Scammed by Komkien Gems and Jewelry
January 4, 2002
From a letter we received:
My husband and I returned from Bangkok on the 29th December 2001. We thought we would inform you that we were one of those who had been cheated by Komkien Gems and Jewelry. Their address on their so-called Certificate of Guarantee is 849/59-61 Chula Soi 6, Bantadtong Road., Phatumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand. Tel: 6123337 and Fax: 6123339.
Since you have taken the initiative to create an excellent website to warn visitors to Thailand of gem scams, we thought we would do our part in telling you our story. You must bear in mind, however, that in doing so, my husband and I do not seek any earthly help. We appreciate what you are doing, but wars against evil are truly victorious only when fought in the Spirit and not in the flesh. My husband and I are devout Christians. In all things that we do, we commit them first to the Lord. As stated in Proverbs 16:9 : A mans heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directs his steps. If God has still allowed this to happen, we believe that the time has come for Gods wrath to be poured on all those involved in this gem scam because He will work only where His own children have been harmed.
This is our story. When we wanted to get around on the first day we arrived in Bangkok, we boarded a tuk tuk. We agreed that it would be the first and the last time we boarded one because the man literally never took us anywhere we wanted to go, but insisted on taking us to places of his choice. Firstly, we said we wanted to go to Chinatown, but he took us to some Buddhist temple. Not wanting to offend the man, we got off at the temple and decided to merely stand at the threshold a few minutes to please the driver before we determined to tell him to take us to the shops at Chinatown.
My husband and I prayed our Christian prayers quietly to ourselves while waiting. A man from inside the temple approached us. He began the usual conversation about where we were from and began telling us how we should not miss going to the Komkien export shop to purchase gemstones. He claimed he had bought a chain and earring set and sold it at Poh Kong and another established jewelry shop in Singapore and Malaysia. He claimed he had made US$2000 from the sale.
I must say, prior to this, if my memory serves me right, the tuk tuk driver did mention Komkien. We are not jewelry buyers at all. I wear only gold and that too only a simple chain with a cross on it. Gems are furthest from our interest. The Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us abundantly and we could buy gems if we wanted to but we would rather our money be spent fruitfully and practically.
Anyway, after the Buddhist temple we now told the tuk tuk driver that we wanted to go to Komkien, mainly because we were looking for curtains for the new house God has blessed us with. So we thought the concept of an export shop was a whole array of stores under one roof and thought we might find good bargains. Since we were directed to Chinatown too by a local Thai who was not very certain the shops sold curtains, we thought we might have better luck at the export shop. When we went inside and saw only one shop selling jewelry, we were a little reluctant to stay, but since we were there, we listened to the lady who called herself, Nid, who we now know to have been spinning a whole load of rubbish to us. We were shown many gemstones to purchase.
We explained that we were not gem seekers. Not for ourselves or for business. She insisted they were having a promotion and just like the man at the temple, said it had been advertised on t.v. She claimed that many people bought gems from them for re-sale. She said even if we did not want it for ourselves, we could easily sell it for a high profit. It was perfectly legal. They had their own dealers and the Thai government controlled the sale of blue sapphires so their company was part of the government. Therefore they only opened to the public once a year and sold at great discounts. So tourists could make a perfectly legitimate investment and jewelry shops would supposedly pounce on our newly acquired gem. They flicked through a receipt book with countless names of people all over the world. Our hearts go out to these poor people. They even said they would send us a brochure for next years public opening. To think these crooks can actually wake up and go to a job where they cheat people everyday and then go home and sleep peacefully at night.
Finally we bought one stone costing about baht 23,000. Needless to say when we got back to Malaysia, none of the jewelry shops would accept the stone. It was not worth the price we paid. We began to get suspicious and only then checked the internet and that is when we found your website.
You may want to know another important point. During the next few days after we made our purchase, we met at least three other strangers on the street, at separate locations, separate times, totally random meetings, on the street, who advised us to go to these export shops. One also claimed to have made a profit from selling the gemstones in Malaysia. Can you believe the amount of people involved in this whole fiasco? From your website, stories even indicate how uncooperative the tourist police and other bodies are. This looks like a disease that has infected the whole nation. How sad for Thailand.
You may print our story if you like. Our hope is that if there are other Christians out there who have been affected and would like to pray along with us to bring down these evil establishments or need spiritual upliftment, they may write to us.
God bless you for your time and trouble in maintaining this website.