Pattaya Jet Ski Scam Still Going Strong

Pattaya Jet Ski Scam in Action

Pattaya Jet Ski Scam in Action


Even though Pattaya is in the full grips of low season there are still plenty of tourists around to be taken advantage of at the beach, and they are still being taken by the same jet ski operators that continue to ply their scams on Pattaya beach.

Since I first wrote about the Pattaya jet ski scam in The Pattaya Jet Ski Scam in Pictures there has been a lot of activity from expats and tourists alike telling their stories here and more importantly on the Mayor of Pattaya, Tik Kunplome’s, Facebook page, Pattaya Furure. The Mayor for his part let everyone know that he was on top of the Pattaya Jet ski scam problem and that investigations were already in place, he also took the opportunity to go to Pattaya beach and to the Soi 9 police station for a photo opportunity showing himself in action.

Pattaya Mayor overseeing jet ski operations on Pattaya beach Pattaya's Mayor meets with Police over jet ski scams

Unfortunately that has been the only action taken in the Pattaya jet ski scam problem. For a few weeks after my initial post about the jet ski scams the Mayors Facebook page was full of activity with people from Pattaya and around the world telling of their experiences being scammed or threatened on Pattaya beach by the jet ski operators. The Mayor seemed to be taking it all in and responded to the majority of comments, and then it all went silent.

At one point the Mayor was asking if someone could put together a power point presentation he could show to Pattaya City Hall with the multitude of pictures and video of the Pattaya jet ski scams that had been posted as well as pictures of the people aiding in the scams. I found this an odd request especially when there was a supposed ongoing investigation into the scams by City Hall. We were told we would hear news of this investigation within weeks of the initial fanfare and here we are 2 months later and still no news of the investigation into the Pattaya jet ski scams.

Back on April 12th there was apparently a meeting between Jet ski operators, City hall and the Mayor where the jet ski operators were told that City Hall is considering banning all jet skis from Pattaya beach. If this was actually stated during the meeting it did absolutely nothing to scare the jet ski operators as they have thumbed their noses at Pattaya City Hall and the Mayor since then by continuing with the jet ski scams openly.

In a more recent development brought to my attention by Camille over at PADI, diving and Instructor Development (IDC) around Thailand , the Pattaya Mail ran an article entitled Justice Ministry, Chonburi governor join fray over Pattaya jet skis which not only talked about the Pattaya jet ski scam problem but also got reactions from Chonburi’s Governor and the Ministry of Justice. Of course,  they are all outraged by the scams being perpetrated on tourists, expats and Thai’s alike and it all makes for great copy but no one has lifted a finger to stop the scams from taking place.

Not to be outdone even Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister in charge of national security, Suthep Thaugsuban, has made headlines in the media by stating  after attending meetings with the Tourist Fraud Prevention Committee that the problem needs to be eliminated.

There are many forms of cheating, starting with Thais cheating foreign tourists, foreign tourists teaming up to cheat other foreigners, and Thais and foreigners working together to cheat other foreign tourists.

From the year 2007 to 2010, around 6,000 Thais were arrested for cheating tourists, and 517 groups of foreign gangs were arrested.

Suthep has assigned the Tourism and Sports Permanent Secretary Sombat Kuruphan the responsibility of preventing tourist fraud in Bangkok and at Suvarnabhumi Airport. At the same time, Interior Permanent Secretary Deputy Pranai Suwannarat will be in charge of towns frequented by tourists such as Phuket, Pattaya, and Chaing Mai.

From the top down there seems to be a lot of Thai politicians talking about fraud prevention in Thailand, they have even gone as far as using stern words towards those committing the fraud on the Thailand tourist community, unfortunately they haven’t gone as far as actually preventing these frauds and in the case of the Pattaya jet ski scam I think we all know who is running the show and it surely isn’t the elected officials.

For now the Pattaya jet ski scam continues daily on Pattaya beach just as it has for the past 2 decades or so and the Mayor for his part still talks openly about making Pattaya a top tourism destination, well Mr. Mayor if you can’t protect the tourists and and citizens of Pattaya from the crimes perpetrated by the jet ski operators on Pattaya beach then it’s highly unlikely that your plans for Pattaya will ever be taken seriously by the much needed tourists you are courting.

I can’t say this strongly enough:

Beware the Pattaya Jet Ski Scam



17 Responses to Pattaya Jet Ski Scam Still Going Strong
  1. Catherine
    May 14, 2011 | 11:20 pm

    This is sad but predictable. The mayor got his soundbite and the public got nothing. Ok. They did get something. They got screwed again.
    Catherine recently posted..HouseTalk- Miscommunicating with Your Thai HousekeeperMy Profile

    • Talen
      May 15, 2011 | 11:06 am

      Cat, any other tourist towns around the world that actually cared would have immediately banned jet ski rentals until an investigation could take place to protect the tourists…Pattaya, they can’t be bothered for some reason.

      Hopefully enough people keep the pressure on but unfortunately what it’s going to take is a tourist getting hurt bad or killed before any real action is taken…I hope I’m wrong…time will tell.

  2. Mike
    May 15, 2011 | 11:33 am

    Talen I know you and many others are well meaning, but I can’t say I’m surprised about things remaining the same.

    I’m sure the Mayor is well meaning but there is so much BS talked in Thailand and at the end of the day the scams, like the litter one in BKK continue unabated.

    All you and others can do is keep reporting and informing folk who don’t live here what its really like.

    Whether they listen of course is another matter.
    Mike recently posted..Its Only Half-TimeMy Profile

    • Talen
      May 16, 2011 | 3:56 pm

      Mike, definitely not a surprise and we all expected the exact outcome but as you say it at least may let some people know the risks that might not have otherwise.

