Police witness jet ski scam in person

Police witness jet ski scam in person

Crime Suppression Division chief Akradej Pimolsri (second from left) leads an inspection of jet ski operations in Pattaya on Friday. (Photo by Wassayos Ngamkham)
Crime Suppression Division chief Akradej Pimolsri (second from left) leads an inspection of jet ski operations in Pattaya on Friday. (Photo by Wassayos Ngamkham)

Police hauled in a jet ski renter who had demanded 4,000 baht for "damages" from two Italian tourists as a new crackdown began in Pattaya on Friday.

More than 200 officials from the police and the Marine Department hit the beach in Pattaya City in the latest attempt to curb abuses by those renting the leisure craft.

The officers collected the profiles of jet ski renters along Pattaya and Jomtien beaches and on Koh Larn following a new round of complaints about jet ski scams.

Visitors to Thailand have complained for years about extortion by jet ski renters, sometimes backed by threats of violence, in Pattaya and Phuket. Occasional crackdowns are staged when embarrassing reports get international attention, but it doesn't take long for operators to return to their old ways.

In a typical scam, an operator demands high compensation for damage — often fabricated after the fact by the operator — to vehicles rented to tourists.

During the operation on Friday, authorities on Pattaya Beach witnessed jet ski renter Kongsri Dalakhon demanding 4,000 baht from a pair of Italians and claiming they had crashed his jet skis into each other. The tourists rejected the claim.

Police brought the parties to Pattaya police station for questioning and the operator finally withdrew his demand.

During the sweep led by Crime Suppression Division chief Akradej Pimolsri, authorities collected data on 58 operators and employees with 127 jet skis. Among them were eight illegal immigrants and three unlicensed jet skis.


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