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Old 24-09-2014, 15:19   #106
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Goodness. I think I said all that and gave an example in a quarter of the space above.
No. Your definition of bribery was innacurate.

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I dont "ensure" that anyone who follows me has been facilitated by a choice I made to obtain what I should have had regardless.
I'll say it again.

"Second, cruisers who willingly pay in order to sidestep coercive behaviour they expect due to reports from others are facillitating the corruption. They are ensuring others to follow will face the same situation, and over time the 'price' we pay for officials to perform their legal responsibilities and duties goes up."

Expectations by officials who enrich themselves in this way, that cruisers will pay, are heightened everytime he succeeds in getting paid. The same success gives him the confidence to raise the price as long as he believes he will not be caught. Paying and not reporting the official misdeeds 'ensures' (guarantees) those who follow will face the same situation. Has nothing to do with choice. They will face the same situation.

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He or she is perfectly able to make their own choice as to what their outcome will be in the situation. I will make mine based on the information I have, the necessity to move on and the threat to well being of my crew or colleagues and myself
You've made an important distinction addressed by rancher44, and this has to do with the severity of a threat and the exercise of good judgement.

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I think many of the replies are from people that have not been faced with a boarding party with guns.
It's ridiculous to suggest anyone is going to ask for a superior when they feel threatened by anyone with a gun. Nor has anyone said refusing to pay in such a scenario is recommended. This is an entirely different situation than an immigration official failing to give documentation for the purpose of gouging a cruiser with excess fees. There is nothing preventing you from submitting a written complaint after the fact, or publicizing your experience here like the OP has. Nor is there anything preventing you from complaining to the police later on. If people think doing any of these things will further complicate things or endanger themselves, they should probably have never gone there in the first place. Think the Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Syria and Iraq. People who do their homework and plan itineraries that exclude places where corruption, coercion and boardings by armed 'thugs' occur are unlikely to have these problems.

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Old 24-09-2014, 15:32   #107
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Second, cruisers who willingly pay in order to sidestep coercive behaviour they expect due to reports from others
This all started with the DR agent waiting for an expected tip. There was no coercive behavior in that. And if you read stories of others in the DR, you'll read of many who chose not to tip and there was no consequence. I don't feel forced to tip, but I would choose to.

Now just because it wasn't coercive doesn't mean the OP didn't feel it was. He obviously had not read sites discussing clearing in the DR.
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Old 24-09-2014, 16:19   #108
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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This all started with the DR agent waiting for an expected tip. There was no coercive behavior in that. And if you read stories of others in the DR, you'll read of many who chose not to tip and there was no consequence. I don't feel forced to tip, but I would choose to.

Now just because it wasn't coercive doesn't mean the OP didn't feel it was. He obviously had not read sites discussing clearing in the DR.
There is a distinct difference in giving a tip to show your appreciation for a service provided at your request, and expectations you should pay for something that is nothing other than an imposition. None of us ask to be boarded by armed officials and to be unreasonably delayed from leaving for our next destination. In the Dominican Republic this is theater, inspecting cruising vessels not once but multiple times while the real drug dealers in high powered boats operate with impunity. You can bet the whole thing is nothing more than a means of providing employment to friends and relatives.

One thing that guiles me about the enormous sums cruisers pay in port fees, is none of the money is spent to provide the likes of dinghy docks, showers and water at the dock or jetty. Yet we pay and pay and pay and are expected to tip government officials too? Not me.
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Old 24-09-2014, 16:49   #109
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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This all started with the DR agent waiting for an expected tip. There was no coercive behavior in that. And if you read stories of others in the DR, you'll read of many who chose not to tip and there was no consequence. I don't feel forced to tip, but I would choose to.

