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Pattaya Daily News

15 June 2010 :: 14:06:08 pm 25369

Foreigners Conned In Large Scale Travel Agent Scam

Approximately 50 people have been conned out of up to 60,000 baht each in fees paid for airfares at a sham travel agent in Pattaya recently. Nine foreigners of Dutch, German and Austrian nationalities reported the scam to local police on Monday after they unwittingly uncovered the scam.
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Pattaya, the 14th of May 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Local police Colonel Itsaranuwat Jongaphichaikun (Banglamung Police Investigator) was notified of a large scale travel agent scam operating in Naklua on Monday morning. The victims, all of Dutch, German and Austrian nationalities, informed the police after discovering that their airfares had not been arranged by the agent despite payment of approximately Bt60,000 each for the tickets.

Representing the group of victims, Mr. Johannes Jacobus [42] from Holland, informed the media that approximately 3 months ago, nine foreigners staying long term in Pattaya had arranged for airfares to their home countries, some included their Thai wives. Upon paying approximately Bt60,000 each to Mrs. Sutheera, the registered owner of the Lee Tour Travel Agent in Naklua, the group had been given their travel itinerary and what they thought was a copy of their airfare conformation (ticket). All nine of the group had booked their flights for the mornings of the 13th and 14th of June 2010.

The scam was only uncovered upon arrival at the check-in desk at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, where they were informed by airline staff that their tickets did not in fact exist and were probably never booked by the Lee Tours Travel Agency. Their attempts to get in contact with Mrs. Sutheera failed leading the group to approach local police over the obvious scam that had taken place. Some members of the group have now overstayed their current visa for Thailand which they had let expire expecting to pay a minor over-stay upon leaving the Kingdom.

Subsequent police investigations have revealed that approximately 50 people may have been scammed in a similar way by Mrs. Sutheera, who has since closed down her business and fled the area with an estimated Bt3 million in airfare payments. A warrant will now be issued for her arrest unless she voluntarily presents herself to the Banglamung Police Station by the 18th of June. Any other victims involved in the scam are urged to come forth to the Banglamung Police to file a report against Mrs. Sutheera.

Reporter : Yanwarrut   Photo : Yanwarrut   Category : Crime News

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