In Uzbekistan I was stopped, searched and questioned six times in one day.

At the border with Tajikistan, one official tried hiding my paperwork to elicit something from me.

In Kyrgyzstan, I was physically harassed and detained by the police, and about US$30 taken while they searched everything on me and a Dutch backpacker I was going to get food with.

I'm not particularly dodgy looking - it's happening to a lot of backpackers I meet. Tourists are apparently a prime target for corrupt officials.

Any suggestions or tactics for avoiding these occurrences? Aside from carrying only photocopies of your passport so that they can't hold your passport ransom, I've not heard many successful tips...

  • 47
    Not carrying your passport on your person is an offence in some countries that corrupt (or even level) police officers can haul you in for. Be careful about that. Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 5:57
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    Added point of interest - just been shown this new site: bribespot.com - not sure how effective it'll end up being, but it's an interesting attempt to catalogue events like this.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 14:21
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    I'm afraid in many cases you cannot easily avoid that... One traveller to Central Africa (try to ask him!) had terrible experience with police at highway checkpoints. There were like 22 checkpoints on their way - so it is unavoidable. Once they received judgment of death for nothing, but were saved at last. He said they only let you be if they somehow scent that you don't have money (which you normally have).
    – Tomas
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 16:35
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    I have had this happen to me once - I was asked to pay a "bribe" and I avoided doing it, so I will share my experience. I was going through security at the Libreville Airport (LBV) in Gabon. The security guard saw my American passport and stopped me, telling me I had to pay him 10,000 CFA (aka about $20) to go through the metal detector, implying he wouldn't let me if I didn't. I instantly replied "sorry, I only have credit card and traveler checks, no cash", even though I did have plenty of CFA in both my bag and my wallet(!). I pulled out a single coin from my pocket (10 CFA, I think - worth
    – ZeekLTK
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 15:10
  • 2
    Was in Uzbekistan for 3 weeks in 2011. We were stopped exactly twice, at checkpoints on the main highway. Both times after a cursory check of our vehicle we were waved through. May have helped that we had a local driver and a guide who spoke fluent Russian and a bit of Uzbek.
    – jwenting
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 6:54

11 Answers 11


I live in a very corrupt country - Ukraine. (Not that corrupt any more. See update below.) Let me give you some advice.

  1. Try to avoid looking like a stranger. Try to look like the locals. That is often difficult, I know.

This is the only advice I can give on how to avoid corrupt police. They often search for strangers just to get some money from them, because strangers are easy meat. All the other advice is how to deal with bribes and police.

  1. The key is your behavior. In corrupt countries, it is very important to behave like you are a very important authority. Corrupt policemen are afraid of their bosses only. You need to make them think that you can contact local authorities or your embassy to ask for help. This where the second tip comes from.
  2. Take your local embassy phone numbers with you. Call them whenever any problem with bribes and corruption happens. In my experience, that mostly helps, however it depends on the embassy. All developed countries have very good embassies and own citizen's protection mechanisms.
  3. If you are forced to give bribes to police, then ask the police officers to help you to avoid all future problems with other officers. They are mostly happy to help you with that. It's like a deal, you give him a bribe - he helps you in the future. Take their phone numbers, for example, in order to call them when the next police officer harasses you.
  4. I believe it is very important to have an interpreter with you. Without one, you'll be harassed too often. And make sure the interpreter also behaves like alpha-male.
  5. The bribe value for strangers is usually 10 times higher than for locals. So, you can bargain with them. For example, a $30 USD bribe could be $3 USD.
  6. Never give your IDs or papers to police. Just show your documents and refuse to give them. That works in all ex-USSR countries.
  7. Try to never leave your car to talk to police. Talk through the window only.
  8. If they frighten you with a gun - they have broken a very serious law. Unfastening a holster, talking about their guns - that's what I'm talking about. Call the embassy immediately. However, I've never heard of a policeman who broke that law.
  9. Never run away from police. In this case, you can get into a lot of trouble.

This is not a complete list, of course, but I tried to make it as descriptive as possible.

To summarize, I'd like to remind you that your dominating behavior is the key.