Now just because it wasn't coercive doesn't mean the OP didn't feel it was. He obviously had not read sites discussing clearing in the DR.
Yes. It's a different culture, the na´ve cruiser probably doesn't understand it. As I said in my post earlier, 4 of them hung around looking at things etc. My understanding was they were from different departments, one being Drug Enforcement. I showed them respect by offering them a Coke or Beer. They accepted this, drank up and went along their way.
Mexico not much different. In Cabo, they wait for Gringos to come out of the popular gringo bars, (Senor Frogs etc) then arrest you for being drunk in public. $100 in their hand takes care of it and you don't end up going to jail.
I know this for a fact as it happened to a member of my family. Just a matter of timing I suppose, you get the wrong couple of cops who need some money and.....
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Old 24-09-2014, 17:08   #110
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Yes. It's a different culture, the na´ve cruiser probably doesn't understand it. As I said in my post earlier, 4 of them hung around looking at things etc. My understanding was they were from different departments, one being Drug Enforcement. I showed them respect by offering them a Coke or Beer. They accepted this, drank up and went along their way.
Mexico not much different. In Cabo, they wait for Gringos to come out of the popular gringo bars, (Senor Frogs etc) then arrest you for being drunk in public. $100 in their hand takes care of it and you don't end up going to jail.
I know this for a fact as it happened to a member of my family. Just a matter of timing I suppose, you get the wrong couple of cops who need some money and.....
I think the key sometimes is just to be prepared and remind yourself you're going to retain your cool and remain in control whatever takes place. It's really no different than you get stopped for a traffic violation. Say "yes, sir" a lot and it might go ok. Get combative or argumentative and it might not go well. I've found fairly universally law enforcement and agents want respect and it's best to give it whether you feel they deserve it or not. And when you're the visitor it becomes more important. I use to advise people in business that when they traveled they better be on their best behavior. A New Yorker goes into a bar in Mississippi and drinks too much while making moves on a local girl and he may end up beaten and battered. In fact, I know of an incident when that happened. He made up a good story but it wasn't the truth. He got the girl but about 3 AM several guys got to his hotel room and he ended up in the hospital.

And sometimes we just have to set our pride aside and be congenial. I try to find something to talk to people about. There are two agents in Nassau that I can tell you everything going on with their families and we're like old friends when we meet.
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Old 24-09-2014, 17:15   #111
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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There is a distinct difference in giving a tip to show your appreciation for a service provided at your request, and expectations you should pay for something that is nothing other than an imposition. None of us ask to be boarded by armed officials and to be unreasonably delayed from leaving for our next destination. In the Dominican Republic this is theater, inspecting cruising vessels not once but multiple times while the real drug dealers in high powered boats operate with impunity. You can bet the whole thing is nothing more than a means of providing employment to friends and relatives.

One thing that guiles me about the enormous sums cruisers pay in port fees, is none of the money is spent to provide the likes of dinghy docks, showers and water at the dock or jetty. Yet we pay and pay and pay and are expected to tip government officials too? Not me.
Maybe the drug dealers tip better. I have been to the D.R many times(not by boat) that's just the way it is there. You or any other cruiser going there are not gonna change it.
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Old 24-09-2014, 17:53   #112
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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I know this for a fact as it happened to a member of my family. Just a matter of timing I suppose, you get the wrong couple of cops who need some money and.....
As everyone knows traffic in this part of the world can be interesting. You do what you can to keep moving.

There was a popular corner in Manila. It seems one could not turn right there without breaking some kind of law, "Lane Hogging" was a popular offense.

You'd get pulled over, proffer 50 pesos and make a joking comment about it being "payday." The cop would laugh, take the 50 and you'd be on your way...

Of course it was a sliding scale. Locals probably paid no more than 20 and Jeepney drivers probably 10 or less.
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Old 24-09-2014, 18:02   #113
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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As everyone knows traffic in this part of the world can be interesting. You do what you can to keep moving.

There was a popular corner in Manila. It seems one could not turn right there without breaking some kind of law, "Lane Hogging" was a popular offense.

You'd get pulled over, proffer 50 pesos and make a joking comment about it being "payday." The cop would laugh, take the 50 and you'd be on your way...

Of course it was a sliding scale. Locals probably paid no more than 20 and Jeepney drivers probably 10 or less.
When I was young we were on vacation driving through rural SC, ultimately headed for Florida. As we go through a green light, it turns all three colors and I look over and see the policeman by the pole and box. Basically he flipped it as you came through so it would turn red. Well, he got in his car, followed and stopped us. He was very apologetic to my father. Said, "I hate doing this to you but I have a family and four kids and I've gotta produce. I've just got to. I'm really sorry." This was on a Saturday. Choice was go pay ticket or go to traffic court on Tuesday, when of course we'd be in Florida. Obviously everyone paid. He did sound really sincere with his apology. Yes, it was wrong and shouldn't be done. But we just moved on and funny thing today is it's the only part of that trip I remember. Sort of a special event.

