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Northern and Central Asia Topics specific to Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Mongolia, China, Japan and Korea
Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, At the foot of the Bear Glaciers, eternal ice, British Columbia, Canada

Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.

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  • 2 Post By Road Hog
  • 1 Post By bernd s
  • 1 Post By klausmong1
  • 3 Post By ZorroMoto
  • 3 Post By rombodituono

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Old 7 Oct 2018
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Police Corruption in Kyrgyzstan

There were some posts about the corruption in Kyrgyzstan and I wanted to expand on that a bit with some advice on how to keep from paying. It has been a month or more but I am sure they are still up to their game.

The standard ploy is to set up a speed camera on a nice piece of road with a corner to hide behind. There may or may not be a "60" sign, or it may be obscured with brush. Once they pull you over they want your documents and then tell you they have to keep them and send them to the address on the documents. So what are you going to do, they have your drivers license and bike papers. Most pay them off and grumble on to the next trap.
I was unprepared on the first stop which is why I wanted to write this with my solution. First have a supply of fake documents. I always carry a couple of real nice copies of my drivers license and I have one old one that I was able to keep when I renewed. Does not matter if they are perfect because they do not know that they should look like. Then have copies of your bike papers that look as real as possible. If they want your passport, tell them it is at the hotel and hand them a copy. Give them nothing you can not do without. Then you just keep telling them to go ahead and write the ticket, keep the documents. Take pictures of them and any paperwork they show you. Three times I was stopped after the first, (I was riding with care, looking for speed signs), three times they gave up and gave me back my papers, no ticket.

You just need to be prepared with a plan. Then stick to it.

If others have ways to get through Kyrgyzstan without paying the police off lets post them here so others can take what they think will work for them.

The trick of fake documents I learned before riding Peru, it you go there take lots of drivers licenses. Each set of corrupt police have a different scam but they tend to be the same in the country.

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Old 7 Oct 2018
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Originally Posted by Road Hog View Post
Does not matter if they are perfect because they do not know that they should look like.
Drivers license copy never worked in Kazakhstan or Kirgizstan. 1st Question was always for the original one.

Nevertheless, we always managed to get out without paying. Refuse friendly and steady, play the tourist card, show you got all the time in the world and they are quickly annoyed and you leave with a friendly shake hand.

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Old 8 Oct 2018
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Last year they f...ked us up and we really had to pay, i was so angry.
They were very aggressive and that was hard to get away.

This year we got to the same cops ( I really remembered them ) on the same place.
They showed us a radar picture and said we have done 75 instead of 60.
Which was not true and because I was sure that they would be here again somewhere I really watched out for the signs.
And 1km before I saw a policecop sitting beside the street and using his radio when he saw us, so I expected them tobe around somewhere

I refused to pay and give them papers right away, I started to shout "corrupt police" a few times so everyone around could hear that and told them I will call the konsulat right now.

I made pictures of them and the place and 1 minute later they really wanted me to leave fast.
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Old 8 Oct 2018
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Well they did not pull us over for speeding, but staying to close to the shore of Issuk Kul...
They walked away with documents, and then I knew I shouldnt have given them.
I was annoyed because they did not gave explanation (no english)
Then I went to the police car and picked my documents back from his writing tablet. There was a Russian guy who translated and so then we learned why. And we got of with a warning. Appareantly they didnt want to push it true too much. Not so aggressive as Klaus had them.

I would try to resist to give your documents in the first place. If it all takes a long time or a lot of effort, they may give up, but no guarantee.
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Old 9 Oct 2018
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Kyrgyz Police Experience

Interesting to read from you guys.

My name is Dave and I am living in Osh since three years. I could tell you stories after stories here, but to make it short, just a few infos & advice.
Apparently most of the tourists don't know the law and there are some serious facts the police has power. For instance they are allowed to confiscate your vehicle if you don't have the original documents with you. Kyrgyzstan in not a customer friendly (from western few) nor law-state country and with its Communist background leaves some imprint on character and power forces like police and military. For instance: Beeing angry and shouting at police and pretending at its own rights never helps.

Here what I do after three years experience and in local language:

- First of all I always show that I have plenty of time, no stress. I talk a lot (but say not much) and be nice a friendly. I play the game as they do. After 10-15 minutes they realy want to come to a point. (those who go out a patience first lose control over the situation.)