UPD as of 2019: In 2014, after Russian invasion, the new government was elected. A huge number of reforms significantly decreased the corruption level across the country. The street police was fully replaced, like 95% of street policemen are all new people. The on-street bribing has stopped across. You can now go to a police officer and ask for help, they would be honoured to help an overseas tourist.

  • 35
    In some countries, business cards of senior cops or embassy officials can act as a get-out-of-trouble pass.
    – dbkk
    Commented Nov 20, 2011 at 16:31
  • 48
    @dbkk -- some countries including, for better or worse, the US. Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 23:55
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    Number 3 is awful, asking a crooked cop for protection?! In my opinion this is really bad advice. Also behaving like "alpha-male"? Why? What can you do, karate him? Behave like a normal person who did nothing illegal (if you really didn't do anything illegal).
    – aliopi
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 23:25
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    @aliopi you are correct. Until you get stopped in the middle of nowhere and detained for 24h just because he can. Legally. So, it's either you wait that long, or adjust your moral to the circumstances. Unfortunately. Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 23:38
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    @aliopi You may not like it, but it's perfectly true. For example, if you're stopped for speeding on a Malaysian expressway and pay an "on the spot fine" (cough, cough), it's standard procedure for the officer to call ahead to his buddy up the road and tell him to let you speed through the next checkpoint. Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 20:44

First, in problematic places I would try to avoid interacting with the police as much as possible. Another strategy is patience. Usually, corrupt police are just trying to make quick money off an easy victim. Tourists are an obvious target because they tend to have more money and are more likely to be unfamiliar with the local language and customs.

If you are being harassed, stay calm and polite and try to keep things moving as slowly as possible. Try to ask for the officer to clearly and slowly explain what is happening. If there are other officers around try to get them involved too. Try to see if you can see a written copy of the rule you are breaking. Ask for paperwork to be filled out and try to see if you can go to the local station to take care of the "problem". All of these are delaying tactics which show the official that you are not going to panic and give them money the second they ask for it. If you're lucky, they'll realize you're probably more of a pain to scam than it's worth and they will let you go.

Some people recommend trying the "I'm just a tourist and I don't understand anything you're saying" tactic, but honestly I think that would be pretty hard to pull-off convincingly.

  • 16
    +1 for getting the other officers involved. Trying to get them to take you to the station is advised in Mexico City but I've been advised against it in some other parts of the world. Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 16:14
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    I'd advise against it in Kyrgyzstan - that's where they took us and were the only ones there...
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 9:59
  • 23
    In some places, the system is so corrupt that you're probably better offer just paying the bribe rather than trying to get out of it. Delaying tactics may escalate the issue and make your situation worse.
    – user27478
    Commented Jul 30, 2011 at 14:35
  • 23
    Wow, that's pretty much the worst advice I can think of (beyond the "calm and polite" part). Why would you want other police involved? Are you under the grotesque misapprehension that you found one bad apple? Most country with significant corruption, the corruption is endemic. And "a written copy" of a rule? Saying "please punch me in the mouth" would be more polite and have the same effect. And even honest cops don't subscribe to the notion of "let the pain-in-the-ass ones go" -- piss them off enough, they'll find a reason to hang to you. Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 0:00
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    @Malvolio I don't think there's one correct answer to this question. That being said, I have personally used this technique successfully several times when stopped by police. It has also been recommended to me by several people with experience in the area of security. Obviously every situation and country is different, and if this strategy doesn't seem to be working I would suggest trying one of the other suggestions.
    – user27478
    Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 9:30

To avoid getting harassed?

Avoid the police in places where they have a very bad reputation, like Mexico City. In my experience at least in Mexico City the corrupt ones always look evil. The ones that look nice actually are nice. Look in their eyes and you might be able to see it even from a distance. (I'm really not kidding)

When you can't avoid the police?

Then there's not much you can do without risking a "resisting arrest" charge.

When you couldn't avoid the police and they did hassle you and something bad happened?

If you are somewhere with tourist police, go straight to them. In my experience in various countries with tourist police, these ones are always nice people. Whether they can actually do anything is another matter but you might at least be able to get paperwork from them you need for your insurance. Even in places without tourist police there should always be somewhere you can file a complaint against the police. I've gone with a Mexican friend who wanted to file a complaint against the police in Mexico City. Be aware what you are taking on if you press this though. Even in advanced modern western countries like the US and Australia you could end up in over your head even if you are 100% in the right!

