Dirty (corrupt) police

All about Kyrgyzstan.
Post Reply
ccc
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 9:56 pm
x 3
x 6

Dirty (corrupt) police

Post by ccc »

I have found several infos about police, especially which ripss off travellers - want passport and then try to get / still some money.
Has anyone had this experience with fake cops or „dirty“ (currupt) police in Kyrgyzstan?
Last edited by ccc on Wed May 26, 2021 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
0 x

Christian77
Tajikistan expert
Tajikistan expert
Posts: 225
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:14 pm
x 291

Re: Dirty (corrupt) police

Post by Christian77 »

Regarding street police, it's light years better than it was 10 years ago. But that's for white people. Chinese, Indians, and anyone dark skinned may have a different experience. With Chinese it's usually targeted (police going after a group of Chinese businessmen in a club) and with anyone South Asian (e.g., Indian and Pakistani students) it's usually just straight racism. Being an obvious tourist doing tourist things in tourist places offers a much higher degree of protection.

As far as handing over your passport, only do that at the border/airport and to a hotel concierge or hostel manager (they need to make a copy). If anyone, in uniform or not, asks for your passport on the street you say that it's at your hotel. But I haven't heard much about dirty police in the last few years from tourists or expats.

Personally, 99% of my worries have to do with random angry drunks (I definitely still come across these guys at all times of the day), not the police.

Source: white guy who's spent about 18 months in Kyrgyzstan spread out over the last decade.
2 x

ccc
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu May 20, 2021 9:56 pm
x 3
x 6

Re: Dirty (corrupt) police

Post by ccc »

Thx a lot.
Btw it's better to answer fake or dirty policeman in Russian or English or just ignore, do like not understanding?
0 x

AreWeThereYet?
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:29 pm
x 21
x 101

Re: Dirty (corrupt) police

Post by AreWeThereYet? »

In my experience the Kyrgyz police/army are a lot less likely to be bent than the Tajiks. Border guards even speak reasonable English and are very friendly, however I've heard a fair few attempts at shaking people down.

A trick I've learnt from another traveller and employed in Dushanbe's bazaar (but he used it in Osh, so it's relatable) is this: when the police, or anyone official, stops you claiming that there are problems with your documents (without seeing them, they must have some special powers!) or because you've done something that you shouldn't have do not give your passport. Give 'em a photocopy if you must but, more importantly, give them the number of your embassy.

We got cornered by a number of officers in the bazaar as my travel mate had enough photo gear to last an army and they were smelling money. I played dumb, gave them a printout of our embassy's details in Russia (it was in Tashkent, so fat chance), kept repeating "pozvonit' v posol'stvo" straight out of Google Translate, smiled like a moron and eventually they let us go. It was just too much hard work.
0 x
www.awtytravels.com
Stories from the road.

Christian77
Tajikistan expert
Tajikistan expert
Posts: 225
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:14 pm
x 291

Re: Dirty (corrupt) police

Post by Christian77 »

AreWeThereYet? wrote:
Wed May 26, 2021 7:52 pm
In my experience the Kyrgyz police/army are a lot less likely to be bent than the Tajiks. Border guards even speak reasonable English and are very friendly, however I've heard a fair few attempts at shaking people down.

A trick I've learnt from another traveller and employed in Dushanbe's bazaar (but he used it in Osh, so it's relatable) is this: when the police, or anyone official, stops you claiming that there are problems with your documents (without seeing them, they must have some special powers!) or because you've done something that you shouldn't have do not give your passport. Give 'em a photocopy if you must but, more importantly, give them the number of your embassy.

