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The Night I Nearly Got Arrested in Bangladesh for NOT having sex with a (non) Prostitute

Travel to Bangladesh. Yup. Guide book? Nope. Local currency? Nope. Map? Nope. Knowledge of the language? Nope. Accommodation booked? Nope. Injections? Nope. Health Insurance? Nope

This was my checklist as I flew from Bangkok To check out all the things to do in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s hectic capital. To say I was unprepared to travel to Bangladesh would be a bit of an understatement, but it all works out in the end, right? Hmmm.

My hotel in Old Dhaka; travel to bangladesh

Day 1 in Dhaka

I didn’t know about any of the places to visit in Bangladesh, so I went exploring.

After a long day trekking around Dhaka where my first memory was eating curry with my wrong hand (the left one) and getting scolded by the restaurant owner, we were handed a life-line.  A Bangladeshi draped proudly in an England football shirt came bounding over to me to welcome us to his country, in pretty decent English. We chatted a little about why we would travel to Banglades and whatnot. Before long we were invited to his house that evening to have dinner with his family.

Travel to bangladesh; My crazy experience
Travel to bangladesh; My crazy experience
travel to bangladesh
travel to bangladesh

Awful Old Dhaka Hotel

After having dinner with his extended family, he insisted on walking us back to our hotel. Thanks to my serious lack of preparation for this trip, we had ended up staying in a hotel in ‘Old Dhaka’, where running water and electricity were at a real premium. Air-con had yet to be introduced to Old Dhaka and the 40 degree heat was overbearing.

The next morning, Raul (our Bangladeshi friend) called one of his friends to meet us. He took great pride in being new friends with seemingly the only white people in Dhaka (certainly in Old Dhaka). We spent the afternoon exploring together, and as the evening came we  all had some tea together and then went back to the lobby of our hotel.

The corridor in my hotel
The corridor in my hotel

The Bangladeshi Secret Police

This is where things went wrong. As we went back to the lobby Raul’s friend called another friend to join us, all very innocent and he was keen to show people he had some foreigner friends. My 2 buddies and me, alone with Raul’s two friends, one of whom was female, all sat downstairs and chatted for an hour or so. Chatting about travels, about Bangladesh, about their families, really interesting evening. We were really tired from the heat though so we soon told him we’d meet for lunch the next day and headed up stairs to our room, dodging rats and cockroaches quite successfully on the way.

Accommodation in Dhaka
My luxury room – before it was raided by the secret police

I was asleep as soon as my head the pillow around 11pm. I was in a deep slumber until I was awoken by the most aggressive pummelling of my hotel room door.

BANG BANG BANG BANG. “WTF is that, what time is it, 4am”?!!?

I jumped up, pulled some clothes on and tentatively opened the door to my room when a huge Bangladeshi guy burst through the door. Before I could even open it fully, 3 of his big, burly friends soon followed, bullet-proof vests on, guns cocked and ready to go! Flash lights in our face, shouting in a language I knew nothing of. This was not good.

After a few words were exchanged, nothing was understood and I was pretty terrified. One of the guys with a Government badge left the room while the others stood watch over me and my 2 friends. The guy who left went to wake up the hotel manager and dragged him in to translate.


“Sex with a prostitute, it’s illegal”

“You are with a brown girl, tonight, with a brown, Bangladeshi girl – where is she!?” The police man is translated as saying

“Huh?! It’s our mate’s mate, what’s going on” I respond

“You’re having sex with a prostitute, it’s illegal. Why you do this in my hotel?!” 

“What are you talking about? We shared a coffee and left”

“You lie, you lie, this is big problem in Bangladesh, big money”

They proceeded to search our room again – cartoon style. Looking under the bed, then in the cupboards, then under the sheet on the bed (I think you would have noticed the her under that mate – genius). They then informed us that if they find her we will go to prison and have to pay a fine. “How much?” I asked. “If she’s beautiful, very much. If she’s not so beautiful and fat, not so much”. Ok, good to see the justice system is working nice and fairly then. My travel insurance is quality, but I don’t think it pays police bribes.


After another couple of minutes they realized she wasn’t in our room (good work Sherlock), they apologized and left within 20 seconds, leaving me and my mates to go back to bed very thankful she wasn’t there, and wondering about what the rest of our time in Bangladesh will entail! Quite the start to my travels.

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84 thoughts on “The Night I Nearly Got Arrested in Bangladesh for NOT having sex with a (non) Prostitute

  1. Pingback: Dhaka to Khulna – My Blog
  2. Pingback: Dhaka to Khulna; The Rocket Paddle Steamer through Bangladesh
  3. Man, you must have been REALLY broke because even the better parts of Dhaka are dirt cheap. I also had a disturbing experience there even though I didn’t go on the cheap. I was sitting alone at night on the first class deck of the Rocket steamer when three men sat with me (one never spoke, just staring). They quickly steered the conversation to homosexuality & asking personal questions about my sex life. The image of the one quiet guy’s leering face is burned in my memory. They eventually invited me to one of their cabins for tea & chicken but I had visions of them either trying to rape me or beating the crap out of me. I turned them down at which point they became hostile & I retreated to my own cabin. Even so the flimsy door made for a nervous night.

    The vast majority of Bangldeshis were great & they love talking to & taking pictures with westerners. My best times there were things like playing cricket and soccer with locals & finding myself the guest of honor at a Hindu ceremony I stumbled into. Like any big city though you have to watch your back.

    1. You should consider writing fiction cos you have a wild imagination as you are spewing out garbage that never happened. Even if you look like Brad Pitt, which I doubt you do, no bengali men would be leering at you lol ffs! Or even attempt to take selfies with you. Ego much bro?

      DHK btw is one of the most expensive places in the world – look it up!!

      1. Lol…do you actually know where Dhaka is? I’m pretty sure you’re confusing it w/another city. I did look it up before I went & found that it’s not even close to one of the “most expensive places in the world”. This was confirmed when I visited & it’s laughable to suggest otherwise.

        Of course, like all Americans, I look exactly like Brad Pitt but that would hardly matter to sexual predators or thugs, or whatever they were. Maybe they were just nice middle-aged family men w/really bad people skills.

        I can see by your response to both Johnny & myself that you are an angry man who feels better when trying to belittle others. It makes you seem childish & small as does your use of the term “bro”. Seriously, “bro”? Who says that any more?

        1. Because Jay Sharpe, is really really something like Darmendra Singh.
          You see, using the term bro tags him as being a disgruntled local. Just ignore the troll. In his limited experience and life opportunity Dhaka is likely an expensive place.

          1. Haha “Yuri” you Russian backward nigro sewer rat. Yoh are an uneducated piece of turd from a backward garbage land of Soviet Union, so don’t be posting here your ignorant bullshit. Stay put in your communist drain pipe “bro”

  4. Johnny mate, I feel for you, BUT, why the F*** would you choose to live in the cheapest and dodgiest area in the WHOLE of Bangladesh? Are you that broke? Then you shouldn’t be travelling? US is the most developed country in the world but no sane person would go to Compton, would they?

    And pppplease don’t flatter yourself, you are certainly not the only white people in DHK. There are thousands, so you ain’t that massively ‘special’. If you went to places like DOHS/Gulshan/Banani, you’d see what I mean, no one would bat an eye lid and you would be with many other tourists.

    Safe travels and please feel free to never come back 🙂

    1. I wouldn’t stay in Old Dhaka, but you definitely had a proper experience. There’s no point in going to Dhaka and staying at Westin or another chain. But they do have decent boutique hotels and a lot of great Air BnB’s these days. Old Dhaka food however, is the absolute best.

  5. Hi bro,

    I am feeling very pained that you all had to suffer what we locals even suffer.
    I am studying in malaysia but i am a bangladeshi, so i just want to help you up with some check list as suggestions:
    1) you can trust people but till a certain limit if you are in India Bangladesh srilanka and other south Asian countries.
    2) Does not matter how poor a country, they will at least have some decent looking hotels, the hotel you went aint a legit hotel at all, lol.
    3) Never go to anonymous people’s home in first day. 😛

    Old town aint a good place even though its filled with our traditional foods… try to stay in Baridhara, gulshan, bashundhara, uttara, if you want to stay in Dhaka.

    Polices in bangladesh are money eating machine, what ever happened that night was planned, and im sure the hotel manager has seen the girl with you so he secretly called the police earlier.

