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Old 25-09-2014, 09:15   #121
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

Well, here is the list and ranking of corruption by country. It says the least corrupt countries are Denmark and New Zealand and most corrupt are Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia.

Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 - Results
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Old 25-09-2014, 09:37   #122
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

See here is the problem, in many places the only difference between a "bribe", a "tip"and a "fee" is the word chosen to describe it. There really isn't any difference far as the person paying the money.
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Old 25-09-2014, 10:11   #123
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Originally Posted by BandB View Post
Well, here is the list and ranking of corruption by country. It says the least corrupt countries are Denmark and New Zealand and most corrupt are Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia.

Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 - Results
Interesting: the least religious Scandinavian countries also among the least corrupt (as well as the most prosperous). Meanwhile, some of the most religious (including North Korea with its state-imposed Juche, or leadership worship) are among the most corrupt.

Coincidence?
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Old 25-09-2014, 10:21   #124
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

It is really strange that noonsite refused publishing guy's article about DR (s/v Biruta, link on the first page if I am not mistaken). I have read his story on his web site in Russian, it covers all 6 months of his prison (until he was completely cleared and allowed to leave), and everything he went through to get his life back. And the cost of merely making officials do their work (i.e. looking at the case and seeing he is innocent), for him was $60K in various bribes. It was a really amazng story of total bribery, extortion, lies, manipulations on government level (plus, US role in it, as they supplied technology that does not quite work, and ëxperts"that prefer to frame innocent person, rather than agree that the tech is not good), and quite colorful description of life in Domincan prison. It took me some time to get rhtough that huge article, but it was worth it. For sure, I will never ever go to DR
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Old 25-09-2014, 18:24   #125
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

Yes, that was an interesting story.....

Sailing Vessel Beruta Ship's Log: Curacao ? Dominican Republic ? Jail!
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Old 25-09-2014, 19:05   #126
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Re: crooks in Dominican Republic

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Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
we had just the opposite experience -- we went into boca chica to wait out a blow and 4 guys came on board and did the most compete inspection we have had yet and they insisted that one of us go with them at all times -- were we intimadated? nope - a couple were obvious undercover as when they bent over to look under or around something the very large gun in the back of their pants became visable -- they were courtsy and kind to us - did we pay something extra - yes but is was not required and not asked for and was done well after they left and done through a 3rd party - we have done that before

so i guess our experience is just the opposite of yours --
(Nomex suit on)
I´ve had similar experiences to you in other tropical Spanish-speaking places where "common wisdom" among American cruisers is that you MUST pay bribes or other things without official receipt. I did not pay a penny without official receipt that matched what I expected and found that a bit of prior research/knowledge about the rules of the place and use of the local language made a big difference.

I have also seen in Panama (same day, same port, same procedure) how American boats got fleeced while Australian or British boats did not. There may be a chicken and egg problem there.. If you do not know the rules and pay bribes too easily then you may be asked to do so more frequently! There may also be correlation between flag of the boat and other things so correlation is not causation!

In Brazil I have heard stories about corruption but have sailed the whole coast twice and have not paid or being asked to pay a penny of bribes (or any fees for that matter!). This is the same country for which you hear horror stories from people who do not bother to find out before their arrival what the rules are and end up complaining when their boat is impounded because they were using it commercially while on a cruising license.

(Nomex suit off)

Cheers
C
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Old 26-09-2014, 08:27   #127
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Originally Posted by Sea Frog View Post
It is really strange that noonsite refused publishing guy's article about DR (s/v Biruta, link on the first page if I am not mistaken). I have read his story on his web site in Russian, it covers all 6 months of his prison (until he was completely cleared and allowed to leave), and everything he went through to get his life back. And the cost of merely making officials do their work (i.e. looking at the case and seeing he is innocent), for him was $60K in various bribes. It was a really amazng story of total bribery, extortion, lies, manipulations on government level (plus, US role in it, as they supplied technology that does not quite work, and ëxperts"that prefer to frame innocent person, rather than agree that the tech is not good), and quite colorful description of life in Domincan prison. It took me some time to get rhtough that huge article, but it was worth it. For sure, I will never ever go to DR
I reported my experience at Boca Chica to Noonsite. My main motivation was the information I'd relied upon at Noonsite was stale and the source of most of the problems encountered there. Noonsite's justification for refusing to post my report?

"We have no desire to discredit a marina that has always received excellent reviews from many other cruisers and who have gone to great lengths to improve things in the DR for visiting foreign sailors and assist a great many other causes."

Noonsite, Latitude 38 and many other sources of information cruisers rely upon publish information that on the one hand promotes cruising and cruising destinations; and on the other informs us about the minutia details and potential pitfalls that await the unprepared. Anyone who's gone to great lengths preparing a cruising itinerary is familiar with both the difficulty finding reliable information, and sorting out the stale from current facts. No matter how fastidious we are, things change and we are often caught by surprise. But, isn't it the height of irresponsibility when a source we rely upon refuses to publish negative reports. In Noonsite's defense, they have since changed their format making it easier for sailors to report and those who disagree to post at Noonsite.
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Old 26-09-2014, 08:42   #128
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Re: crooks in Dominican Republic

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
(Nomex suit on)
I´ve had similar experiences to you in other tropical Spanish-speaking places where "common wisdom" among American cruisers is that you MUST pay bribes or other things without official receipt. I did not pay a penny without official receipt that matched what I expected and found that a bit of prior research/knowledge about the rules of the place and use of the local language made a big difference.