  • 6
    +1 for tourist police. They saved my butt in Cairo.
    – Beaker
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 2:38
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    I don't think anyone actively seeks out the police - 'avoid them' is normal behavior. Problem in these countries is that the police are seeking you out...
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jul 30, 2011 at 11:15
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    You would be surprised. Three guys I knew from my hostel got kidnapped by corrupt police one night in Mexico City years ago after deciding the ATM with the police car nearby would be the safest one to use after dark. Commented Oct 1, 2011 at 11:56
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    @MarkMayo (late comment) Many of us from countries that are relatively free from corruption are taught from early childhood to seek out a policeman if we're in trouble or lost. Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 19:26
  • 1
    @SpehroPefhany Yes, I was taught that as a child in England, too. Unfortunately in the three encounters I've had with the police (my phone stolen, friends car stolen, assaulted by drug addict), they have been singularly unhelpful with comments ranging from "what do you expect us to do about it" through to police officers turning up at my door saying they're investigating false mobile phone theft claims on behalf of the insurance companies. Now, I find it very hard to have any respect for our police, especially with the cover-ups and excessive use of force that are reported almost monthly.
    – Basic
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 21:01

The key tactic no one else mentioned - relax and do your best to not look like a foreigner.

I can't explain it, but whenever I notice a strange well dressed person that person turns out to be a foreigner - he has some concentrated+excited look and behaves largely different from local people. Again, I can't explain it in full - foreigners while being absolutely usual from physical looks standpoint and even when they don't say a word still have something that makes them look unadapted and weird. This is very easily noticed by anyone who's interested and of course corrupt police gets programmed to spot and address such people.

So clearly once you look usual and you have decent (here I mean, well fitting, washed and untorn) clothes chances of you being stopped by police are decreased greatly. This applies regardless of whether you're a foreigner or a local.

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    Caveat is that this tactic will work only in places where you fit in ethnically. Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 8:58
  • 8
    @Ankur Banerjee: Yes, sort of. But even then if you look like a person who came from abroad and lived ten years and got adapted I'm pretty sure the police will not be so eager to rip you off as if you looked like you just get off the plane.
    – sharptooth
    Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 9:01
  • 10
    I agree with this. I always try to dress "locally" for where I visit and, aside from the answer I posted, I've yet to be harassed. For example, I spent most of my time walking around Bamako, Mali in a soccer jersey and jeans, just what the locals wear. So while I'm white and stood out everywhere I went, I felt like some people looked at me wondering "does this guy live here?" rather than automatically thinking "oh look, a tourist" - I saw other people with shorts, touristy-shirts, cameras over their necks, etc. They stood out much more than I did!
    – ZeekLTK
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 15:23
  • @ZeekLTK: I totally agree concerning the clothes, though not visibly carrying a camera gets into the area where for some travellers, the tactics to avoid getting harrassed get at cross-purposes with the reason for embarking on the journey in the first place. Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 7:55

A key here is "networking," that is, "playing the influence game."

Policemen respect "authority." They may pick on you if you appear to have no "authority," particularly if you're "young" (in your teens or twenties). Thus, it helps to know people that they would respect. Or at least give them the impression that you do (this happens more easily if you look old and wealthy).

The best authority to know is a local government official. The mayor would be ideal. A deputy mayor, precinct leader, or member of the local governing party is fine. A federal official might work. Tell them that you have a "friend in high places" (and have a business card to back it up).

The second best "authority" is a large multinational corporation. Even if you are a low level employee of say, McDonald's, most local authorities wouldn't want to tangle with such a company (who can sue them). If you have a business card from a multinational, show it. Or use the business card of a client or a friend.

If all else fails and you have to pay, I'd follow the suggestion of one of the other answerers, and try to add the policeman to your "network." That is, get them to protect you against OTHERS. After all, they are "local officials" as described two paragraphs ago.


My strategy is to not avoid getting shaken down by corrupt officials. I don't think the average corrupt cop enjoys being a corrupt cop; he finds it humiliating and demoralizing. On the other hand, he has to eat.

