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Pattaya Jet Ski Scammers Emboldened

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Jet Ski Scammers Emboldened

Using new tactics to avoid police involvement

By Staff Writers


Three Iranian tourists and two Indian tourists were recently subjected to a new style of jet-ski scamming being perpetrated along Pattaya Beach Road, with both incidents unfolding under the eyes of Pattaya One reporters.

In what was the most serious of five scamming incidents to have occurred during three visits by our journalists to the area since our front page report in issue 5 (1-15 December 2010), three Iranians were bluffed into paying up without involving the police.

In a new twist to an old tale, the jet-ski operators have changed the way they deal with their victims, demanding relatively small amounts up front or claiming the amount will skyrocket if the 'marks' dare to involve the authorities.

In other shakedowns, the scammers and the non-police civil officials who first attend incidents, advise the tourists not to involve police, and not to go to the police station, because this will only add to their difficulties, advice which will rightly irritate those in Soi 9 who see these daily scams as a blight on the city.

After the encounter with three Iranians was over, and money had changed hands, our reporter spoke to Ali, one of the Iranian victims. He fumed, “The law is very bad, and these people are very bad. We have an innocent time on the water and

have this bullshit problem for no reason. Very bad Pattaya. Not protecting the tourists.”

Our reporters watched as the jet-ski operators followed their standard modus operandi and went straight to the jet ski as it returned to the beach and were able to 'discover' some extremely minor damage, consisting of small scratches on paintwork, which did not seem to have possibly been caused by taking the boats into the bay, and using them only on the water.


The Iranians were asked for 4,000 baht for the damage, a sum which would rise to ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND BAHT, with no discount, if they involved the police in the proceedings.

Instead, the scammers called for a foreign interpreter. He sat with the scammers and negotiated on their behalf, before disappearing on his bike at the conclusion of the deal. “We did not want to ruin the day by having the police come and we have to fight over 100,000 baht,” Ali stated. “Better to pay 4,000, but we should not have to pay anything at all.”

The amount the scammers demanded seemed to reflect the almost non-existent damage, but, perhaps feeling some recent heat from the police or City Hall, they have changed their negotiating tactics, in an effort to keep the police away from the scene of their crime.


Another tactic of the scammers is to scare their victims with dire warnings of what will happen to them if they go to the police station.

In one scam involving Indians, including Deepak from New Delhi, the scammers demanded 90,000 baht, a figure which dropped to 22,000 baht for very minor damage.

Deepak, a travel agency director from India, had to call his New Delhi office from the beach. His office then called an agent in Pattaya to organise the police to turn up. The scammers and the civil officers had told him not to involve the police at all, and not to go to Soi 9 police station, as his problems would only get worse.

What kind of advice is that to be giving to tourists to Pattaya?

Unfortunately for Deepak, the attending police officer was the man made famous on the Internet, but in the end he agreed to pay 22,000 baht, rather than the original claim of 90,000 baht for the damage.

Deepak later told Pattaya One: “These people need to learn that this behaviour is unacceptable in a tourist city. It will drive away tourists from every country.'

The attending officer was then busy minutes later with two young Russians who were angry and uncompromising, and who DID insist on going to the police station with the jet ski hirer and the policeman.

All of the scams took place within five minutes walk of the area assigned to Marine police, near Central department store, but when the five scams went down, there were either no Marine police officers on duty, or, on one of the days, eight of them sat under cover on their chairs while the scams continued unchecked, metres away.

The Marine police sign advertised that they offered 'dispute resolution' but it is not known how [more...]

To read the rest of this article download the PDF here:



-- Pattaya One 2011-02-01


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Could not some lawyer be found, to present the facts to the United Nations, and protect the good-name of Thai jet-ski operators throughout the land, and bring these wicked tourists to justice ?

Where oh where is RA when his country & its downtrodden workers need him ? B)

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I personally had no problems with jetski operators in hua hin recently, would go back nay time again. in fact got a 300 bht reduction and an extra 10 mins on the ski at the end of the day at sundown , brilliant guys operating the skis here, Pattaya maybe has a lot to learn. If you want customers to come back, be fair to them!!!