I have also seen in Panama (same day, same port, same procedure) how American boats got fleeced while Australian or British boats did not. There may be a chicken and egg problem there.. If you do not know the rules and pay bribes too easily then you may be asked to do so more frequently! There may also be correlation between flag of the boat and other things so correlation is not causation!

In Brazil I have heard stories about corruption but have sailed the whole coast twice and have not paid or being asked to pay a penny of bribes (or any fees for that matter!). This is the same country for which you hear horror stories from people who do not bother to find out before their arrival what the rules are and end up complaining when their boat is impounded because they were using it commercially while on a cruising license.

(Nomex suit off)

Cheers
C
You've described the situation in a nutshell. Seems that 'expectations' of having to pay so-called 'tips' and excessive amounts over and above official fees is a significant source of the problem. It's 'self-perpetuating'. Not in every case of course, and good judgement is necessary in deciding when there is no choice but to pay. Still, how many cruisers maintain a 'slush fund' drawn upon to pay these excesses - simply based on reports by others. Payment is made without uttering a peep like sheep being led to slaughter. Easy marks
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Old 26-09-2014, 09:46   #129
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Interesting: the least religious Scandinavian countries also among the least corrupt (as well as the most prosperous). Meanwhile, some of the most religious (including North Korea with its state-imposed Juche, or leadership worship) are among the most corrupt.

Coincidence?
Yes, Libya, Chad and the Sudan are deeply religious.
I can assume you have never been to these places?
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Old 26-09-2014, 09:56   #130
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

In my travel experience it does make a difference in many 3rd world countries if you can somehow distance yourself from being perceived as a "rich American tourist". Luckily I fluently speak another language (not Spanish) and in situations like those was able to pass for someone from a "poor small country" not known for it's riches. They were happy to get 1/10 or less of the originally asked amount if anything.

Once we were in Venezuela and were told to pass as Aussies or Kiwis because they were known to be tight with their money and never had as much in their travel kitty as Americans to begin with.
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Old 26-09-2014, 10:01   #131
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Interesting: the least religious Scandinavian countries also among the least corrupt (as well as the most prosperous). Meanwhile, some of the most religious (including North Korea with its state-imposed Juche, or leadership worship) are among the most corrupt.

Coincidence?
Russia and most of the former USSR countries are not very religious but still are the most corrupt in any index of corruption.

I believe the corruption on the local level exists everywhere. It's part of human nature. Only in developed countries it is called by other more palatable names - political contributions, networking, country club comraderie, etc. A cop who hides behind a bush thicket to catch you speeding because his chief needs fines to augument the dept's budget is no less corrupt than a cop in Mexico who "honestly" asks you to augument his family budget.
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Old 26-09-2014, 11:04   #132
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Russia and most of the former USSR countries are not very religious but still are the most corrupt in any index of corruption.

I believe the corruption on the local level exists everywhere. It's part of human nature. Only in developed countries it is called by other more palatable names - political contributions, networking, country club comraderie, etc. A cop who hides behind a bush thicket to catch you speeding because his chief needs fines to augument the dept's budget is no less corrupt than a cop in Mexico who "honestly" asks you to augument his family budget.
You missed one little distinction.

The cop caught you speeding, which usually results in a traffic fine, or school, which costs even more. The Mexican cop pulled you over for no reason other than to get a "tip."

You should expect to pay a fine for speeding, regardless of how you got caught. You shouldn't get shaken down just because you're in a foreign country and the local cop is poor.
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Old 26-09-2014, 13:32   #133
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Russia and most of the former USSR countries are not very religious (...)

I believe the corruption on the local level exists everywhere. (...)
Well, only some 15% of Russians called themselves atheist. It is a PREDOMINANTLY religious nation. Like most any other on this planet.

And, contrary to your belief, there are countries where corruption at the local level is next to non-existent.

Crooks are everywhere. But they are NOT evenly distributed across the planet.

There seem to be fewer crooks in the less religious states but given their low number (of the states, not of the crooks) I think it is not sample enough to make any statistically valid statements.

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Old 27-09-2014, 16:31   #134
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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You missed one little distinction.

The cop caught you speeding, which usually results in a traffic fine, or school, which costs even more. The Mexican cop pulled you over for no reason other than to get a "tip."

You should expect to pay a fine for speeding, regardless of how you got caught. You shouldn't get shaken down just because you're in a foreign country and the local cop is poor.
Yes! I'm embarrassed by the attitude some have that's it's o.k., justified by alleged 'cultural norms', pay 'n just move on. Imagine yourself in the position of a corrupt official. Would you think those who paid without complaint were fools? Would you believe those who complied without complaint were deserving of any respect? Every time an armed official 'pauses' waiting for a 'tip' or a crooked immigration official demands payment in excess of what you actually owe in fees you are being treated disrepectfully. No wonder.
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Old 27-09-2014, 16:52   #135
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Yes! I'm embarrassed by the attitude some have that's it's o.k., justified by alleged 'cultural norms', pay 'n just move on. Imagine yourself in the position of a corrupt official. Would you think those who paid without complaint were fools? Would you believe those who complied without complaint were deserving of any respect? Every time an armed official 'pauses' waiting for a 'tip' or a crooked immigration official demands payment in excess of what you actually owe in fees you are being treated disrepectfully. No wonder.
A corrupt official has no respect for you period. He wants what he wants.
sheesh!
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