  3. Steve
    May 15, 2011 | 12:16 pm

    maybe he smoked too much yaba at the soi 9 police station?

  4. Camille
    May 15, 2011 | 1:19 pm

    Hi Talen,

    Very unfortunate but kind of predictable. Good on you though that you keep highlighting this!
    Camille recently posted..Koh Samui- Thailand daily weather update 15th May 2011My Profile

    • Talen
      May 16, 2011 | 3:54 pm

      Camille, I have a thing for bashing my head against brick walls…might not work but at least it will inform some people of the dangers involved renting jet ski’s in Pattaya.

  5. Paul Garrigan
    May 16, 2011 | 5:39 am

    It is frustrating to know that these guys are openly cheating people. Scams happen around the world, but it is a bit unforgivable when the authorities know who is doing it and won’t stop it. It is disappointing.
    Paul Garrigan recently posted..False Comfort Can Be OK TooMy Profile

    • Talen
      May 16, 2011 | 3:53 pm

      Paul, it really is unforgiveable. They all know what is happening and exactly who is scamming the touristsand yet they bury their heads in the sand hoping it will go away.

  6. Martyn
    May 17, 2011 | 10:06 am

    Talen – You’ve written a good update on Pattaya’s Jet Ski Scam but its findings doesn’t surprise me at all. To us westerners and a lot of Thais it’s one big con but to those involved in the scam it’s an easy way to make a living. That’s going to be hard to stop.

    I’ve got a post coming out today or early tomorrow and you feature heavily in it, all tongue in cheek. I hope you enjoy the read.
    Martyn recently posted..Thai Massage in Ban DungMy Profile

    • Talen
      May 17, 2011 | 10:38 pm

      Martyn, money does make the world go round and it also makes the scams much harder to stop…we’ll just have to wait and see if the Mayor really wants Pattaya to be a top tourist destination or not.

  7. arch stanton
    June 12, 2011 | 2:36 am

    Talen as you and I both suspected the clampdown has been merely hot air and nothing has been done on the ground. This is a town where a small theft from a 7/11 can make the local tv news with film of the culprits being pointed at and officers standing proudly by.
    Meanwhile theft on a grand scale is being carried daily out up and down the beach in broad daylight and absolutely nothing is done. TIT

    • Talen
      June 12, 2011 | 1:24 pm

      Arch, as you said it was expected that nothing would come of the mayor’s crusade against the jet ski operators. Unfortunately someone will ge hurt severely or killed in the future and then the powers that be might act.

  8. Phuket Travel
    July 1, 2011 | 8:48 pm

    There is way too much money involved and these groups have way too much political pull for any changes to happen quickly. We have the exact same thing in Phuket. It is talked about, but nothing is ever done. There are too many connections on the higher levels for any real investigation to ever get off the ground.

  9. Abhishek Singh
    September 11, 2011 | 3:50 am

    I also paid 3000 thb when i have done nothing on 29th august, 2011. All jet ski bastard are there

  10. Eddy
    September 30, 2011 | 7:27 pm

    Today, 30th Sept 2011, at 5pm witnessed the same Jet Ski scam taking place on Pattaya Beach. This was near Mike Shopping Mall, opposite Beach Road soi 12.

    A group of Indian tourists were targeted this evening. One Jet Ski was accused of being damaged. Of course it was there before, this scam occurs every single day with the same gang of Jet Ski operators. Any intervention by passers by would be met with threats, and then violence. There is nothing you can do to help these guys. The four Indian tourists were literally begging, pleading, and were in a pretty bad state. The gang of Thai’s nearby that were part of the scam were laughing, drinking beer, playing with their kids (who were also asking passers by if they wanted to rent a Jet Ski) and pointing at their marks mocking them.

    I see that last week (reported 24th Sept on PattayaOne website, and other online Pattaya news sites) that five Jet Ski scammers were arrested for attempting to extort a couple of Saudi Arabia tourists, and followed the tourists to the Marriott Resort & Spa in Pattaya. The police were called, arrests were made.

    So, literally a few days later, the scams are continuing on Beach Road. Nothing has changed! NOTHING! The same scammers I’ve seen for months and months are exorting sums of money any between 40,000 to 80,000 baht.

    Also closer to Walking Street entrance on Beach Road, opposite soi 13/4 and near there, the same gang of Thai scammers are there every day. They’re also continuing to extort tourists.

    They often target the marks around 5pm-5:30pm, as it’s getting dark. There are more of the gangs keeping an eye on people taking photos than I’ve seen before. These gangs are well organised, in that they have around 10 Thai’s ready waiting to add to the threats if there extortion demands are not met.

    So, arrests of Thai Jet Ski scammers has had absolutely no impact whatsoever on them continuing ‘business as usual’. It’s disgraceful. Same thugs operating for months and months, and none of them locked up and told not to return. Welcome to Pattaya tourists, play safe.

  11. Eddy
    September 30, 2011 | 8:18 pm

    Just a thought…

    I wonder if we’ll see the international Press taking an interest in this. All they have to do is turn up on any day on the Beach Road, outside Mike Shopping Mall, Royal Garden Plaza, or near to the entrance to Walking Street. Around 5pm, they can witness extortion, threats to tourists, the Jet Ski scam, and maybe if enough people talk about it and report it around the world, it may even stop. Mind you, it has been going for years, and the same criminals are still operating. To get them started, all they need to Google is Pattaya Jet Ski Scam. There’s even a few video clips on YouTube of the scam unfolding.

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