Post Reply Oklahoma police took $53,000 from a Burmese Christian band, a church in Omaha and an orphanage in Thailand
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Posted 4/25/16
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/how-oklahoma-police-took-dollar53000-from-a-burmese-christian-band-a-church-in-omaha-and-an-orphanage-in-thailand/ar-BBsepqN?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=UE07DHP
The 40-year-old Texas man, a refugee from Burma who became a U.S. citizen more than a decade ago, was heading home to Dallas to check on his family. He was on a break from touring the country for months as a volunteer manager for the Klo & Kweh Music Team, a Christian rock ensemble from Burma, also known as Myanmar. The group was touring the United States to raise funds for a Christian college in Burma and an orphanage in Thailand.
Eh Wah managed the band's finances, holding on to the cash proceeds it raised from ticket and merchandise sales at concerts. By the time he was stopped in Oklahoma, the band had held concerts in 19 cities across the United States, raising money via tickets that sold for $10 to $20 each.

The sheriff's deputies in Muskogee County, Okla., pulled Eh Wah over for a broken tail light about 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 27. The deputies started asking questions — a lot of them. And at some point, they brought out a drug-sniffing dog, which alerted on the car. That's when they found the cash, according to the deputy's affidavit.

There was the roughly $33,000 from ticket sales and donations, much of it earmarked for the religious college back in Burma, according to Eh Wah and the band members
There was the $1,000 in cash donations to the orphanage in Thailand, small bills bundled in two or three dozen sealed envelopes with the orphanage's name written on them.

There was $8,000 in cash from the band's CD and souvenir sales. A $9,000 cash gift to one of the band's members from his family and friends in Buffalo — cash that Eh Wah says he didn't even know was in the blue and white gift bag he had been asked to hold. And $2,000 in cash for Eh Wah and the band's incidental expenses on the trip: meals and tolls, for example.

All told, the deputies found $53,000 in cash in Eh Wah's car that night. Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson said he couldn't comment on the particulars of Eh Wah's case because of the open investigation, but it is clear from his deputy's affidavit that the officers didn't like Eh Wah's explanation for how he got the cash. "Inconsistent stories," the affidavit notes. Despite the positive alert from the drug-sniffing dog, no drugs, paraphernalia or weapons were found. Just the cash.

He told them about the band and his role with it and how he had been entrusted with the cash. He even had the officers call one of the band's leaders, Saw Marvellous Soe, who had decamped to Miami while the band was on a break.
The police officer started asking questions," Marvellous recalled. "I explained: 'We are a music team. We came here for a tour.'" Marvellous tried to explain that the band was from Burma.

"He kept telling me, 'You are wrong, you are wrong,'" Marvellous said. "Everything I said, [he said,] 'You are wrong.' I said: 'We are doing a good thing! And now you are accusing us of being like a drug dealer or something like that.'"
After that phone call, Eh Wah began to realize that no matter what he did or said, he wouldn't be able to satisfy the officers' questions. "I realized that they were seizing all of the money. I was like, 'This can't be happening.' But I didn't know what to do."

The officers ended up taking all of the money — all $53,249 of it. "Possession of drug proceeds," the property receipt reads. But they let Eh Wah go. They didn't charge him with a crime that night, instead sending him back on the road about 12:30 a.m., with the broken tail light.

What happened to Eh Wah is known as civil asset forfeiture. It comes from a relatively obscure corner of the law that allows authorities to seize cash and property from people they suspect of a crime. In most states, and under federal law, authorities get to keep the proceeds regardless of whether the person is ever convicted, or even charged, with criminal wrongdoing.


more said in the link



but seriously?
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21 / Australia
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Posted 4/25/16
So basically a forced "bribe" ?!
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23 / M / AZ
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Posted 4/25/16
Sounds like an article from the onion
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Posted 4/25/16

HuastecoOtaku wrote:

Sounds like an article from the onion


except it is sadly true
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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 4/25/16
the money was returned to him and his band.
http://gawker.com/update-oklahoma-da-will-return-seized-cash-to-burmese-1772984668
interestingly enough after he managed a lawyer and the case was going to proceed to the court (which the police would not win in a fair trial)
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Posted 4/25/16

namealreadytaken wrote:

the money was returned to him and his band.
http://gawker.com/update-oklahoma-da-will-return-seized-cash-to-burmese-1772984668
interestingly enough after he managed a lawyer and the case was going to proceed to the court (which the police would not win in a fair trial)


thankfully justice was served but it is sad, and wrong, that this kind of thing is happening, just so police can profit
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19 / M / east coast. Let t...
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Posted 4/25/16
What...no! The police don't have any flaws. Hmhmhmhm.
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20 / M / Imoutoland!
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Posted 4/26/16
Honestly? This is what happens in my 3rd world country with OUR police.
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F / ar away
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Posted 4/28/16
Well then I'm glad I was in Canada when a similar thing happened to me. I don't know if Canada has a similar loophole but apparently not because my cash wasn't seized when border authorities suspected me of transporting drugs. They told me I fit the profile of a typical drug courier. The border police, despite being overly suspicious and just doing their jobs, were actually quite cool. I was driving to Canada in a rental car to visit my boyfriend. I just happened to have a lot of cash with me because I was also moving from one state to another and had to close all of my bank accounts in my old state because of an issue there. I don't know why I was so honest about how much money I had. I figured they were going to search my car anyway and if they found it and discovered I lied to them, I thought that would be much worse.
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