WhatÂ are Indian policemen doing when they are not busyÂ encountering (i.e engaging in cold-blooded murder of people)?
Easy answer – When Indian policemen are not encountering, they are very busyÂ extorting bribes.
A new report by Trace International based on a 16-month study of collecting and analyzing reports of bribery demands in India has found that policemen are among the top bribe demanders in the country.
Of course, we desis always knew that our cops were swines. Didn’t we.
Who among us has not encountered a demand for a bribe from a traffic cop or at the Pondicherry-Tamil Nadu border or for passport address verification or for a countless other routine things. As they say in India, the difference between cops and thieves – policemen are uniformed thieves.
According to the Trace International survey, majority of bribe demands in India (91%) came from government officials. And policemen accounted for 30% of the bribe demands (second only to national-level government oficials at 33%).
The Trace study mentions that 77% of the bribe reports made to its BRIBEline tool described extortionist demands – i.e. payment for avoiding harm or disadvantage rather than for gaining an advantage.Â
Apparently, only 12% of the reported bribes were for gaining an advantage, including exercising influence with or over another government official, receiving inappropriate favorable treatment, or winning new business.Â
Says Trace President Alexandra Wrage:
The vast majority of the reports in India are of extortionate demands for the purpose of avoiding some harm or disadvantage. It is interesting to note that 30% of these reports describe bribes demanded by the police. BRIBEline can uncover key trends for international companies to consider when crafting their risk mitigation tools so companies can address the real issues that their employees face on the ground in India.
Other highlights of the Trace International study on demand-side bribery in India:Â
* Nearly half of the individuals who reported a demand for a bribe said they had been asked for bribes more than once
* Of the individuals reporting a bribe demand, 9% reported that they had been solicited over 100 times
* 92% of all reported bribe demands were for cash or a cash equivalent. The next most common demand reported (at 5%) was a “gift,” including requests for company products, jewelry and similar items.
* Values of the reported bribe demands ranged from less than $20 (29%) to over $500,000 (about 1%). Most of the reported bribe demands were for relatively small amounts of money.
According to Wrage:
Although most reports of bribe demands in India are for low dollar amounts, a significant number of individuals reported being asked for a bribe more than 100 times. Those repeated demands for relatively small amounts of cash can be difficult for companies to track and they can add up over time to significant totals. Our findings in the India BRIBEline Report reinforce the importance of having strong internal controls to encourage commercial transparency at all levels.
We must add here that the Trace International report makes no mention of encounters in India, presumably because they are not as familiar with how the Indian police functions (ha ha as if they those uniformed thugs even function…took the buffoons over 60 hours to get things under control inÂ Mumbai during the recent terrorist attack).