#3. 150,000 Parking Tickets
While diplomatic immunity can get an embassy employee out of a swath of major crimes, many people forget that it also applies for smaller stuff. The diplomats themselves are well aware of this, and gleefully use it for fairly impressive everyday dickery.
"Look, I'm being diplomatic. I could have just had your car towed."
Take parking tickets. As long as the drivers have diplomatic plates, they can double and triple park to their hearts' desire. And unlike the average citizenry, when the cars do inevitably get ticketed, the country in question can (and usually does) totally claim "official duty" and refuse to pay a goddamn cent.
And, boy, do they enjoy ramming their dicks through this little loophole. Between 1997 and 2002, foreign diplomats from consulates and the UN racked up more than 150,000 parking tickets. Not $150,000 worth -- 150,000 separate tickets.
This is just code for "motorcycles and disabled vehicles only."
Wait, what? How is that even possible? That's freaking 70 parking tickets a day! You'd have to accidentally park in a legal space more often than that. The unpaid fines are now over $17 million. And what's scary is that behind each of those tickets is a separate act of parking assholery -- double parking and blocking someone else in, or obstructing traffic, or just generally being a piece of vehicular cholesterol in the arteries of the city.
Oh, and those figures are from New York alone.
Africa does not give a single fuck about street-sweeping days.
The biggest offender seems to be Russia, with their whopping 32,000 unpaid parking tickets, although Kuwait is doing its level best to keep up with an impressive average of 246 driving violations per diplomat. While most developed nations do try to pay them, most third world nations just don't care and don't even try.
Because of their countries' laissez faire attitude toward the occasional ticket or two hundred, many diplomats take shameless advantage by weaving violently in and out of traffic, speeding and just generally driving recklessly. Things have, in fact, gotten so bad that in Washington, D.C., the police actually warn drivers to avoid driving behind a car with diplomat plates.
And not just because they have a tendency to explode.
The moral of the story: When you're a diplomat, Grand Theft Auto is a documentary -- except in the real world even the cops can't touch you.
#2. A Diplomat Opens a Casino Right in the Consulate Building
In October 2006, Benny Kusni was heading up the Senegal Consulate in Singapore, where he served as an honorary consul -- meaning that while he runs the consulate, he doesn't actually live in the country himself and therefore doesn't enjoy diplomatic immunity. Remember this, so you can better feel superior to several people we're going to discuss in a minute.
One day, Consul Kusni had suddenly come up with a great idea to generate some revenue: He had a big ass building in Singapore, and no scruples whatsoever. Why not combine the two and open up a goddamn casino right inside the consulate building?
"Um, can I put up one of my national parks as collateral?"
So that's what he did, and because apparently no Senegalese has any business in Singapore ever, the casino actually worked for an entire month. It was a huge success, too -- there were up to a hundred people playing there at any given time, and Kusni profited over half a million dollars ... every day.
Eventually, though, the police noticed the sudden increase of cocktail dresses and tuxedos flowing in and out of the building. Another thing they noticed was that unlike embassies, consulates are not considered foreign soil. So they raided the shit out of the place.
"Somehow raiding foreign soil feels more right, you know?"
Kusni immediately declared diplomatic immunity and started packing, leaving the police to impotently shake their fists and yell "We'll get you yet!" at him.
Or that was his plan, anyway. Someone soon remembered what the deal with honorary consuls and immunities actually was, i.e., there is none, at which point everyone burst into a wide grin and slowly approached Kusni while rhythmically tapping their nightsticks on their palms in perfect unison.
Somehow, Kusni still found the gall to plead innocence ("What casino? Oh, this casino! Never noticed it before"), but got thrown in jail with a hefty bail of $40,000 on him. At which point the police found out that Kusni had also been committing immigration fraud by falsifying information on immigration papers throughout his tenure.
At which point Kusni paid the shit out of his bail and walked out whistling.
"Oh yeah, well I bet you won't get as far as -- oh, he's gone. Shit."
At which point, if their bland, heavily Wikipedia-borrowing website is any indication, Senegal just said "Fuck it" to all things regarding their Singapore consulate and pretended nothing had ever happened.
#1. Yes, Even Murder
OK, so we mentioned Lethal Weapon 2 earlier, and no doubt some of you immediately were looking for examples of diplomats flat out committing murder and getting off due to their immunity. The answer is that yes, it has happened.
And not one of these guys was shot in the head by Danny Glover.
Take the Libyan embassy worker in London who, in April 1984, decided to open fire at a mob of anti-Gadhafi protesters outside his embassy, fatally wounding a police officer and injuring 10 others. The police laid siege to the embassy for 11 days, at which point the government stepped in, allowed the ambassador and his staff to leave the premises -- and promptly kicked them out of the country, with a nice long fuck you to take back to Gadhafi. The countries' diplomatic relations were torn apart, but no one was ever convicted of the shootings.
But the Abusing Diplomatic Immunity Cake goes to the batshit insane Burmese ambassador to Sri Lanka, who found out in 1979 that his wife was having an affair, so he shot her.
In a totally diplomatic way.
Then he built a fucking funeral pyre in his yard -- which was legally Burmese soil -- and burned his wife's body in full view of the press and the police, who were unable to do anything because of his immunity.
Not only was the man never convicted of the crime, but he actually remained the Burmese ambassador.
Getting Burma put in the international spotlight for, ooh, all of three months.
And stop by LinkSTORM to discover how to create your country (by forcefully taking over another).