Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops  (Read 1983 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline steveindar

  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: Honda XRV 750 Africa Twin
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 1,069
  • Thanked: 28 times
  • Eish!
Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops
« on: May 17, 2012, 10:56:52 am »
Been thinking about this for a while. We hear all sorts of stories of bikers being fleeced by customs/police/scamsters at border crossings throughout Africa, especially the borders us Soft Efricans pass through more regularly. Maybe if we have somewhere to put all these stories we could one day have enough to forward to our foreign affairs  people (as if they give a toss) to get them to take note and raise these issues with their respective counter-parts. We live in hope anyway.
Another extreme irritant is dealing with cops, traffic or otherwise, in these same lands, where first priority is to shake out your pockets. Now I know there are some that say paying a bribe is just easier, and I have to admit where I stay it most assuredly is, but that doesn't help change the situation. Those of you who have travelled to some parts of South-East Asia will know about the tourist cops who are there to see you don't get into crap and ease your way through the pleasant task of blowing your bucks at the multitude of gogo bars etc.
With enough push maybe we, as a biking community can make a small attitude adjustment across the borders.

And all this inspired by Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant", the last few verses!!  O0

Don't mind hearing about the good experiences too, might just inspire co-workers to follow suit. :)
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 11:28:06 am by steveindar »
COVID KILLS SADDLE TIME!
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain


 XRV750 Africa bike, KTM 525EXC plastic Africa bike, BMW1150GS Civilization bike; TY250Z Footup's ??? VFR750 Potential off-road hooligan bike!
 

Offline BlueBull2007

  • Caribbean
  • Global Moderator
  • Bachelor Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Other
  • Posts: 10,377
  • Thanked: 406 times
Re: Border crossing horrer stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 11:02:38 am »
Well here in South America, they are actually not too bad. They normally pull you off so something or other and if you are patient they will normally let you go on without paying.

Once the guy says to me "Help me..."
"How can I help you?"
He says "Help me economically"
"Err sorry dude, my economy is too small."  :imaposer:
Rally nut. What could possibly go wrong?
Living the Rally Dream - Ride Report
Current bike: KTM 350 EXC   Previous bikes:  2010 WR450F, 2006 KTM450EXC,KTM 450RR, BMW800GS, KTM450EXC, BMW650 GS, BMW650 Dakar, and Honda XR250
 

Offline jeff

Re: Border crossing horrer stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 11:36:14 am »
when I was in mozambique on my bike in 2009 i got stopped by this official looking oke ( another one under the tree with a rifle).he comes up to me and points at his throat , so I ask him whats wrong , he gestures again . he's thirsty . I look around and there's a shop across the the road , this is on a sand road in the middle of f@#$ing nowhere . So i ask how much is a colddrink ,he says 1 metica , I give him 2 (R7)ha ha. Same day get stopped for speeding , was doing 80km\h in a 60 zone . when  I told the cop I didnt see the sign cause I was too busy watching the pot holes. he laughed and gave me a warning (apparently unheard of ).got stopped at three more road blocks that day with no consequences .
"Love the life you live. Live the life you love"

Bob Marley
 

Offline alanB

  • Vendors
  • Grey hound
  • ****
  • Bike: Husqvarna (all models)
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 6,767
  • Thanked: 11 times
    • www.extinction.co.za
Re: Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 12:32:03 pm »
It takes two to tango!

If you are looking for opportunities to pay a bribe to make your life easy then you probably pay a lot of bribes to corrupt officials in many circumstances.

If you dont, you probably wont pay anything.

I've been to Lesotho, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and never been asked for a bribe - ever.  Been stopped at road blocks and for speeding.  Never a hint of a bribe.

Cant say the same in JHB with the metro cops though who are always very thirsty and  very very very reluctant to write out the fine!

Husqvarna '09 610TE - Great Bike!

I just finished a SciFi novel Extinction: Task Team, download the preview.
 

Offline XXL

  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: Piaggio (all models)
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 1,556
  • I am Blessed
Re: Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 12:39:28 pm »
I always just say "Give me the fine". Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.... ::) Paying the bribe makes me part of the problem. May sound self righteous, but to date, it works for me :thumleft:
 

Offline michnus

  • PikiPiki Overland
  • Bachelor Dog
  • *****
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS HP2
    Location: Other
  • Posts: 13,072
  • Thanked: 7 times
    • Pikipiki Overland
Re: Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 01:08:42 pm »
There are no horror stories when you are calm about a border crossing.

We got hold up to go into Angola for 6 hours, Into Sudan for 6 hours and slept on the border. In Egypt 2 days to wait for bikes to go through customs.

We never paid any bribes, and we never had nasty officials. make sure your paperwork is okay, smile, do not talk to much and make like an amoeba, just ooze through and fuck off.

Driving over the speed limit in any other country is looking for shit and no sympathy for it when you get caught. Again smile, talk nice and you will get off easy. Never get angry and never look like you are in a hurry.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 01:23:12 pm by michnus »
 

Offline DeepBass9

  • 2010 DL1000-'91 DR650 DAKAR
  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: Suzuki DL 1000 V-Strom
    Location: North West
  • Posts: 4,444
  • Thanked: 7 times
    • www.dreamlodge.co.za
Re: Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 01:11:30 pm »
I've travelled extensively, and the only time I've paid a bribe was a coke to the customs guy to get some rock samples out of DRC. South Africans are generally very willing to pay bribes, I think they get a certain 'look how corrupt it is in Africa' satisfaction out of it when all their worst fears are confirmed.