Lane hogging is serious stuff.
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Old 24-09-2014, 18:08   #114
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

Having traveled to a few 3rd world countries (not as a cruiser though) I figure the "tip" situation is part of doing business. If for any reason you can't stomach it stay with the civilized countires itinerary. Just as I know travelers who can't stomach US rules on parking thinking them to be too restrictive and too punishing compared to what they are used to back home.
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Old 24-09-2014, 22:42   #115
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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When I was young we were on vacation driving through rural SC, ultimately headed for Florida. As we go through a green light, it turns all three colors and I look over and see the policeman by the pole and box. Basically he flipped it as you came through so it would turn red. Well, he got in his car, followed and stopped us. He was very apologetic to my father. Said, "I hate doing this to you but I have a family and four kids and I've gotta produce. I've just got to. I'm really sorry." This was on a Saturday. Choice was go pay ticket or go to traffic court on Tuesday, when of course we'd be in Florida. Obviously everyone paid. He did sound really sincere with his apology. Yes, it was wrong and shouldn't be done. But we just moved on and funny thing today is it's the only part of that trip I remember. Sort of a special event.

Lane hogging is serious stuff.
The other fun one in the Philippines was about every 4th saturday. You'd get a knock on the door. It would be the PLDT (Philippine phone company) lineman.

"We have reports of phones not working. Is you phone working?"

Of course it isn't. You pay 100 pesos for a "saturday" rush fix.

Then you watch the guy go to the box on the corner and plug your phone line back in...
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Old 25-09-2014, 08:13   #116
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

I'm a cheap bastard and hate the very idea of bribes. However, I am also a pragmatist and realize that the hard line of saying "No" isn't always your best choice. Here are two real examples:

1. Arrive in a new country and anchor outside the port containing the port captain and immigration. The officials see you arrive, jump in their little boat and come out to you to check you in. They tell you there is a $50 extra fee for the boat service. You refuse to pay it and tell them you will be right in to their offices to check in. They then never show up in their offices. For days they are always missing when you go in. They do, however, come around occasionally in their little boat offering to check you in.

2. Go to customs to pick up the warranty replacement parts for your boat. You have all the necessary paperwork, the parts are officially documented as $0 warranty replacements for a vessel in transit, yet the customs officer tells you you owe duty. A lot of duty - 50% of the cost of the part new. You contest, he argues. You ask to see his superior, but they are away. Your choice is to come back when the superior is there. This goes on for many days with you randomly returning only to find that your situation is the same. However, slipping the customs guy $20 gets your parts handed to you immediately.

What do all you principled people do in these situations? While we do said "no" the majority of the time, with mixed results, there are situations like the above where we are happy to forgo our principals and get on with cruising.

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Old 25-09-2014, 08:20   #117
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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I'm a cheap bastard and hate the very idea of bribes. However, I am also a pragmatist and realize that the hard line of saying "No" isn't always your best choice. Here are two real examples:

1. Arrive in a new country and anchor outside the port containing the port captain and immigration. The officials see you arrive, jump in their little boat and come out to you to check you in. They tell you there is a $50 extra fee for the boat service. You refuse to pay it and tell them you will be right in to their offices to check in. They then never show up in their offices. For days they are always missing when you go in. They do, however, come around occasionally in their little boat offering to check you in.

2. Go to customs to pick up the warranty replacement parts for your boat. You have all the necessary paperwork, the parts are officially documented as $0 warranty replacements for a vessel in transit, yet the customs officer tells you you owe duty. A lot of duty - 50% of the cost of the part new. You contest, he argues. You ask to see his superior, but they are away. Your choice is to come back when the superior is there. This goes on for many days with you randomly returning only to find that your situation is the same. However, slipping the customs guy $20 gets your parts handed to you immediately.

What do all you principled people do in these situations? While we do said "no" the majority of the time, with mixed results, there are situations like the above where we are happy to forgo our principals and get on with cruising.

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Old 25-09-2014, 08:56   #118
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

I wonder why a $20 "bride" is somehow not part of doing business in some places, but a $300 entry fee is?
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Old 25-09-2014, 08:58   #119
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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I wonder why a $20 "bride" is somehow not part of doing business in some places, but a $300 entry fee is?
Id say a $20 "bride" is nor a good deal.........
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Old 25-09-2014, 09:05   #120
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Id say a $20 "bride" is nor a good deal.........
Wifey B: A $300 entry fee is by far the cheapest, a one time deal. $20 bride can cost thousands, maybe millions if you're wealthy enough....no limit.
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