So, treat it as an ordinary business transaction or government fee. Inquire about the price, pay up cheerfully, and thank him for his assistance. In some places, you can even get a receipt.

You won't save any money, but if you make the whole transaction less harrowing for him, he'll make it less harrowing for you.

  • A fellow traveler once told me that a Mexican police man picked him up to ask for money when he was drunk. He swears that the policeman's exact words were, "Hop in, mi amigo!" Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 21:18
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    My point exactly: the cop was thinking "I'll get this idiot off the sidewalk and make a few bucks." I'm sure the cop would have been happy to drop your friend off at his hotel if it wasn't far. Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 23:54
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    See to me that's a corrupt cop if he's asking for money. They do get paid. For example in Mendoza, Argentina, some cops picked us up outside of town at dusk, explaining it was a dangerous area of town in the dark. They drove us back into town to our hostel and wished us a good night. Now THAT's good public service!
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Dec 15, 2011 at 3:17
  • 3
    +1 for being <s>honest</s> candid. I'm not sure if you're being downvoted because people disagree with the answer, or because it's a "don't do it" answer.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 4:04

I have to agree that behaviour and dress go a long way. If you can't blend in as a local because of your cultural features at least try and look like you live there.

Move with confidence, don't stand around looking lost with a map in your hand, dress like locals or 'non-touristy'.

For example, it is my second time in Kathmandu and I don't walk around in all trekking clothes like most tourists but jeans and a leather jacket with an normal shoulder bag. I move through the streets with confidence since I know where I am going and, lo and behold, I am amazed the touts leave me nearly completely alone. I imagine this would also have an impact on corrupt police. If they don't have a legitimate claim they would go for targets that seem easily intimidated / shaken.

If I were in a situation where I was clearly not at fault and the bribe that was asked was high, I would insist on contacting my embassy for 'translation' purposes as I don't 'understand' the charges laid against me. All in a friendly and cooperative manner of course.

On the other hand I think it's also important to know when to cut your losses. I got done twice (on the same route) riding a bike without an international license in Bali. The first cop was very straightforward and asked me for approx. $20AUD. I paid and he let me ride on. The second cop was really scary. He seemed prim and proper and went on and on about the massive crime I committed. He never asked for a bribe and I was too afraid to offer one. I wasn't sure if he was indeed corrupt! I could have gotten myself into even deeper trouble.

After 10 minutes of badgering me he got really agitated and started shouting, pulling out the book and telling me to lock up the bike. He was going to take me to the station. So I subtly asked if we could settle the matter in a 'different way'. . . It turns out he did want a bribe, the funny thing is he ended up asking for just $5AUD.

I guess what I am saying is that if they do have a legitimate reason for taking you in, it could be in your best interest to pay a bribe / fine directly. A luxury we don't have in the west.

It's not all bad.

  • @reirab I left the was because the conditional is dying in most English dialects. It has essentially disappeared from BrE and is in the process of disappearing from AmE as well. However, if you're going to add it, you'll need to change . . .that was asked was high. . . to . . .that was asked were high. . . as well :).
    – terdon
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 16:42
  • @terdon Hmm... The one I changed seemed to be in the subjunctive mood (which, at least in the AmE I'm used to, should be 'were,') so that's why I changed it. The other one seems like it could be parsed either way (either as part of a compound relative clause starting with 'where' or not,) so I left it alone.
    – reirab
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 18:27

In Romania the police are also corrupt but fortunately the bribe is working VERY well especially with old generation of cops. The policeman in Romania will not take you to the police station for minor stuff because it involves way too much paper work. If they stop you for a ticket, they will say "please remain/go back in your car". Do not go back in your car unless the police man tells you so second time on a different tone. This way you show your intention to negotiate. Just enter into discussion with them, smile and show your intention to pay a small bribe by holding your wallet in your hand (don't make it obvious, just visible enough). If they start small talk they are willing to take the bribe. They will get Lei, Euros or US dollars.

The amount to give is really small. For example the fee for a speed ticket for example is 140 lei (divide to 4.5 to get the amount in euros). If you pay it on spot is half. If you speak the language negotiate something under 70 lei. If not, pay full amount as bribe (don't ask a receipt) to the policeman an it will let you go without without subtracting points from your driving license (if you have an EU license).

