• Germany's news in English

Tourist forced to buy laptops for Filipino police

The Local · 8 Feb 2011, 10:16

Published: 08 Feb 2011 10:16 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The incident, which took place in Manila's upscale financial district of Makati, is the latest embarrassment for the country's police force.

Makati police chief Senior Superintendent Froilan Bonifacio expressed outrage and said the accused policemen may have carried out similar extortion scams in the past.

"I'm not just shocked. I'm angry, for God's sake. Maybe they have been doing this thing for years," Bonifacio told news agency AFP.

The five policemen approached the German tourist at a Makati shopping mall on January 29 and initially accused him of buying counterfeit goods. When he denied this, they accused him of illegal drug possession, Bonifacio said.

When this failed to scare him, the policemen threatened to arrest the German for supporting "terrorism". To prove his innocence, the policemen said he must buy laptops for their station, said the police chief.

The policemen took the German man to a luxurious mall where he was forced to buy six laptop computers with his credit card, according to Bonifacio.

After the purchase, the policemen set the tourist free but warned him not to tell anyone of the incident.

However, a German embassy spokesman said the tourist reported the matter to consular officials, who informed Makati police commanders.

The suspect policemen have had their weapons taken away and could be sacked as well as being hit with criminal charges, Bonifacio said.

The German embassy gave no other details about the case, but praised police commanders for taking action against the five.

"The embassy is very satisfied with the reaction of the national police command. It shows that they are determined to go after these people who abuse their position," embassy deputy head of mission Ralph Timmermann said.

Story continues below…

Last month, a Manila policeman was sacked after a video was leaked showing him torturing a suspected criminal, while another was arrested after being accused of raping a street vendor inside a police station.

In the highest-profile incident to tarnish the image of Manila's law enforcers recently, an ex-policeman hijacked a busload of Hong Kong tourists last year in a bid to be cleared of graft charges. Eight of the tourists died as police bungled a rescue attempt.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:35 February 8, 2011 by catjones
Odd, the same thing happened to me in Berlin only it was donuts.
13:26 February 8, 2011 by De Gaulle
Well, you pay the same price for a donut here and a laptop there.
20:07 February 8, 2011 by wenddiver
I prefer countries where the locals are easily bribed. I think peoplye should be allowed to easily pay for mistakes and continue on, without long, boring trials for assault and such. That's why I like the Philippines, Brazil, Thailand and Laos, one can vacation in peace, without worrying about a lot of rules or local customs.

He should have shruuged his shoulders and said no money and then, bought them a couple of beers. Silly tourist.
21:58 February 9, 2011 by fryintl
I guess those same countries listed above also have huge opportunities for people who abuse kids. Funny thing about people who like these depraved and unsafe locations, they tend to go there to do things they can't do in their own country.

The Philippines were notorious in the old days for sex, corruption, drugs, you name it. Aquino and Marcos are gone and still nothing has changed. You have a huge populace, that is slowly growing richer (if you can call a few hundred bucks a year rich) and yet their political and legal problems still prevent them from joining the "First" world. Why is that?
04:11 February 10, 2011 by wenddiver
@frying-Wow, are you in touch with your inner warpo or what???? Anybody messing with children should be hung by the locals on the spot. US law protecting children is not limited to our borders, we reserve the right to try pedophiles, whenever our government can get their hands on them. Try getting drunk on your next vacation and fighting some adults, while living like a King in the local economy, next time. What are you like the character Dieter on Saturday Naight Live???
Today's headlines
Munich to get 'nice toilets' to serve cross-legged locals
Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital has a pee problem - the city only has one public toilet for every 13,000 inhabitants. But a new plan could rescue desperate locals, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

German kids get glowing report for their English skills
Photo: DPA.

As if multilingual Germans don't already put many English-speakers to shame, now the younger generation is improving their English skills even more.

Berlin museum controversially recreates Hitler bunker
The reconstruction of the Hitler bunker. Photo: DPA

Sensationalized or compelling history? Berlin museums clash over new Nazi bunker exhibit

Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

10 fascinating facts you never knew about German beer
Tennis coach Boris Becker and his wife Lilly at Oktoberfest 2016 in Munich. Photo: DPA

From malt and monks to Radlers and rivalries, the story of German beer is as rich and wonderful as its selection.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd