Tourists 'extorted' in jet-ski scam

CHON BURI - A jet-ski rental service and two municipal officers in Pattaya have been accused of extorting 113,000 baht from five Russian tourists, police said on Sunday.

Pol Lt Phithak Nernsaeng, an investigating officer in Pattaya, said five Russian tourists aged between 24 and 27 years old made a complaint about being scammed after renting jet-skis on Saturday evening.

They told police that they used and returned the jet-skis to the hire company, only to be told that the equipment showed signs of damage, apparently caused by "collision".

The jet-ski operator took pictures of the supposed damage before calling two men dressed in police uniforms into his shop. The three Thai men demanded that the Russians to pay 113,000 baht for the "damage" to the jet-skis, or face legal action.

The tourists told police that they handed over the money because they were scared, but the operator tore up the photographic evidence of the jet-skis straight afterwards.

The group were able to salvage some of the photos and brought them to Muang Pattaya police station as evidence when they made their complaint.

Following the investigation, police said the two men in police uniforms were actually municipal officers.

Police have promised to take legal action against the jet-ski hire service and the two officers if they are found guilty of extorting the tourists.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 28/01/2014 at 05:16 PM
Tourist police NO have any power in Thailand, is just to give a god image!
Discussion 2 : 28/01/2014 at 03:24 PM
What happened to the promise that all jet ski businesses would have to have insurance against such damage? Nothing, of course. As usual in Thailand, it's all talk and no action. But this scam is so well documented that I can't understand how anyone would not have been warned and why they still fall into the trap.
Discussion 3 : 28/01/2014 at 09:09 AM
Tourist police best option. Police will always side with the Thais.
Discussion 4 : 28/01/2014 at 07:00 AM
The tourist court was the first thing that entered my mind. It's not even mentioned in the article. Has it already been scrapped?
Discussion 5 : 27/01/2014 at 09:42 PM
Its great that the scammers got caught. To prevent this happening again they could get rid of jet skis. Dirty, noisey, smelly, dangerous toys.
Discussion 6 : 27/01/2014 at 08:06 PM
Jet skis are a horrible, noisy nuisance and frankly, I don't feel sorry for any tourist dumb enough to spend 10 hours on a plane only to be ripped off in a hell hole like Pattaya, riding a water motorcycle. The police are in the scam, pretty much the entire world knows about these scams, except for the airheads who feel the urge to ride these polluting noise machines in an already filthy sea. Not an ounce of sympathy for these noise addicts.
Discussion 7 : 27/01/2014 at 07:09 PM
Welcome to Thailand! Does this story suggest that the municipal officers and the police are the same people? Hmmmmm!
Discussion 8 : 27/01/2014 at 06:50 PM
Just look at youtube to see how many times this scam happens,unfortunately nothing will be done and you wont hear about this story in the media anymore.
Discussion 9 : 27/01/2014 at 06:20 PM
Corruption, Thailand just can't get that monkey off its back. Might have to have an amnesty for all jet ski operators in the kingdom.
Discussion 10 : 27/01/2014 at 06:10 PM
Police will do nothing, they take a share of the scam. Witnessed many times.
Discussion 11 : 27/01/2014 at 05:59 PM
This is pretty much a daily occurrence in Pattaya and Patong, ok the figures are higher than the norm. How did the tourists manage to get there hands on that amount of cash in a short period. I thought generally the max ATM withdrawal was 20,000. I am just waiting for the day when the headlines read "Russian mob beat up jet ski scammers", long overdue.
Discussion 12 : 27/01/2014 at 05:50 PM
And good luck with that one!
Discussion 13 : 27/01/2014 at 05:33 PM
Happen to me before with Jet Ski and motorbike , no point going to police station, go to Tourist police , they really protect you, end up I got back all the money THB 70,000 . Wanted to give tips to the tourist police but they didn't accept, told me that they are protecting the tourist .
Discussion 14 : 27/01/2014 at 05:28 PM
All the police care about is their share of the spoils
Discussion 15 : 27/01/2014 at 05:26 PM
Without pictures of the jet-skis before they were taken out, there is no proof they were already damaged, and as far as the municipal officers posing as police, that will be swept under the rug. Nothing to see here, move along. What ever happened to the tourist court that was started in Pattaya last year for cases just like this? Does it still exist?
Discussion 16 : 27/01/2014 at 05:25 PM
Wow foreigners being treated well, that would be a good and new idea. When will locals realize there are other places in the region to go.
Discussion 17 : 27/01/2014 at 04:55 PM
The police will take action if they are found guilty, maybe it's just the wording but how can they be found guilty of anything if the police don't take legal action first?
Discussion 18 : 27/01/2014 at 04:53 PM
This scam has been going on in Pattaya for years. Surely the Russian tourists are warned about this before they come over??
Discussion 19 : 27/01/2014 at 04:10 PM
"if they are found guilty of extorting the tourists." That is a very big IF !

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