Sri Lankan police are apparently no stiffs. Authorities in the island nation just south of India recently arrested two men after a video on Facebook showed them allegedly pretending to bribe a life-size cardboard cutout of a traffic police officer that was mounted in the northern town of Vavuniya.

The men were charged with damaging public property because the head of the cutout was damaged, and with humiliating and creating a bad public image of the police, the BBC reported.

They were released on bail.


The fake officer was one of several posted on main roads throughout the South Asian nation last year to deter speeding and other dangerous driving.

Some have criticized the arrests.

“I think the youth were sending a powerful message aimed at eliminating the bribery culture. It's satire, not a crime,” Twitter user Ameen Izzadeen wrote.

The Sri Lankan police are considered one of the country’s most corrupt institutions, an anti-corruption NGO Transparency International told the BBC.

Motorists often bribe traffic officers to get out of paying fines and to avoid bureaucracy, according to the news agency.

"This issue is further evidenced by the lack of will to incorporate basic systems to combat petty bribery amongst traffic police," said Asoka Obeysekara, head of Transparency International in Sri Lanka.

Two police officers were suspended last week after a video surfaced showing them accepting bribes near the president’s office.