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Interview with a Foreign Undercover Police Informer in Thailand

Foreign Undercover Police Informer in Thailand

Foreign Undercover Police Informer in Thailand

It's a well known fact that there are foreigners here working as undercover police informers. But who are these guys, what motivates them, how did they get into this line of work, what are the dangers involved and how do they deal with the slack other foreigners give them for turning their own brethren in. Well I had a chance to sit down and talk with one undercover police informer who was happy to answer my questions as long as no names were given. Being undercover means no one can know your identity and they he'd like to keep it that way, I was more than happy to oblige.

Q. How does one get into being a police informer?

A. Firstly you have to join the local Tourist police, simply trying to sign up for the job is not going to get you anywhere, you don't ask to become a police informer either, you are chosen. What happens is you join the tourist police and show how you are able to deal with different situations, they feel you out, and over the the course of a year they will see if you have what it takes, you will get "tested" as well, taken on different jobs and the police watch you to see if you can do it. For most people who join the tourist police this is what they really want to do. 99% of people who sign up don't have what it takes.
Q. What does it take to be a police informer in Thailand?

Simply signing up to the tourist police is not going to guarantee you any work as an informer. You need the background, a police background is the most regarded so is military, someone with counter intelligence experience. If you think that undercover informers/agents in Thailand are pushovers think again, these are people with past experience in enforcement and know how to handle themselves. If you want to get to do the "backroom or upstairs work you also need a work visa". You also need language skills, if you don't speak Thai forget it, you need to report back with the information and most of the Thai police don't speak good English, so language plays the most important role.

Q. What kind of jobs do you get involved in, are they always targeting foreigners?

For the majority of work it's really just surveillance, it doesn't mean that were out there busting foreigners, most of the work involves Thai's who have set up some sort of criminal enterprise that targets foreigners, it may involve child prostitution, drugs, someone who is trying to sell illegal wares to farangs. See the Thai police can't gather their own intelligence since the operators are not willing to service Thai people (actually they think it's safer not to). So they use foreigners to gather the intelligence and report back to them. I'd say only a small majority of the cases involve foreigners who are doing illegal activities in Thailand. One job I did recently was bust a gang of Thai youths who were selling drugs to foreigners, one British man was at the scene and really was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he got busted as well

Q. What do you get paid to be a police informer in Thailand?

There's the kicker right there, we don't get paid anything, we get free lunches though when we go out on jobs and work, but it's not legal for them to pay us any money, it's not like a full time job or anything though. You don't say work a 9-5 job, guys like me who do this kind of work do it for their own reasons, either the excitement of it or basically something to kill the time. It's more of a passion for someone, if you've worked in the police or military before you'll understand what i'm talking about. We also have to pay for everything our selves as well, the uniforms the gadgets everything. Don't even think about being a police informer if you are looking to make money in Thailand.

Q. Do you get to use any cool equipment like spy cams or carry a gun?

I've bought a spy camera that clips under my clothes, I wear a shirt over it and no one can tell that i'm wearing one. I'll probably never be patted down either, Thai's don't think like that and the foreigners are too preoccupied to think about undercovers busting them. Like I said earlier though i don't get equipped with anything I buy it myself. As for a gun, foreigners aren't allowed to carry guns, even though they have offered to me the use of one on certain jobs,

i've politely refused though, I don't see the need, i'm there just to gather intelligence, once my job is done, the Thai police step in.
Q. How long have you been doing this for and will you do it for long?

I've been doing undercover work now for a few years, and I don't see why I would stop doing it anytime soon. I get to travel to jobs all over the country, the Thai police are wising up and starting to use us more and more to gather intelligence they simply can't get.

Q. How do you feel about other expats who think your a low life for doing this?

Whatever. I'm doing the right thing, there are endless criminals in Thailand. I've done work that has stopped international people smuggling of little kids, taken drugs of the street, and probably saved a lot of lives, those who think i'm a low life can think about that. Most expats out there think i'm trying to bust foreigners who own bars in Pattaya or what not but the truth is that most of the work I do saves lives. If they think i'm scum for doing that then they should look at themselves and ask how they are making Thailand a better and more safer place to live.

That was the extent of my interview with an undercover farang police informer in Thailand. He wasn't willing to give too much information out either about who he has busted and where he has done it, I got the impression that he wasn't happy about where the interview was going next and more worried about his bosses being OK with the interview, though I do feel he was right about making Thailand safer though I still don't see myself doing anything like that. What do you think?


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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

13 Responses to Interview with a Foreign Undercover Police Informer in Thailand

  1. Bentley October 18, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    I guess he’s making the country safer just as he says, but I can’t see myself doing that…for me it’s enough to keep a low profile and stay out of trouble.

    • Chris October 18, 2011 at 6:02 am #

      It’s a very dangerous job, I wouldn’t do it.