If you have foreign plates then you will have a higher chance to be stopped by the police since they know that you will pay a better bribe. The police is not connected to the international database so it will be a nightmare for them to send you the ticket in your home-country.

How it works: they have a hidden car with mobile radar inside in a place where people are going fast. If you are speeding they make a picture of you and they let you go. One km down the road, a second car will stop you and give you the ticket.

Remember: You get a ticket ONLY if the policeman stops you. (But don't imagine that people will ran away like in movies (or like in real-life in case of US)). Just pay the on-spot fee which as I said is small.

In Romania drivers are really crazy and super aggressive.
So, I actually agree with speed radars as this should prevent people from driving dangerously fast.
What I don't agree with is WHERE the police puts the speed radars. They put them between towns, where the road is smooth and straight and not crowded. These are roads where the drivers usually drive a bit faster but the chance of accidents is close to null. The police DON'T put radars inside the town where driving too fast could actually kill somebody!

In other words, they optimize the location of the radar for getting bigger fines not for decreasing the number of accidents.

  • 9
    I don't think arguing in favour of excess of speed is a very good argument. Remember that before being a driver you are also a pawn.
    – nsn
    Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 15:34
  • 4
    @Altar: More to the point, the post encourages illegal behavior, which we don't want to do on this site, whether or or not someone will have to "pay the price." – Tom Au 3 hours ago
    – Tom Au
    Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 17:44
  • @nsn: I meant to critique the post, not your comment. It's now fixed. Sorry for the confusion.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 17:45
  • If you are actually paying the fine, I disagree about not asking for a receipt. It will provide you, other police, and anyone else in authority with proof that you have indeed paid your fine. Without it, you could be arrested for not paying, or 'done' twice for the same thing. This last one nearly happened to me in Slovakia: Getting back in my car just a minute after paying the fine, second lot of cops show up. Before they said anything I opened with "you're going to tell me I can't be here. I've already paid my fine and here is my receipt". Bit of radio chat and I was waved on.
    – Nick
    Commented May 14, 2019 at 17:15

I traveled to quite a lot of places and I think so far never payed a bribe. Maybe I once did for airport processing in Jordan or maybe not - I'm not completely sure if the fee was legit.

Generally many of the tips mentioned here so far don't work well form me.

I'm a tourist. I look like being out of place. That start's with my physical appearance. Maybe I can go native in Sweden, Iceland or Scotland but if you are taller and less pigmented than nearly everybody in the world I't hard to blend in.

Also I'm there not to look suave, know-it-all and know what I'm doing. So I stop for the details. I take pictures. I wonder at the exotic food. I don't know how to cross the street, etc.

Also I'm very obviously just passing through. I obviously don't know important local people. I'm alone and vulnerable like travelers always have been.

So how to go about bribes?

First and foremost: try hard to stay on the right side of the law. You are a guest and are obliged to follow the local customs and rules even when you don't like them. If they want you to stop at every zebra crossing do so. Even when the locals do not do so. Have spare bulbs, warning vests etc. with you as required. Check that your vehicle lights are in order, etc. Regarding driving it is often wise to follow a local truck. These are professionals and know very well what is accepted by the police. Usually.

If you think smoking pot should be legal protest the laws by breaking them at home. Don't try it aboard. Remember, you are a traveler and vulnerable.

Approach officials with respect and without fear. All in all people in police forces are tending to lean to law, order and an certain standard of fairness. Even when they are corrupt. They expect to be respected so give them that feeling so they do not feel the need to teach you a lesson.

Since you did not really seriously break any law we are not talking about bribes here. You are not paying to get any favour or to have the official look away. We alle looking at the request for a "Bakschisch", "Souvenier", "Present" here.

The official is just curious about you and checking if he can extract some money from you. So when he walks away from you best thing he says "that didn't pay but was interesting and fun."

You probably should see police checks as the trade of time versus money. And as a game.

So have lot's of time and humour. Show clearly that you are willing to go into every detail for hours. I never had resort so far to getting out camping chairs and started boiling tea. But I'm told this works nicely.

