At the police station, two men in swimming trunks wearing flip-flops were hanging on the left part of the counter. Behind the counter, an uniformed policewoman was dealing with them. In front of the right part of the counter was parked a dark-red scoot-mobile, containing a gaffer and lots of plastic bags.
The flip-flop business showed off their muscles and tattoos to the blond by striking poses. The gaffer was sagging in his scoot, looking like he was either already drunk or busy dying. He hardly reached up halfway the counter. He was involved in a lengthy discussion with a policeman.
Police did a lot of talking and explaining in the air.
Gaffer now and then mumbled a response to a bag.
I made a crowd. So an uniformed policeman who had obviously been hiding behind a glass panelled wall, shifted his chair from “thinking mode” into upright mode. He stood up, disappeared from sight, reappeared, opened a door, and went to the right hand side of the counter.
Gaffer was sagging even more over the plastic bags and against that part of the counter.
The policeman joined the right-hand discussion, by stretching over the counter and talking down to the gaffer, who was now close to hanging horizontally over his bags and scoot.
Gaffer seemed barely conscious, but still muttered.
The police man stretched some more, to explain something down the depth to where gaffer was hanging. Gaffer told his plastic bag: “No, it’s not true!”
The policeman decided it might look client-unfriendly, if the lot of them continued talking down to the gaffer with an audience present. So he walked round the counter and tried to explain some more at ground floor level.
A dark-haired police woman joined the right side of the counter.
The police force claimed something. Gaffer denied it. I waited.
After a while, one policeman gave up and walked back to his place of authority, behind the counter.
The tattoos had flip-flopped out of the station and the blond policewoman joined the discussion.
Gaffer claimed he had paid. Force denied: it was logged in their system.
Gaffer was pre-system, so muttered another denial to his bag and said he’d go. Police said they were keeping him, till he’d paid the money.
Gaffer was getting nowhere, so changed tactics and said he didn’t remember. Force said it dated from 2012.
Gaffer kind of wheezy rattled.
One policeman had had enough. His colleagues ought to be able to deal with this.
He barked what I wanted. I handed over my ID and “invitation”.
They were inspected, checked, handed back.
I was told to sit and wait for my police thug (see part 5), right next to Gaffer’s scoot.
Force said he’d not paid a 2012 fine of about 500 Euro.
Gaffer said he had no money.
Apart from his scoot, he certainly looked the part.
Gaffer repeated he had no money. Force said they couldn’t let him go.
Gaffer changed tactics again: he had some money. Force asked how much.
Gaffer said he had 400 Euro. Force answered they needed the whole amount.
Gaffer claimed he had 450 Euro. Force repeated they couldn’t release him till all was paid.
Gaffer said he might have to go home to get more money. Force said he couldn’t leave the station.
Gaffer said he wanted a receipt. Force said he could use his bank card.
Gaffer seemed to cave in. He said he had the money.
Force started to rummage behind the counter for a machine to process bank payments.
Gaffer said he didn’t trust banks. Force wondered aloud, how he was going to cough up the money.
Gaffer said he had more than enough. Force remained sceptical.
Gaffer – sitting very upright, sober and quite perky in his scoot – said he had the complete sum, in cash, in one of his plastic bags – and he demanded a receipt, for he was sure his 2012 fine would otherwise remain “unpaid” in the system.
He demanded proof of payment!
Three of the force remained baffled behind the counter.
The other one zoomed round it, knelt right next to the scoot, because Gaffer started pulling out bank notes from a plastic bag.
Silently, I applauded Gaffer.
He’d kept at least three police officers totally occupied with his spiel.
Idly I wondered, if the cash money would be white, grey, or black.
Not for one moment did I doubt, Gaffer was perfectly capable of using a police station to launder money.