The Grind Machine : 15 months of jail… for stealing 250 T-shirts

Foreigners who live in Thailand know that there is nothing more scarry than the “grind machine”, AKA the thai police/judiciary system, mixed with the “randomness factor”.

We all know some horrific stories (about drugs for instance).

Unfortunatly, they don’t really make the international headlines… But with Internet, at least, we can keep some traces.

Here is the last one : A young swedish couple was today sentenced in Phuket to 1 year and 3 month in jail, for stealing 250 T-shirts.

This article was published in a swedish newspaper (translated by a ThaiVisa forum member)

On Tuesday could report that a young couple form Ulricehamn was sentenced to 15 months in jail in Thailand. New information shows that their crime was not only about 2 stolen T/shirts, which first were reported.

Information for the Swedish foreign ministry shows that the couple admitted to have stolen 250 T-shirts during a burglary. They are also involved in an assault on English tourist. The last information hasn’t been confirmed yet.

It was the 2 December last year that the young couple, 24 and 21 years old, were arrested since they stolen the clothes from a shop in Patong Beach, Thailand

Since the arrest the woman has been sharing cell in Phuket with 150 criminal women. The man had a similar situation.

-They have a rough time said Lars Göran Dikander, Swedish photographer who have been in contact with the couple.

Both of them were today sentenced to 15 months in jail. They got a short sentence since they had written a confession. They would have gotten a sentence double that time if they hadn’t written a confession.

– It have been awful, we don’t know what to do, says the mom of the 24-year old man.

– We have been in contact with the foreign ministry but it seems that they can’t do anything in this case.

The couple didn’t receive any legal assistance at the trial. The accusations were read then the came verdict. The couple did´t have any legal assistance since they confessed the crime. They were sentenced for stealing two T-shirts, the accusation of stealing a bag showed to be false.

The couple has also renounced their right to have their case tried in a higher court.

-To have the case tried in a higher court may take up to a year and may result in a longer sentence, explains Lars-Göran Dikander.[…]

Everything in this story is revolting… The delirious sentence for a small crime (when other people walk away with a bail), the hallucinated thai judiciary system (if you confess, you can’t have a proper trial, but if you don’t confess, you can rot for ever in jail, waiting for a trial etc.).

Thailand is a beautiful country, with many nice people. But don’t forget this fundamental truth : Thailand can also be, on many aspects, a very sick country.

Even a simple tourist can be caught into the Grind Machine.

1 Response to “The Grind Machine : 15 months of jail… for stealing 250 T-shirts”

  1. 1 Bedwyr 15 January 2009 at 1:50 am

    Indeed. Meanwhile a young psychotic lout is given a car by his rich Dad and uses it to murder a pedestrian or two because a bus driver showed him no respect. He walks free. And a doctor who murdered his wife a year or two back walks free because – well, because he is a doctor and is socially useful.

    Thai judges are evidently just as delusional as other Thai Pooyays.

    And in today’s press we have Abhisit meandering on about social justice and the rule of law.

    I need a vomit bag.


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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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