Be interested in what you had done wrong. Perhaps you really have done something wrong. Explain why you did as you did and why you are convinced that this was legal. Explain (and we get back to authority there) that you informed yourself about that rule before starting the trip and got the information (e.g. from the embassy, a touring club) that it was ok to do so.

Be friendly. Laughs a lot. Talk long and extensive about your trip so far and where you willing to go and how wonderful the country is. (Maybe tie in that people at your next destination awaiting you and know where you are.) Get to the point the official want to get rid of you instead the other way around.

Ask a lot for help how to do things better. To stay on the right side of the law. What to see. How to cross the next river. How to avoid Crime. Where to eat. etc. Show the official that you think this is your lucky day to have met this competent, important and friendly policeman-expert about just everything.

If he asks for money an it sounds like an official fine ask for a receipt. Ask to be taken to the police station and pay it there. Ask for the receipt to be signed by his boss. Ask for an translator. Ask to take pictures of all documents involved. Ask for the embassy. But better don't get to that point at all.

If somebody asks for money and it can be seen as corruption act like it was a joke. Corruption is illegal in all countries. Play like the official is teasing you. Or even testing you if you are corrupt to fine you for it. Show that paying bribes would also be highly illegal under your own countries rules. "verboten" is a word understood worldwide.

And always keep high spirit an take it as a game. You could probably afford the bribe if it came to that.

Worked for me every time. Occasionally they get rude to get rid of me.

When the Ukrainan customs officials called the police I knew I was in deep trouble. Watch out for those signs. Usually corruption is a 1:1 business. Thats why asking for the boss can defend against most corruption attempts. That different branches of government collaborate on minor corruption is unusual.

Than again it's time to think about what will be the easiest thing for the officials to get rid of the problem that is you. In my case it was deporting me 100m eastern direction to Poland - exactly where I wanted to go.

  • 1
    A good way to spend a lot of time and exchange plenty of emotions with various officials. It's a quite unusual kind of tourism.
    – kubanczyk
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 10:01

In addition to tips on right behaviour, I would recommend using some digital resources to get your way out of trouble. Dropbox is great for saving copies of your ticket/IDs/docs for emergency purposes. Bribespot, an app that was already mentioned by Mark Mayo, is an app that allows you to report corruption and browse bribe stories submitted by other people in your current location. And keep some small change just in case too.


Two important things are not mentioned in the other comments:

1. Never ever bribe before witnesses, especially official ones!

2. Never ever bribe openly!

The first one goes without saying: Bribing is in every single country a felony, even if they treat their police force as shit and do not give them enough money to earn a living (so they actually are forced to accept bribes). You may be innocent, but once they can testify you really tried to bribe them, you are screwed.

It may not even intentional, you are negotiating and then some other official occurs and suddenly the corrupt policeman gets cold feet and accuses you.

So, if you have the strong feeling that a bribe is expected, always ask for a private conversation because you can better talk with a single person (or whatever suits you as explanation). If the official is after a bribe, he will yield immediately (The majority of policemen worldwide are still male, so I will stick to "he").

If he neglects or ignores your request and still tries to target you for a bribe, it's a trap. At once you will be extremely polite, but more passive-aggressive and stubborn than a mule and checking that your behavior is otherwise impeccable. Do not yield to threats.

The other thing is when you know you will bribe, never do it openly and never play the active part. You are not giving him the money directly and voluntarily.


  • The easiest ones is if they claim an (at least reasonable) "infraction" and demand a "fine". Play the reluctant part who is trying to get out the infraction with talking, they don't yield and finally grudgingly you give the money (The "being under four eyes" rule still applies).

  • If they are more direct without cause, give them your papers (e.g. passport) or some other documentation with the money stuffed between it (Vasyl correctly remarks that you should not give them your papers, but because they are getting now what they want, the danger is low. They are not interested in you, but the money).

What is the money doing in the papers?
Well, its my purse if I really need some money immediately.

And why did you put money in it now?
I saw that the money is out and that it needs refilling.

Other methods are placing the amount of money within their reach without saying anything and turn away from them for a moment (searching something, fix your shoelace whatever). The important thing is that you do not offer it, but place it in a position that taking it needs your consent and that they are effectively stealing it.

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