The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

US drug enforcement funds going to Bangkok girly bars?

Written By: herbrunbridge - Jan• 23•11

Bangkok beer condom sponsored by the U.S. DEA

Thousands of beer bottle coolers (known in Bangkok as “beer condoms”), in all probability funded by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA),  have been distributed and remain in hundreds of Bangkok go-go bars, beer bars, and hotel bars in the aftermath of Operation Hot Spot. This law enforcement inititaive was launched as a joint effort of the DEA and the Royal Thai Police Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) with an official announcement in the Bangkok Post on August 23, 2010.  }As a key element in the program, Operation Hot Spot placed “Wanted” photographs and data on high-end beer condoms and distributed them free to what could be estimated to be hundreds of bars, many of which are frequented by Western travelers. The subjects displayed on the beer condoms? Indviduals wanted for narcotics distribution, including the legendary James J. “Whitey Bulger,” and  Wei Hsueh Kang of the United Wa State Army. 

And these aren’t garden variety beer condoms either. Instead of the low-end foam rubber beer coolers frequently found in Bangkok bars, the DEA variety sports a high-gloss hard plastic shell encasing a Styrofoam inner sleeve. The professional injection-molded bottom of the condom indicates “Sensitive Investigative Unit DEA-NSB Bangkok” in raised letters. These condoms were built to last, obviously costing more than the $1 USD that the cheap foam rubber ones cost in bulk. They are the best beer condoms money can buy. 

Not winning any beauty contests: Whitey Bulger in drag

We love Bulger’s beer condom the best, because it offers both his contemporary look as well as his image in drag (he often travels as a woman). As a woman, the photo suggests that Whitey won’t be winning any of Thailand’s famed ladyboy beauty contests, either. 

Here at WoWasis, we think these beer condoms are great collectors’ items. There are three that we’ve identified, Whitey Bulger, Wei Hsueh Kang, and 9 of Thailand’s most wanted drug fugitives (frontal mug shots). Collect them all. 

The DEA’s indicates that Bulger and Khun Wei are still on the run (no word on the fate of the Big 9). So it begs the question: The DEA did a great job of distributing high-end beer condom to Bangkok’s girly bars; did it do an even better job of wasting the U.S. taxpayer’s money?

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