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A Patong jet-ski damaged in 2011 that operators wanted 180,000 baht to fix

Phuket Jet-Ski Scams Rip Off Tourists

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
PHUKET: An adverse reaction can be expected from tourists in China to the prospect of holidays on Phuket after the second rip-off within days by jet-ski scammers at Patong beach.

The Chinese consul, Qin Jian, today wrote an email to Phuket tourism authorities, the Phuket rescue service and Phuket's Damrungtam complaints office asking for help in one continuing stand-off with the scammers.

Police at Patong's Kathu Police Station are reported to be still holdling the passport of Zhang Zu, 27, after jet-ski operators demanded 250,000 baht at one stage.

It's understood the jet-ski Mr Zhang Zu was riding hit a yacht. According to the consul, the initial demand for damage to the jet-ski was 100,000 baht, which rose to 250,000 baht.

Today's latest number on the table was 170,000 baht, the consul said.

The Superintendent of Kathu Police Station, Colonel Jirapat Palchanaphan, said police were simply in the middle of these kinds of claims and the sum in the latest case was still being negotiated.

He did not answer when asked why police were holding the tourist's passport. Officers are only permitted to hold passports in cases involving personal violence and drugs.

The earlier case mentioned by the consul involved two young Chinese visitors, Wu You, 15, and Wu Lu, 14. The pair were initially asked to pay 90,000 baht on March 12 for an incident that was finally settled for 45,000 baht, the consul said.

''These people [the jet-ski scammers] bad-mouth and intimidate people and seek to extort money from tourists,'' he said.

The consul, based in Songkhla province, is in the process of shifting to Phuket where the number of visitors from China has skyrocketted.

Although Phuket's honorary consuls say the scamming is continuing, officials who oversee the jet-skis say all is well and an insurance system means there are no longer any problems with the system.

Comments

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There are still many problems with the system since the insurance policy applies only to the registered jet-ski. Most scams come from the ones without registration and the police is also protecting them. I was twice in a situation when there was a try to scam on my hotel guests and I needed to call the police and showing clearly that there was no registration sticker/no. on the jet ski and the police was just looking away until I threatend to call in the embassy. Then they gave up... its a nightmare, really. In case of disputes always tell them:

1) Request to go to the police and file a report
2) Enquire for the jet-ski registration and insurance no.
3) No cash, only through insurance

Also be careful. This guys tend to be very aggressive and start a fight easily. Never turn your back to them even the police is there.

Posted by Jakub on March 13, 2013 16:29

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well here we go again...what are the excuses this time as to why we are back at stage one once again

Posted by sky on March 13, 2013 16:37

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There is an easy answer. Ensure there is extensive publicity until every nationality is 100% aware of the risks. If everyone stopped using the jet skis, they would be forced to give up & go away.

Posted by Logic on March 13, 2013 20:40

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A few days ago, I was walking down Surin Beach late afternoon when they were ramming the jet skis up on the beach to take them out for the evening. I notice they have stickers on the the jet skis stating "NO INSURANCE" on both sides of the front compartment. So much for the mandatory insurance scheme to drive away this problem. Shows no fear from the authorities as well.

Posted by 8YearsInTH on March 13, 2013 23:31

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That's the answer alright Logic, but easy it's not. There will always be those that are unaware, along with those that will think that 'it won't happen to me'.

What's really needed is pressure by the consuls and other relevant foreign dignitaries of all countries (begs the question, do any of them really have any relevance here?), to impress upon the Thai government to take action to ensure their citizens are not victimized by this ongoing institutionalized thuggery.

If Thailand is unable or unwilling (I'm guessing both), to do so, then these countries should officially warn their citizens that Thailand is not a safe holiday destination, and their well-being cannot be ensured should they choose to travel there.

Posted by Relox on March 14, 2013 00:36

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I just can support Logic's suggestion: Refrain from using Jet-Skis under any circumstances. Very easy and a good way to keep your peace of mind.

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on March 14, 2013 00:58

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250,000 baht for damage to a jetski is not an unreasonable amount at all. Some of the better models sell for well over 400,000 baht. If the tourists can't afford to pay the price, they shouldn't bother coming to Thailand.

Posted by Holock Shermes on March 14, 2013 01:10

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There are scams world wide and tourists targeted for years. Each and every trip I have ever done I have researched the good and bad of my destination, with the internet it is very easy. The best solution is stay one step ahead of the scammers by knowing their modus operandi. In this instance, there is so much on the subject matter with the main advice being - don't hire jet skis!

Posted by Anonymous on March 14, 2013 07:04

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how did he manage to hit a yacht . isn't the andaman big enough .. shouldn't bother renting a bike or car .. might crash into a bar or hotel ..

Posted by sean on March 14, 2013 10:32

Editor Comment:

Attempts at humor are unfunny, sean, bearing in mind that two jet-skiing tourists were killed a couple of years back when they crashed into a catamaran off Patong. If you have nothing to add that matters, don't bother.

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To all Consuls, forget the local authorities and Phuket tourism, go straight to Bangkok with complaints. Nothing will ever be done dealing with the locals of Phuket! Look how long this problem has been going on .

Posted by Elizabeth on March 14, 2013 12:30

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My solution would be "Krabi Strategy".
. No more Jetski's
. No more beach chairs (for a period till fair price are made.
. Beach vendor restriction & limitation to locals only. (But not like now. Thai locals hirer Asians to do the work for them & the Thai organizer makes huge profit on cheap foreign labor. For this ASEAN is not invented.
. Tuk Tuk's out & introduce "Pattaya" system.

Posted by PhuketGreed on March 14, 2013 20:49


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