We got cornered by a number of officers in the bazaar as my travel mate had enough photo gear to last an army and they were smelling money. I played dumb, gave them a printout of our embassy's details in Russia (it was in Tashkent, so fat chance), kept repeating "pozvonit' v posol'stvo" straight out of Google Translate, smiled like a moron and eventually they let us go. It was just too much hard work.
Tajikistan has changed a lot. Police have been ordered (from the very, very top) to be nice to tourists. From what I heard and what I can see, 2018/2019 was when the big change came in.
1 x

Kalpazan
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 3:33 am
x 23
x 6

Re: Dirty (corrupt) police

Post by Kalpazan »

I faced nothing but polite policemen and border control officials back in 2019 when I cycled Pamir Highway from Dushanbe to Osh. I do not know if this is because I am a "white" guy or because I speak fluent Russian but they would almost always stop and ask me if I am OK or I need any assistance and will even give me bread or apples... Veeery polite policemen compared to many other countries. On few of their trucks there is a label "Tajik Tourist Police". How nice is that! I've been asked to show my passport only on GBAO check-points (Rushan, Murghab, etc) and at border crossings of course. Kyrgyz police was not that polite but had no problems with them as well. I was never asked for a bribe although I noticed Tajik jeep drivers will bribe border officials on both sides w/o even been asked to do so :)
0 x

Bakhtiyark
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:36 am
x 3
x 25

Re: Dirty (corrupt) police

Post by Bakhtiyark »

Christian77 wrote:
Tue May 25, 2021 9:34 pm
Regarding street police, it's light years better than it was 10 years ago. But that's for white people. Chinese, Indians, and anyone dark skinned may have a different experience. With Chinese it's usually targeted (police going after a group of Chinese businessmen in a club) and with anyone South Asian (e.g., Indian and Pakistani students) it's usually just straight racism. Being an obvious tourist doing tourist things in tourist places offers a much higher degree of protection.

As far as handing over your passport, only do that at the border/airport and to a hotel concierge or hostel manager (they need to make a copy). If anyone, in uniform or not, asks for your passport on the street you say that it's at your hotel. But I haven't heard much about dirty police in the last few years from tourists or expats.

Personally, 99% of my worries have to do with random angry drunks (I definitely still come across these guys at all times of the day), not the police.

Source: white guy who's spent about 18 months in Kyrgyzstan spread out over the last decade.
This is very accurate, People of Chinese and South Asian descent are often given a hard time, even if they are citizens of UK or US.
A couple of years ago my friend, who is Chinese-American, was harassed by police in Almaty asking for "propiska" which was long time gone and obsolete by then. He called me and i had a rather unpleasant talk with Police, started asking their names, rank, location and reason for stop. At first he was trying to be tough, refusing to give his name or rank or address, i bluffed a bit saying that he is under "Konsulski uchet" ("Consular register") and geolocations on iPhone would suffice to find location where he is being held. They immideately changed their tone and let him go.

I then asked if he would like to write an inquiry to authorities regarding this incident, but he didn't remember their names as he was too happy to be free.

In general, police officers/guards etc. tend to be more curious than corrupt, I hosted quite a few travellers and most of their encounters with police consisted of clumsy attempts at conversation using their position as a pretext ("Where do you come from?", What is your favourite football team?", "Why are you travelling?", "Are you married and do you have kids?" etc).
3 x

AreWeThereYet?
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:29 pm
x 21
x 101

Re: Dirty (corrupt) police

Post by AreWeThereYet? »

Christian77 wrote:
Wed May 26, 2021 11:54 pm


Tajikistan has changed a lot. Police have been ordered (from the very, very top) to be nice to tourists. From what I heard and what I can see, 2018/2019 was when the big change came in.

Oh wow! I was there last in '17 and we had to bribe every roadblock on the Highway. Now I'm even more keen to get back...
0 x
www.awtytravels.com
Stories from the road.

Jealgu
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:55 pm
x 9
x 31

Re: Dirty (corrupt) police

Post by Jealgu »

I experienced no bribing in TJ in 2018. From what I understood: the previous year some traveller put a video on Youtube about bribing on the kyzyl art pass and than mr President said 'no more'

The worst for a tourist I have heard is a border guard asking very polite if he could have one of the Snickers from the box the traveller had in his car.

Local drivers seems to part with some money at the checkpoints. I think a read once that this is kind of a voluntary tax needed to keep the poluce afloat, because salaries are simply too low. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable can comment.
1 x

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post