I was going thro' some lights on green when a rather large truck u-turned right in front of me. I went down hard on my right, after getting up and hauling the Enfield on to its wheels one of the local boys in blue wandered over to me and tried to spot fine me for being in an intersection on a red(which by now it was). While he had his notepad out I very politely rode off rather fast. Unfortunately 200 yards up the road I came to a political rally which blocked all the roads, fortunately the only way he could have caught me would have been aboard a jump-jet!
The Karnataka police apart from that were the very epitome of civility and politeness though, natty uniforms too (bush hats/stetsons if I remember correctly).
The Goa police were consistently bribe hungry at the state borders tho'.
The police in UP. were very interested in drinking but all-in-all very nice chaps.
Oh how I miss it all.
Regards to everyone.
#15 Oct 6th, 2005, 02:24
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Apr 2004
Toronto, Canada
  • sego is offline
Haryana got stopped with a bus full of brown tourist from Canada, bus papers not in order according to cops. This was a big setup from Ludhiana and the owner of the bus was involved with it, cost about 5000 Rupees.

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