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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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  #1  
Old 30 Nov 2012
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Bad Experience in Iran with Police / Pasdaran / Thieves

Dear all my name is Alvaro Sanchez and from Spain and I am travelling from Spain to Thailand. (Sorry if I dont introduce myself properly)

With the serenity that days always bring, I am writing down what happened to me in Iran.

Facts Summary

Date: Nov. 21st 2012 aprox. 10 o'clock
Place: Highway Fanemin (Humedan) to Saveh (close to the cows statue)
Car Model that stopped me: Samade colour gray. Not hundred percent sure but quite sure: dark glasses and red traffic plate.
Using a police radio indicate me to stop in the ditch. They asked for the usual questions: passport, where I was going, drugs, guns? they asked to check my tank bag, they see one of the wallets with local money, they start checking me, jacket, trousers,.... they found the other wallet in my jacket and saw the money (euros). From that moment they started to become rude. One of the two went back to the car and a third person came out from the car with very bad behaviour. I realized they have removed my motorcycle keys. Situation becomes violent. They asked me to take off the jacket for inspection. They were checking it and suddenly got into their car and run away. I hold myself in the front car door until finally got off (thanks God I still had my helmet off(.

Result, Stolen Items:

- 1,050 euros
- 3 credit cards
- Driving license + ID card
- Several injures specially in my right arm.
- Partially broken helmet + Scratches + Torn clothes.
- Set of keys, motorcycle keys + bags keys.


Short description of the policemen / thieves:
1. Driver 1,75 m thinner, around 50, rotten teeth.
2. Beard, darker skin, 1,65m aprox, rotten teeth.
3. Around 30-35 frekles, rotten teeth

(please take into account that in Iran no so many people have rotten teeth, on the other hand among other things, smoking oppium produces rotten teeths)

They fortunately could not remove the tank bag (passport and extra key set). I stood up aprox. 60 meters from my bike, I took the extra keys, switched on the bike and tried to catch them (of course it had passed time so it was quite difficult) in just few km (2 aprox) there was a police patrol

In the police station / s (In 3 different police stations)

I tried to explained the situation, quite difficult as they dont speak any english (I dont speak farsi). They take me to their police station were they cure my injures. They try to find out some one speaking english. They phone someone that speaks spanish wich I have to say seemed to be an honest guy. I talked to him just for few minutes and he gives me his phone number. I explained them I want to talk to my embassy. They asked me to wait. They take me to a second police station I leave my bike there and from there to a third police station. Nobody speak english but they clearly understand I want to call my embassy.
3rd police station: I talk to someone on the phone that can speak english and tell me he wants to talk to me in person so I have to wait for him. 4 o'clock in the afternoon: I asked to call the spanish embassy many times, also to talk to the guy that speaks spanish again. I get nothing.
4 o'clock: Mr ?? appears, I tried to talk to him but he tells me to wait, they were speaking in farsi. He asked me about what happened. He doestn ask about the description of the 3 policemen / thieves. He says there is not enough information.
They checked my tank bag staff, take pictures, made several reports, I had to write a short report and they made several reports. I was suggested to write that the police did what they could and asked me to signed several reports including one in farsi. I explain them that I cannot read farsi. They insist. it is around 19h in the evening (from 10 oclock in the morning) I just wanted to leave. They -suggested- me to write I was not going to take it to court. .... I signed all documents.
I asked them copy of the report, they told me that was internal police documentation and they cannot provide me with a copy. I insist, they tell me they can give a copy of the doc. I wrote. That is what I got.
I asked the name and contact data of the english speaking policeman, he tells me: tomorrow, I explained him I am leaving tomorrow, ... no answer.
They take me to a cybercafe at 8.30 in the evening and tell me I can send an email to my wife (I had requested them many times to call my embassy of my wife in Spain) They let me call the embassy from the cybercafe, obiously at that time it was close (I didnt have the embassy emergency phone number).


They took me to a hotel. end of story.

Btw: In the police station they behave properly with me and even offered me some drink and food.