Offline Justin

  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: Yamaha XT 660 Z
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 808
  • Bring it!
    • Sports Vision
Re: Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2012, 01:47:23 pm »
It's always so funny how the guys that pay bribes are the first to complain about corrupt cops. Kettle/pot.
Carpe diem!
 

Offline Icemann

  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW F650GS / Dakar
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 1,194
  • It's the Journey that matter, not the destination.
Re: Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2012, 02:35:01 pm »
There are no horror stories when you are calm about a border crossing.

We got hold up to go into Angola for 6 hours, Into Sudan for 6 hours and slept on the border. In Egypt 2 days to wait for bikes to go through customs.

We never paid any bribes, and we never had nasty officials. make sure your paperwork is okay, smile, do not talk to much and make like an amoeba, just ooze through and fuck off.

Driving over the speed limit in any other country is looking for shit and no sympathy for it when you get caught. Again smile, talk nice and you will get off easy. Never get angry and never look like you are in a hurry.

Wise words...... :thumleft:
 

Offline BlueBull2007

  • Caribbean
  • Global Moderator
  • Bachelor Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Other
  • Posts: 10,377
  • Thanked: 406 times
Re: Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2012, 04:25:20 pm »
It's always so funny how the guys that pay bribes are the first to complain about corrupt cops. Kettle/pot.

I also noticed this, glad not to be the only one that thinks like this. ;D
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 04:26:03 pm by BlueBull2007 »
Rally nut. What could possibly go wrong?
Living the Rally Dream - Ride Report
Current bike: KTM 350 EXC   Previous bikes:  2010 WR450F, 2006 KTM450EXC,KTM 450RR, BMW800GS, KTM450EXC, BMW650 GS, BMW650 Dakar, and Honda XR250
 

Offline DirtyHarry

  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R80GS
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,703
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • The journey will never end.
    • waveline holiday accommodation
Re: Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2012, 04:51:28 pm »
When we travelled Mozambique a couple of years ago we got stopped at every small village. Most of the time the police wants to check you out and have a little chat. We got stopped at least 40 times throughout the 8 weeks in this country and never had to pay.
We witnessed once that the driver in a big 4x4 pulled out R 100 and gave it to the official without even changing one word. He probably wanted to get as quick as possible from A-B and happily paid for it.
The police then told us that most South African drivers offer money to them, even if they don't ask for it. Most people can't speak a word Portuguese and this might be the problem. The police says good day and how are you and then the people pull out money.
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2012, 04:51:07 pm »
My son and I traveled through 7 countries in Africa and never were ask for a bribe. The only problem we had was on the island of Zanzibar. I don't pay bribes period. 
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline jorust

  • If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space!
  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS
    Location: Rest of Africa
  • Posts: 735
    • JoRust
Re: Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 10:19:04 pm »
I second everything Michnus said!
11 countries in Africa for me now and no real hassles at the borders. Sure I've come across corrupt officials and lots of time spent at borders. But I put on my biggest smile and just stick it out.
If you try to play hard ball, you will lose in the end.
Have your paperwork in order, obey the law, be courteous = no hassles.

First woman around Africa. Next up: Around the Americas. www.jorust.com
Website: www.jorust.com. Ride Report: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=95770.0

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting: "Holy shit!! What a ride!!
 

Offline Wayne Duck

  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 990 Adventure
    Location: Other
  • Posts: 820
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Freedom Behind Bars
Re: Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2012, 11:41:08 am »
Jorust and MichNus...spot on, nothing more needed to say!
14 years spent living and working in Swaziland, Lesotho, with almost daily border crossings, and Nam / Bots taught me this.
Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline ClimbingTurtle

  • Forum Vendor
  • Grey hound
  • ****
  • Bike: BMW (all models)
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 8,073
  • Thanked: 378 times
  • Give It Horns - Save Our Rhino's
    • Majita Tool Supplies
Re: Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2012, 11:55:54 am »
Never had any real hassles at borders - patience and a smile and a word or 2 in the local language go a long way!

Having said that, we were "forced" to pay US$100 in 1994 when crossing from Malawi to Tanzania on bikes - the issuing of visa's was done at the border up to a point, and while we were on Malawi for 6 weeks the issuing laws changed and our nearest TZ embassy was in Zambia at the time - a moerava long ride in the wrong direction! The "Entrance Fee" was paid at 4am the following morning having spent the night with drunk border guards in no-mans land drinking Shake-Shake... :biggrin:
www.majita.co.za - we sell tools!

"And if I knew I was going to be this thirsty, I would have drunk more last night"

2010 R1200GS Adventure SOLD - 2007 BMW G650x  - 2001 F650GS Dak SOLD - 1981 XT500 - 1980 XT500 - Gone to Mud Island for a better life with Roadcat the Lordly, Keeper of the Mead...!
 

Offline IceCreamMan

  • Pawn star
  • Grey hound
  • ****
  • Bike: Triumph (all models)
    Location: United Kingdom
  • Posts: 6,786
  • Thanked: 736 times
  • What me worry?
Re: Border crossing horror stories and corrupt foreign cops
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2012, 02:36:41 pm »
There are no horror stories when you are calm about a border crossing.

We got hold up to go into Angola for 6 hours, Into Sudan for 6 hours and slept on the border. In Egypt 2 days to wait for bikes to go through customs.

We never paid any bribes, and we never had nasty officials. make sure your paperwork is okay, smile, do not talk to much and make like an amoeba, just ooze through and fuck off.

Driving over the speed limit in any other country is looking for shit and no sympathy for it when you get caught. Again smile, talk nice and you will get off easy. Never get angry and never look like you are in a hurry.

Where is the like button  :thumleft:
Born to lose, live to win!!