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Winai ''JJ'' Naiman at the Patong meeting: a court date next week

Don't Kill Yourselves: Vice Gov's Jet-Ski Warning

Friday, September 18, 2009
UPDATE: Photo Album Above

THE meeting about the future of jet-skis on Phuket will reconvene next Wednesday, September 23, at Provincial Hall - the same day that ''JJ'' Naiman faces court. Vice Governor Smith Palawatwichai told the meeting: ''The US Navy will be here next Tuesday and their people have been told not to rent jet-skis. You are killing yourselves if you don't fix this problem.'' Set prices for damage are being carefully considered. Insurance continues to be discussed, although the cost is likely to prove prohibitive.

Original Report

ABOUT 100 jet-ski operators and authorities from all over Phuket met in Patong this afternoon to resume the search for a solution to the rip-offs that have damaged the tourism industry.

Among those at the meeting was Winai ''JJ'' Naiman, the jet-ski proprietor accused of extorting large sums from US and British marines and other tourists.

Mr Naiman became a focus of media attention during the meeting and after he left the room.

He said his court appearance was scheduled for next Wednesday, September 23. It is believed the charge is extortion with menace.

Mr Naiman has defended himself this week in appearances on Thai television, making the claim that he was set up, a claim that producer-director Gavin Hill, the maker of 'Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand,' strenuously denies. He insists the footage was genuine.

A woman who worked with Mr Hill had called him to apologise, Mr Naiman said.

Mr Naiman added that he owns four jet-skis and has charge of a total of 28 vehicles, a sizeable proportion of the 160 that operate in Patong.

On the issue of the potential of insurance cover for jet-skis, Mr Naiman said that some vehicles were involved in 50 mishaps a year, so any arrangement covering accidents might prove impossible.

Talks were continuing this afternoon in the absence of Governor Wichai Praisa-nob, who called last week's first meeting and has taken a keen interest in stopping the jet-ski scams.

He has had complaints from Ambassadors of Australia, Britain and China, as well as being asked by the deputy PM to resolve the issue.

Efforts to blame the television production company behind 'Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand' for damaging the image of the country appear to be misguided. Tourist police say corruption is the cause.

'Jet-Ski JJ' Turns Up at Phuket Rip-Offs Meeting
Jet Ski Scandal The operator at the centre of a reality television documentary that made an international incident of Phuket's jet ski rip-offs turns up for a crisis meeting.
'Jet-Ski JJ' Turns Up at Phuket Rip-Offs Meeting

Time for All Honest Thais to Act to Stop Corruption
Latest Thailand's tourism image has been tarnished because corruption is tolerated, and it will be tarnished over and over again unless honest Thais act to stop the thieves.
Time for All Honest Thais to Act to Stop Corruption

Phuket Scams: Governor Calls for Corruption Probe
Latest Phuket has been ''driven in neutral gear'' for a decade and now needs a thorough investigation of allegations of corruption among police and officials, Phuket's Governor says.
Phuket Scams: Governor Calls for Corruption Probe

Thai Officials Put 'Big Trouble' Series in Limbo
Photo Album Concern about the 'Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand' series has led to permissions and releases being withheld. But the British producer says the series is not harmful to tourism.
Thai Officials Put 'Big Trouble' Series in Limbo

MediaWATCH: How Jet-Ski JJ Scammed US Marines
Scam Scandal Update New footage shows Phuket jet ski JJ operator ripping off US marines; national anger at scams grows; Zeman remakes Hong Kong; Aussies prime sex offenders
MediaWATCH: How Jet-Ski JJ Scammed US Marines

'Big Trouble' for JJ: Inside the Jet-Ski Scandal
Latest The producer who shot the series that focuses on the underbelly of Phuket's tourism troubles provides his own illuminating account of the filming and the fuss that followed.
'Big Trouble' for JJ: Inside the Jet-Ski Scandal

China Anger: Jet-Ski Scammers Told to Behave
Photo Album Phuket's Governor has told the island's jetski operators to clean up their act, or else. His plain speaking warning came as VIPs from China told Phuket to protect their tourists.
China Anger: Jet-Ski Scammers Told to Behave

British TV Captures Gun in Phuket Jet-Ski Standoff
Photo Album Phuket's jet ski scams are about to be highlighted on British television in a series on tourist police that shows a gun being used to intimidate royal marines.
British TV Captures Gun in Phuket Jet-Ski Standoff

Comments

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This is the time for all good Thais to come to the aid of the country .

Posted by elizabeth on September 18, 2009 23:20

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I don't know if its PW just believing what Jimmy says to be true or wanting to make Jimmy out to be the big mafia figure but ...

When Jimmy says he "has control of" 28 jetskis that means he sorta knows the other crews and owners of 28 jetskis. They all hang out and drink beer together and come to each others' aid.

JJ is NOT some high level mafia figure. He's just a low level beach guy who let the show massage his ego and let himself show off.

Posted by LivinLOS on September 19, 2009 07:46

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And how much more has his ego grown before the show?

First he thought he was going to be an ambassador for Thailand as he claimed he was "tricked" and told the show was to promote tourism.

Now he has come into his 10 seconds of fame.........

Posted by vfaye on September 19, 2009 09:46

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Here Here!

Posted by LivinLOS on September 20, 2009 11:54

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it is so obivious. they play on time and think, that (as it was in the past) the tourist will forget or even better more stupid tourist will come and pay them their extortion thing. the media cycle anyway is coming down already, so staying cool a little more, JJ getting fined, they return to business as usual. latest in deember they will start ripping of again.

only: tourist will remember next time and then Phuket will be forever tainted. forever scam island. even when thailand will clean up this mess then, it can be too late.

and next time will come if the Governor is not changing the game. he seems deeply caring and a good and capable man. one is hoping others cannot drag him down to their mud.

he could become a lasting legacy in Phuket. things get done thanks to him.

Posted by Lena on September 21, 2009 17:42

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JJ said that some vehicles were involved in 50 mishaps a year, so any arrangement covering accidents might prove impossible!!
If these jet skis have so many accidents the chances that old damage from bad repairs would reappear and customers ripped off for full cost would be certain.

Posted by Anonymous on September 22, 2009 04:14

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Here's an idea to control scamming:
Hire a government employee to digitally photograph each jetski once a week or once a month. Put the photos in a hard-to-break-into public sign that the jetski operators MUST display (and which can easily be seen by government checkers and tourists). Also display the photos prominently on a website, so that tourists who feel they might have been scammed can check whether the damage is preexisting, see what appropriate costs are, and complain by email to the government if necessary.

Posted by fark on September 29, 2009 09:54


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