Bribery in the third world

How do you discern when a bribe is necessary? If it is necessary, how does one go about it and what/how much is usually offered?
My first world brain doesn't understand these things, and it would make my life easier while traveling where this is common.

  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    You want to be discreet and avoid incriminating yourself or them by mentioning bribes, though I've had officials straight up tell me they want to get their mom flowers for mother's day so give me money. Ask things like: is there a fine/fee I can pay to resolve this? Can I pay it to you? Can you take care of it for me? Can I pay less, I don't need a receipt? Avoid obviously handing over a bribe, conceal the cash with papers you're handing them or give the official a larger note than what the "official fee" is.

    As far as discerning whether a bribe is necessary, and negotiating the bribe amount, that's another subject but the first thing is did you really do something illegal? Not having the right visa paperwork or breaking a traffic law are common opportunities to solicit a bribe. Do you think you should be free to go but they insist you didn't do something right? They're probably looking for a bribe.

    I avoid paying bribes. The best way is to just be as patient and insistent as possible and hope the official is lazy and gives up. This works well if they accuse you of something fabricated or trump up the seriousness of something minor that the locals wouldn't get in trouble for like jaywalking. Another option is to insist on calling the "embassy" or ministry of tourism to discuss the problem. This works surprisingly well. But the best advice is to not get yourself into trouble that you need to bribe your way out of, don't bring drugs in, don't get shitfaced in public, etc. And if you have to pay a bribe, start with a low amount, $10 in the third world is more than what most people earn in a day.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >breaking a traffic law are common opportunities to solicit a bribe
      malaysia anon here again. i have a friend who drives around with a 20 ringgit note on the passenger seat of his car (about $4.60 / £3.70)
      if he gets stopped by the police he just says this is all i have, take it or leave it
      usually the police just stop people when they want some donuts so they usually just take it
      he could probably get away with 10 ringgit most of the time but he drives an expensive car so it wouldn't really be believable

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      That's exactly what I needed to know, thanks. I was supposed to fly directly from India to Vietnam a few months back, then head home, but the shithead at the counter said that I needed the a visa (my nationality doesn't need one), and when that didn't work, he said that I needed the vax. It caught me completely off guard, because I had checked thoroughly before leaving, and you didn't need it. It only registered months later that he wanted a bribe. Anyway, it ended up ruining my plans and costing me near a grand.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Anyway, it ended up ruining my plans and costing me near a grand.
        shithead probably laughed his ass for a week straight at your expense

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      good post

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    here in malaysia people are very direct about it. corruption is just completely ingrained into the business process, especially amongst high-ranking malays. i have a small company here and even we have been asked for bribes in order to get contracts etc. for small bribes people will usually ask for phones, gift cards etc, scaling up to laptops and televisions etc, or just money (laundered through a company owned by the person who wants the bribe). we don't play the game so we have probably lost out because of it.
    i know someone who works for a construction company and they basically have to pay out about 20% of their revenue in bribes to get contracts etc. i have no idea how they process it in their company accounts.
    the most corrupt people in the country are the anti corruption departments.

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >be you
    >in turd world country
    >something is difficult and not working
    >police officer or bureaucrat mentions strange reason that you need to give them money for
    >give them money and problem goes away
    in general you never need to instigate the bribery, let the corrupt government officials do it for you. you don't need to worry about repercussions so long as you're dealing with bean counters.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Sometimes it's more subtle. Like when a bureaucrat says no politely and not super rudely and calling for the next person in line. Then you take back your paperwork, and hand it back to them with your money folded in a paper. I had to do this when registering a couple of my kids in SEA to get my preferred names registered. They have asinine rules on name selection in Vietnam and Thailand.

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If I'm tourist I'm just going to avoid contact with cops and bureaucrats. There's generally no need for the average tourist to interact with them outside of airports or borders where bribes are unlikely if a lot of people pass through.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      *if a lot of foreign tourists pass through.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >just avoid the cops and bureaucrats bro
      Do you seriously think the other posters are actively seeking out cops and officials in order to bribe them?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I had a border guard ask me for a bribe at Bali airport. It caught me off guard because it's a busy tourist arrival destination. He said some bullshit like, my passport is a bit crumpled or cracked and your picture isn't clear and that he shouldn't allow me in. But that he would look the other way if I gave him a little present. I handed him my passport back with a 10 euro note in between. That left a sour taste in my mouth for the entire Bali trip.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        You're salty over a 10 euro bribe? The average Indonesian probably spends at least that on bribes every week. It's one of the most corrupt societies on the planet.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I can afford 10 or 100 or whatever. It's the principle of the thing. The very first Indonesian that I interact with after arrival demands a bribe, doesn't make you feel very welcome.

          The irony is that the customs officers are in an area that has signs in big letters saying "NO CORRUPTION AREA", that no bribery attempts are tolerated. This is, of course, after passport control. As if conveniently, passport control officers are not part of the "no corruption area".

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >been stopped by third world police 2 times
    >both times, I lacked the necessary paperwork for the vehicle, making me commit a felony
    >despite being white, both times, the police just issued a warning and let me go

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Actually, I have never ever knowingly bribed anyone in all my years here in SEA. I find it bizarre hearing all these stories of extortion and such.

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