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How many more years must this go on?

Ban the jet skis as they are illegal to pilot without a skippers license.

Oh, that's right that would require law enforcement.jap.gif

It's like the police ,who stop you for notting and ask 400bht OR they take your car

and you can go with a taxi to central BKK police station to pay a lot more .

Sulution for the jet-ski: dont do it ,put the skammers out of business !

Or just ban it,not safe annyway !

Look at the colour of the water ,who want to risk his health in it?

I dont understand.

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I personally had no problems with jetski operators in hua hin recently, would go back nay time again. in fact got a 300 bht reduction and an extra 10 mins on the ski at the end of the day at sundown , brilliant guys operating the skis here, Pattaya maybe has a lot to learn. If you want customers to come back, be fair to them!!!

Don't know what its like in Patong Beach, Phuket, now, but I was there (my first visit to Thailand) in September 2006 and had no problems the several times I took out a jet-ski.. standard price and I got advice where to stick to, how to drive, how fast to go etc.. and NO SCAMMING!!!

Sadly, the scammers don't want you to come back unless its to be scammed again!! Their 'big big bahts for one scam' plan ensures they don't need your custom again, thank you very much Mr farang!!! - personally I don't bother with hiring things out any more, because of all these bad reports - they AREN'T going to get money by scamming from me, I'm not naive enough to trust the Thai police to get involved (on MY behalf!!) in such cases, so best stay clear and not get in that potential situation, I think...


Edited by spectrumisgreen
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I think this is important enough for Abhisit himself to get involved. I jest not.

What is the biggest source of outside revenue for Thailand? Tourism.

Pattaya is one of the 3 biggest magnets for tourist dollars in Thailand. The other two are Bkk and Phuket.

Abhisit should personally replace ALL the top brass in the downtown police station(s) in Pattaya and Phuket. Ok, this is Thailand, so no police officer (or gov't worker) can ever be fired, so then re-assign them far away. Post haste.

And replace them with officers who are less likely to be rotten to the core. Ok, the new batch will become rotten, but then replace them also .....and so on.

Oh, and while you're at it, Mr. Abhisit, have outside police officers (as decent as reasonably possible) patrol the tiny little strips of sand called 'beaches' at Pattaya and Phuket, to keep Jetski criminals from continuing their extortions.

These jetski extortions are glowing proof that the overall chief of Thai police is not doing his job. If he had a report card, he would get a solid E. Dereliction of duty.

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I personally had no problems with jetski operators in hua hin recently, would go back nay time again. in fact got a 300 bht reduction and an extra 10 mins on the ski at the end of the day at sundown , brilliant guys operating the skis here, Pattaya maybe has a lot to learn. If you want customers to come back, be fair to them!!!

In the parts of Thailand I have been exposed to in my 24 years I have not seen many situations that " If you want customers to come back, be fair to them". Very much more often that not it is get as much as you can as quick as you can and forget about return customers in the future. Snatch and Grab.

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The Police have admitted they are aware of the scams in thailand yet still no one is being held accountable everyday still the scams are ocurring personally I think scam is not the right word it is more serious than that, when you see evidence on youtube of the scam and then see the same operators on the beach still scamming thats not on.

When you see reports of tourists being threatend with knifes and reports other tourists have been held hostage that is not a scam that is criminal.

World class tourist destinations don't use these tactics on there visitors.

World Class tourist destinations have systems in place to stop any corrupt practices immediatley they don't just sit down and discuss and then allow people to work back on beaches who have been shown with guns or knives and where there have reports about using them to threaten tourists for not paying scam money.

World Class destination look after there tourists and take push scam and extortion complaints to the side.

Anyone with half a brain and a calculator can sit down and see approx how much tourists are having to pay for small damage or a scratch it is a lot of money over 1 year and where is it going ?

The Pattaya One article is correct that the scamming is now a daily event for many people walking along the beach it is disgraceful to see fellow tourists coming to this country and going through such an event.