Next day I went to the spanish embassy in Teheran. They treat me well but couldnt do much for me.. However their support and talking to them was quite positive for me. So thank you


My Opinion / Feeling Please, take it as it is, that means, my personal opinion:

It was real police /pasdaran:

- They had great expertise looking for things.
- They were not in a hurry at all, in a road full of police patrols. (in just 2 km I met one)
- After the rubbery, the following days I met 2 different groups of foreigners that have been living in the country many years, all of them said it is the police (Please understand I dont give names of these people) one of them says they are pasdaran members which are involve in drug and petrol smugling. He told me that the road were the rubbery happened is used by drug smugglers.
- 2 iranians I met at the Pakistan border say they dont think it is the police but fake police.
- After taking to some people I know now 5 similar recent cases.


After the experience, how to act:

- People I talked told me never try to run away, you can get in serious problems. Better ask to go to police station. (btw holding the car was really stupid, I even think of it, was just instinct and was useless and just caused me several injures(

I will try to upload pictures.


After the incident I must say I thought to leave the trip. Thanks God I didnt do it. I feel ok now, in Pakistan, in Sialkot, I will by a jacket tomorrow (they produce good jackets here. I have crossed Iran with no jacket...quite cold. ) and in short in India.

Thx all for your support specially thx Arancha.

rgs


Pictures of the injures in my blog:

Spain to Thailand on Motorcycle Suzuki Vstrom 1000: Bad experience with: Iranian police / Pasdaran / Thieves?
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  #2  
Old 30 Nov 2012
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Sorry to hear of your unfortunate encounter. Hope you are recovering well.

Thank you for giving your account which may help other avoid a similar fate.
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  #3  
Old 30 Nov 2012
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Hey man!

I'm very sorry about this story! I 'm thinking more and more suspicous about Iran, after my bad experiences there, although our ones are on another level, (not that very bad)....

Whish you just the best...

Alex
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Old 1 Dec 2012
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Location: Brisbane
Posts: 277
Im really sorry to hear what you went through - for those who are about to go through Iran, what ever you do - DO NOT TRUST the Police.

The locals dont trust them why should you?

I was stopped many times, I never turned off my bike, I never got off it and a few times I just drove away when they couldn't tell me why they stopped me.

I lost faith in them when I crossed in from Pakistan and they made me follow them around for hours on end until they had decided they had shown enough of the city that I am in town and took me to a hotel.

Everyone else in Iran is really nice... but don't stop for the police especially where there is no one else around!
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Old 1 Dec 2012
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Location: Sokuluk Kyrgyzstan
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Reports

Real sorry to hear of what happened to you. I live in Kyrgyzstan and was in Uzbekistan before that. As a rule of thumb I always ask for a copy to be made before I sign anything. If they cannot or will not make a copy and pressure me to sign I write a statement on their document in English stating that I don't know what I am signing but they are forcing me to sign. That really makes them mad!
Good luck on the rest of the trip. Our prayers for your safety go with you.

Mac
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  #6  
Old 2 Dec 2012
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Bad news

Sorry to hear of your experience but glad your alive to tell the tale...

Safe riding dude...

Hope your days get's better....
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  #7  
Old 2 Dec 2012
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Location: Wessex, UK
Posts: 2,136
Alvaro, I too am sorry to hear of your experience at the hands of what must have been common criminals, even if they were also genuine police which seems unlikely. It is helpful to others that you have shared this and it will help people avoid the same situation.
It is also a shame it happened in Iran a country which has such a bad reputation with people who have not been there and a good one with those who have, in my experience the vast majority of Iranians being friendly, hospitable and decent people, I hope you have some good experiences there to counteract what has happened to you and that you enjoy the rest of your trip.
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Old 3 Dec 2012
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Thank you guys for your support. I am in India now and happy with the decision of going on with the trip. About Iran, I just can say that so many people speak so well about it that I just have to believe it; on the other hand, however, considering that the number of foreignersvisitors is probably very low ( I dont have the statistics) it seems to me that, at least recently, the number of nasty encounters with the police or thieves by foreigners is relevant ( just an opinion base on the people I have talked to and the info I read, but not figures to support this)

Best rgs and thx again

Alvaro
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