    Where ever you get stuck in this kind of problem, just tell them you want to call embassy first, they will be sacred as fuck and kick their own ass off that place, lol they are retards man.

    Anyways my email is linked, if you ever come back to my mother land, knock me up, i ll give you a virtual tour guide and help you up with any info or any help, i ll be there. to make it up to ya.

    hope you also had better trips after that. tc

      1. Very true. Even locals also sometime face this type of situation. It’s horrible. Extremly sorry for your experience. Our Law enforcement agencies are corrupted. They tried to frame you & take your money. There is no justice system exits in Bangladesh. Law is only for powerful quaters. Peoples are very nasty minded as nasty they look.

  6. Hello Johnny, sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience in Dhaka. I would like to point out 2 things. The temperature in Dhaka never rises to 40 degrees, it is around 35 degrees at max, since the weather is more humid, it feels more hot in Dhaka. And finding English speaking Bangladeshis in Dhaka is not a rare thing, thousands of Bangladeshi students study the Cambridge and Edexcel curriculum and sit for O & A level exams under British Council Bangladesh. I am a Bangladeshi and I can speak English, in fact I have studied in English all my life, the first letter I learned in my life were ABC just like any other native English speaking child because I went to an English school.

    Anyways, staying in Old Dhaka is not a good option for foreigners because it is called Old Dhaka for a reason. After visiting Old Dhaka, you should have headed back to “new” Dhaka [such as Gulshan-Banani and adjacent areas] where some limited foreigner-friendly accomodation are available on a budget.

    In the end, I would like to thank you for taking your time to visit my motherland, Bangladesh, dhonnobaad [thank you in Bangla]!

    Sharif Ahmad Shabbir
    from Uttara, Dhaka [15 minutes away from Dhaka airport]

  7. I can’t stop laughing after reading.I just started eating a plum & it fell out of my mouth.Still u went through less dan what my friends did.Bengalis r such a dirty & shitty race.& so freaking ignorant.My friend who’s a girl almost got raped by police when she sought help from dem bcoz some Bengali men were molesting her .

    1. Hey man,if u are brave enough come to Bangladesh and say what u are saying now.I can promise u that it will be ur last word.

    2. Buddy

      I am sorry to hear that about your friend. I really am. But that does not give you the right to say those words about an entire nation.

      And if you say that rape exists only in Bangladesh, then buddy, you are sadly misinformed.

      In the end, I hope that nothing as disgusting as the mentioned incident happens to anyone.

  8. Holy shit XD XD. I died laughing! This is what happens when you’re a cheap ass bastard in a 3rd world country.

  9. Johnny my man got Facebook or anyother chat oriented client? Looking forward to talk to you. I’m a fellow Bangladeshi. To be honest, you should’nt have came into the country of corruption and dirtiest politics.

  10. ok hi! I am a resident of Dhaka city, and rule number one is never trust anyone. This place is like Gotham city. How long are you going to stay here?

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  12. What’s the fucking hell you are! Why you went to the poor hotel? And then write a false story about my country. Fuck you.

    Are you a begger?

      1. Apologies. Sometimes my countrymen could be too emotional. I agree we don’t have good guide for foreigners. Maybe something to work on.

        1. By the way, have someone local next time. There’s so many places you could visit and remember all your life. I think most of us would be happy to help no string attached.

      2. you just wanted to make dirty jokes about Bangladeshi. that’s why you went old Dhaka’s dirty hotel. i also thinking that you may write completely a false story to make just a dirty fun with Bangladeshis.

  13. dude, u really have no clue as to how much shit u could have gotten yourself in? I am a bangladeshi national who has lived abroad for more than 15 years and during this time i have travalled to the victoria falls in zimbabwe,lived in zambia witnesseing a total eclipse of the sun, watched where the pacific and the antartic ocean meet in southern most africa, been to game parks in kenya, partyed in LA and NYC and chilled in Dubai, i currently reside in Dhaka and I must invite u properly coz u totally have awrong impression of our country and I hate to say it but people who read your blog would get a negative image of my country. You must have a local who knows the ins and outs, I mean come n mate, we have all the major food and hotel chains so why in the world would you choose to stay at a shanty run down hotel? If its adventureu r looking for my friend, it would be my pleasure (no strings attached) to represent my city and I guarantee u a trip to remenescence.