One problem is that these jet ski hire people approach the customer like butter would no melt in their mouths and the tourist which most are decent people give the operators trust and don't worry to much about photo's they have know idea that their 500 baht outlay is about to increase up to 100 thousand baht or more.

This whole scam requires a full investigation if it finds any jet ski operators guilty or police or other official office holders they should be dismissed and prosecuted.

Then an apology needs to go out to every country and an explanation of how they overlooked that thousands of tourists complaints were valid and money was taken illegally which subsequently ruined there holiday .

Do a google on jet ski scam thailand if you have a spare couple of days for reading :) or face book also has a site Thailand jet ski scams.

SEPT 2009 Phuket Gazette

PHUKET CITY: Phuket police are under strict orders to crackdown on jet-ski operators who scam tourists and to actively assist those who become victims of the scammers at Phuket's popular beaches.

The orders came from Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pigad Thantipong after he made a frank admission during a press conference that some police officers were knowingly allowing jet-ski operators to get away with massively overcharging tourists for repairs to the vehicles.

This was going to have to stop, he said.

Maj Gen Pigad said he had received a constant stream of complaints about the infamous Phuket jet-ski scam.

“When tourists damage the jet-skis, some operators are asking them for 50-60,000 baht for the repairs,” he said.

“The real cost is often just a couple of thousand baht, but the operators threaten the tourists if they don’t pay up.”

Maj Gen Pigad said Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban had told both himself and Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop that they had to end the practice.

There were around 200 jet-skis on the island, with 167 of them licensed, he said.

Maj Gen Pigad said he had set three new policies to end the problem.

First, police would prosecute any jet-ski operators who threatened tourists.

Second, police officers would not ignore or collude in the scam.

continued http://www.phuketgaz...rticle7735.html

Edited by saintofsilence
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No where on the face of the planet have I seen a more disgusting place than Pattaya. It is full of thieves, drunks, crazies, whores, corruption, and so on. It is a good thing that it seems to be all in one place. The rest of the civilized world is on to Pattaya. Here is what the N.Y. Times has to say about the place....PATTAYA, THAILAND — Somewhere in the world there may be a city with a more seedy reputation, a place more devoted to the sex industry and more notorious as a haven for criminals on the lam. But probably not. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/16/world/asia/16iht-pattaya.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper When you leave Pattaya (and you will) don't look back or you will be turned into a pillar of salt.

yes and all this also feeds, clothes, schools 100's of 1000's of mums dads and children

builds houses condos businesses

etc etc

you cant have one without the other

one day when Pattaya grows up it will be Los Vegas

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I don't want Pattaya to be a "world class" tourism place. That would mean world class tourism prices. I can get that anywhere.

The sad thing about the pattaya jet ski scams is that pattaya bay is not good for swimming. I certainly would not jet ski in it. If they could clean up the bay, then go ahead and make it world class.

I do hate these scams. It looks like all the publicity is starting to have some results. Most criminals can't stand or don't like the light of day. You bring enough complaints to light, foreign embassies giving warnings on their websites (Ireland), visitng ambassadors questioning the mayor, etc, and some change will happen.

It it happens to you, delay, delay, and delay. Let the crooks yell and posture. Just have a seat and wait it out. While the jetski sits there, it is not being rented out and they are at risk of not finding any more tourists to hassle.

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I've absolutely NO sympathy for these selfish bloody tourists (note they're ALL male) who think nothing of ruining one's quiet day at the beach because they want to race noisily about the ocean destroying the coral and putting bathers lives at risk regardless.

They should (and I repeat 'should') by now be aware of these so called scams, given that jet skis are 'illegal', believe the word 'scam' inappropriate. How can one be scammed by someone conducting an illegal business in the first place, rather like a john complaining to a brothel keeper about having been ripped off by one his sex workers, given all the publicity this particular aspect of Thai tourism has been given worldwide. Or do they not have access to international news in India and Iran?

Edited by inmysights
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