Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Trap for Corruption

This is a first hand story of my friend who was narrating his experience with the customs officer at the Hyderabad airport on his recent visit to India.
My friend had two laptops with him. One was a gift to someone and one was his personal computer. The rules on this are slightly ambiguous. The general understanding is that as long as you can prove that only one is a gift, it is ok. Anyway, the customs officer refused entry to my friend and demanded a customs fine of $300. When my friend realized that the officer was not going to accept his interpretation of the rules, he gave up, and this was the conversation that followed.
Friend: Ok, Sir. I'll pay the fine. Where should I pay it?
Officer: You can pay here in cash.
Friend: I will need a receipt.
Officer: You can pay 250 here, no receipt.
Friend: I will pay, but I need a receipt.
Officer: Sir, please pay 200 and go! The office is closed. You will not get a receipt.
Friend (Looking all around him): Why is office closed when there are so many international flights landed in the last hour. I just want to pay, get a receipt and go home! I am tired and jet lagged....
Officer (Now extremely impatient) : Pay 100 dollars here or wait until tomorrow morning.

My friend paid and left. Although he got away with reducing the bribe to 1/3rd its value, he wasn't very pleased with the whole affair. I however think that this was a wonderful way of atleast not letting that man get what he wanted so easily. If more people are as conscientious in any place they are asked for a bribe, we can go a long way in reducing this evil.


Opinion said...

he shouldn't have even paid $100. If your friend knows rule, and is confident of he is not doing wrong, should have shouted little more.

Lakshmipriya said...

Like I said..the rules are ambiguous...and there is only so much one can argue with these guys. He clearly indicated that he'd have to wait for 11/ 12 hours if he does not take up the last offer.
What he could have done is to complain to a higher authority later

Lakshmipriya said...

Well, the point is we can try to make their life atleast a little harder.

Nalini Hebbar said...

Really... does this happen only in India?...the friend should have made a loud fuss about would have taught him a lesson

Manjunath Nettem said...

Swiss Banking Association report, 2006 details bank deposits in the territory of Switzerland by nationals of following countries :

Top Five countries:

1. India ---- $1,456 billion
2. Russia ---$ 470 billion
3. UK -------$390 billion
4. Ukraine - $100 billion
5. China -----$ 96 billion
Now do the maths - India with $1456 billion or $1.4 trillion has more money in Swiss banks than rest of the world combined.

this is called corruption. Dont forget 2 famous quotes.

" The business of politics is business and business of business is managing politicians"

"Straight tress are cut first so honest men are screwed first - Chanakya"