  2. SnowMan March 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Uhm!
    Extremely interesting interview.
    “don’t have what it takes.”
    Seems to me to many of those have been coming in to this country the last few years…

  3. DavidMac April 2, 2012 at 3:47 am #

    It’s a dangerous,demanding and necessary job;and I wish him all the best..Thailand is a beautiful country and the people deserve to be protected from international scum bags.
    I can’t do the job,because basically I’m too scared to steal & too nerveous to lie.

  4. Willie July 17, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    First, this guy is lying through his teeth when he says he doesn’t get paid. I know someone who was set up for selling fake F1 shirts. They get a kickback from whatever the foreigner is paid. Of course, he’s not going to tell you this. It’s okay to sell fake F1 shirts inside Thailand but if you sell them overseas, you’re a criminal and will be arrested. This is true. Not saying it’s right to do but c’mon. They asked my buddy for 400K and he ended up paying 40K. The farang asked my friend afterwards if he wanted to go have a drink together, the scumbag.

    How is this foreigner making a living if he’s not making any money from the Thai police? He makes no money and yet feels the need to join the Thai tourism police and set up foreigners? This guy is full of it and I’m sure there are many people who if they knew he was a rat would give him a beating. The guy is SCUM and the Thai police are perfectly capable of ferreting out the bad guys. Whether they actually do anything about them is another story. I guess it depends on how much money they make.

  5. Copone August 14, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    Douche bag.

  6. rhonn@lavabit.com December 2, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    I see them often, mostly men in the midst of a midlife crisis or older. They love to walk around in the polos with the tourist police logo having no scruples to ask local businesses for a discount upon showing an ID or when they proudly wear a tourist police shirt. Most of them hold the local police in very low regards, just like this chap. Frustrated people with very little social intelligence with a police or military background. Most of them Americans sometimes Australians and very little Europeans. I feel always a bit sorry for them. You can spot them, just like their Thai paid undercover police from hundreds of meters and they sincerely believe that they communicate well. Any expat with a brain will shun these people and will not being lured in small talk. I suppose they betray their friends and family too, all for the greater good. My advice to anyone who is approached by a kind foreigner inquiring about this or that is to get them of your back as soon as possible. In Thailand half the population is informing on the other half. Keep your circle as small as possible. You cannot trust anyone, it is like Eastern Germany under the Stasi.

  7. Forang July 2, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    Did he go to get a job with police or did the police contact him and ask for help

    Unfortunately I have been in jail before as a younger kid and now my experience tells me that there is a demand for police. We cannot live without them.

    Some crime is harmless but when ever someone commits a crime they know they are taking a risk and the penalty just as an informer does

    If this man gets caught and followed home then he knows that is part of the job just as a criminal that sells drugs and has to worry about other dealers Puting him out of business

    Personally I want to protect my family in Thailand so Thai police have found a loop whole by employing forangs without employing them. As in America they used to only hire Irish. Police then hey released that all the Chinese , Mexicans Italians could see them a mile away

    Personally I reckon the Italian American mafia are a good alternative for the criminal world and did a good job policing it

    They never liked drugs either

    Chopper Reid recently passed away was quoted in his film ( not sure if the real chopper said this)

    Drugs shall ruin the criminal world and ruin normally society. Which I agree with

    I know it seem harmless someone selling fake items but these big companies put pressure on the government who then put pressure on the police to her some arrests

    So they have to do follow orders and so there job

    They just have to follow orders

    Some cases people deserve to get caught like thieves a ex offenders people who have ripped people off

    Human traffickers these people are scum for real prison is too good for them they should be dealt with in the same way there people would treat them with a huge beating or execution

    As for getting paid I cannot imagine even if he did get some money considering the Thai wages are low I doubt he can make a living doing this

    He does not work this job full time to who know where he gets his money from

    Possibly has a bushes in Thailand

  8. Titsmgee December 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    load of bullocks hes getting paid for setting up foreigners asshole

  9. Snitch February 15, 2016 at 8:19 am #

    This guys is a scumbag who should be shot on site. Yea right he doesnt make money, you dont think he extracts bribes just like the regular corrupt cops in thailand?

    What a loser, hope he catches a bullet or two.

  10. hostile December 9, 2016 at 11:38 am #

    Snitches get stitches

  11. Momo January 15, 2017 at 6:27 pm #

    This guy is clueless or a liar. He mentions that foreigners are not allowed to have guns? It is as easy a to have a work permit or a PR visa…

  12. Jimbob February 25, 2017 at 9:41 am #

    Are these the same guys that go into massage parlous,ask for a happy ending the Snitch on the girls,all down to the police getting no tea money.
    What kind of Tool goes into a massage parlor and sets a girl up trying to make money?lowest of the low.

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