- Then I always claim to get the announced fine instead of "quick payment". This forces the police to write a long report sheet and force them to do regulated payment options. (mostly they gave up on this and beg for a bribe money for them)

- I want to pay by card and therefore will have a receit. By law the police is forced to have this card payment machine when they are on traffic control. In the northern part usually on board, in the south never.

(If they really go for the serious documents and having a payment machine on board, then there is no way around.)

- Using a camera up front in my car as a dash board cam or at the helmet is a threat to police. (since then my car gets almost never stopped again.) They try to avoid it because of evidence. Even when they are on speed control they have three fix installed cameras in their cabin. Therefore can not do some bribe business in their cars any more. I agree doing pictures of everything meanwhile in process, even from the police mans, is a grate and helpful tool.

Alright, this was the short version. :-) Have a save trip and enjoy. There is also some fun negotiating with the police. As a little extra: if you can make them laugh, you escape faster and more happy.

Chears! Dave
www.zorromoto.com|Motorbikerentals, tires, oils
Osh / Kyrgyzstan / Central Asia
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Old 9 Oct 2018
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But to be honest, with the police and the corruption for me Kirgistan is the most corrupt an unfriendly country in this area.

I also gut ****ed up by other Kirgis people like a female owner of a hotel at Toktogul.

So really Kirgistan for me is a pain in the ass and I really dont like this country.
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Old 13 Oct 2018
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I had a lovely time in Kygrzsyan, I got stopped three times in one day in Bishkek.

One set of cops pulled me over and claimed I did not stop for a pedestrian zebra crossing. I didn't understand for over 15 mins what they were on about, until they handed me a phone to a collegue who spoke english. He explained my so called misdomener. I argued the case gently and politely over the phone, and explained that I would not be continuting the phone call or interactions with cops without the assistance from the British Embassy. I had the phone number of the British embassy and bluffed ringing it. In the end they got bored of me and sent me on my way.

The first time that day, I was coming out of a village, cops pulled me over for speeding. Wrote 70 in the dust on the mirror. I noticed they were pulling locals over, locals were going over to a desk and paying a chap in civvies money, and getting a receipt.

Cops asked me for fine in USD. I only had som (well that's what I told them), and demanded a receipt. They told me a receipt was for locals only. I got my map out and pointed at the next large town, and said I would go and see their chief, and ask their chief for a receipt. That soon shut them up, they sent me packing without paying a penny.

To this day I have never paid a bribe or fine on the road.
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Old 31 Oct 2018
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Completely agree with ZorroMoto and Fern. You just have to be prepared and a bit savvy.

The easiest way to avoid, is don't pull over! The cops stand there and wave the orange stick at you to pull over. Apart from once, I just slowed down, looked at the cop, nodded in his direction, pretended to pull over just past the police car, then gunned it! Not once did I get chased. Most of the time, they have already pulled locals over and have a camera on a tripod set up...so they aren't going to chase you! One cop waved me over but had his bonnet up! haha!

Film and photo everything that you can. Be polite but really string it out too. Speeding is always 75 or 80! We were doing 100 and they still said 75! And normally they start the fine at $200, haha!

One trick I used was to hide all my money somewhere but keep just a few Dollars/Som in your wallet and say that is all you have. Agreed, always ask to pay by card and ask for a receipt.
They may say no receipt, or that the fine is half if you pay cash. (this is why I keep very little money in my wallet, less than $10)

But I found Kyrgyzstan a lovely country and most of the locals were friendly.

Most of the time, I saw the cops up by Toktogul and around Bishkek
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Old 12 Nov 2018
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This is the place at Toktogul and the pictures of corrupt police in Kirgistan

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Old 21 Dec 2018
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Well I loved Kyrgyzstan! What a beautiful country. I had some issues with the police as well though..

First time I had to pay 1000 tenge (if I remember correctly), they wanted initially 3000. Second time I ended up paying 500 and form the 3rd time, I didn't stop anymore when then made me sign to stop. That worked well for me.
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Old 2 Jan 2019
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I've been stopped several times in kirgizstan, always around Osh and Jalalabad. Every time same tactics: smile a lot, speak italian, act like i don't understand
They get bored in less then 10 minutes
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Old 22 Jan 2019
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Such a beautiful part of the world!

Good information on the corruption and ideas on how to deal with it, thank you to those who've contributed.
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