    1. oh and FYI mate, my sister is in the UK right now and she will be returning to Bangladesh later this month so if you are interested, I can send you her details so you can have a more memorable trip next time around

      1. Hi
        I am planning to visit bangla. Can u arrange for counter with your sister. I didn’t get complete meaning of enjoy next time

      2. In july i visit dhaka. I stay 3 weeks. the cheapest ticket i find is 1000 us. So i have to plan my budget a bit seriously. How much money i need just to appreciate bangladesh culture and nature in three weeks. Thanks.

    2. thanks dude for doing this… im a bangladeshi too. that guy totally had a wrong perception abt our country :S

  14. That place you stayed in is a brothel. A lot of shitty hotels are actually brothels. That is why the cops expected to find you with a girl when they raided the place. (if they were really cops – were they wearing green shirts?)

    Fat girls is a Kulna thing, and something for the provinces. They aren’t considered beautiful all over the country.

  15. First time reading your blog..and all I can say is you’re awesome..this experience as well is insanely funny..though I won’t think like that if I’m on the actual scenario..

  16. Hi There

    I feel sorry to hear about your terrible experience. Let me give you some advices about dhaka. Do not choose any hotel located in old dhaka, even we locals wont stay there. There are plenty of luxarious (very much affordabe) hotels in Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara and Uttara where you can have all the facilities that you can think off. Our corrupted stupid police do that shit when they think that they can walk away with some money. I am sure they go to those hotel to have sex on a regular basis.

  17. Hey man..your experience in dhaka was hilarious but exiting indeed. I am from Bangladesh and its really a shame on how you were treated by a local when you were a tourist in our country. No wonder foreign tourists often see the cruel and dark part of the city and thugs like your friend Raul are common on the streets. However, dhaka has a different picture at the other side, international brands, Bistros, coffee parlours and restaurants are a common picture, and some of them are more expensive than you can imagine. And what’s weirder (!) the people knows english, sometimes even better than an American. I know because i have some foreign national friends and they get along very well, although we do not explore old dhaka together!. Next time you come to the country, don’t trust a stranger.

    1. hey TJ, i was staying in old Dhaka mate, it was such a cool experience – i’m keen to come back, maybe i’ll sample the wealthier side next time 😛

  18. that seems a bit wierd given that prostitution is leagal in Bangldash
    and fat chicks and considered beautiful from what I’v read. I think
    it probly was a Police scam.

  19. Hey I live in Dhaka and Im staying in a 3 star hotel and its gud..
    Ur not going to have a luxury suite if u pay 10 Euro(I think 150 will do) only so my advice live in a decent place like me.And nice story but I dont think its true.

    1. don’t worry mate, i love dhaka – this is just one of those crazy travel stories that could happen anywhere?

  20. That’s crazy! Gotta love his answer to how much you would have to pay, “If she’s beautiful, very much. If she’s not so beautiful and fat, not so much”……!!

  21. OMG! Hilarious!-now-
    Getting in this type of situation while traveling is horrible. I got stopped by the police in the US several years ago -in the burbs!!-… I was trembling when the two officers made me stand in front of the car, my hands on sight while they searched inside. A good story to tell now, terrifying back then.
    Good Luck!

    1. ooooh no, that sounds horrible :S alls well that ends well tho i guess, right?! :S great story, thanks for sharing Natalie 🙂

      1. mate i think you stayed in a “red marked” hotel. bangladeshi police are often clueless and thats the truth. my advice is to stay in such area, where prostitution is less. and don’t get out after 12 at night. it’s not safe for us bangladeshies. imagine what will happend to you then :). the best option is to say at a friends house. love from Bangladesh.

          1. You should get a Bangladeshi friend who is involved with adventures. There are a few facebook pages regarding traveling around the country. Professional/non professional members travels around shares their experiences. The reason i am telling you this is because even though Bangladesh has ample opportunities and numerous places to make it a favorite place for the tourists, it still is not as tourist friendly as it needs to be. Living in/touring a developing country is difficult for any tourist, but it will be a great experience if you have acquaintances (along with you or guiding you over phone). So, start making friends before you visit again !

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