Gem scam account: TGJ Thai Center Co., Ltd. - August, 2000
We are following the case of TGJ Thai Center Co., Ltd. From an email we received:
Great website, I wish I have read/found it before I visit Thailand.
I would like to ask you to help me with getting my money back of T.G.J. THAI CENTER CO., LTD. I have a bill which have written on it (with a stamp) "if every thing not ok they will pay back same amount that I have paid". I might be able to visit Bangkok one day at the end of August. Can you advise me how to deal with this matter, as I am traveling alone and can stay only one day. I do not know whether the address on the bill is their right address.
Address of seller: TGJ THAI CENTER CO., LTD.
463/9-12 loog luang road, Bangkok 10300 Thailand.
Tel: +628-1484, 6281482 fax:+280-3619
See the certificate - Official-looking documents are one of the requirements of any scam in the developing world.
My story is very alike of the ones on your website:
After two great weeks of vacation in the North and South of Thailand we spend one day in Bangkok before we get back to The Netherlands.
On Saturday (17th of June at 14.00 hours) we were walking in the direction of the Wat Po. A very helpful student, said it was closed. He said that the temple close until 2 p.m. today due to the national Buddhist ceremonies.
But he said we were very lucky to be in Thailand because the Government had launched an Export Factory Promotion and we should drop by the exhibition.
The Student said the government had told tuk tuk drivers to charge a minimal fee to visit four temples and the exhibition to encourage tourists to go. The men flagged a tuk tuk down for us. During our second visit of a Wat, we met a Professor how asked us how we had got to the temple and we explained about the Export Factory Promotion and said the tuk tuk driver was waiting for us.
He said it was difficult for professors to go abroad because of their low salaries, but that he has traveled several times thanks to the Annual Export Promotion which sold tax-free jewelry to Thai nationals to help them finance trips abroad. The principle being to resell the jewelry overseas for 100 percent profit.
He said this had enabled him to travel to Amsterdam, where he worked for the government (showed his ID). He said he sold his jewelry to Diamond House in Amsterdam at a 150 percent profit.
He said export promotion has been extended to tourists--to encourage them to come back and spend more money in Thailand.
The tuk tuk driver took us there and a representative at the center gave us a crash course on Thai blue sapphires.
We bought 1 set of earrings and necklaces for 50.000 bath. Returned in Holland we found out the real worth of it: only 2500 baht.
So far we have found out that the TGJ Thai Center was closed (presumably by the police) sometime around July 4 or 5, 2000. It seems many people were cheated. The Nang Leurng Police Station (tel. 282-5105, 281-3002) is handling the case. The officer in charge is Pol. Lt. Ahjanah. He says there is not much he can do until they catch the scammers. He recommends keeping the pressure on by getting in contact with Khao Sut (tel. 954-3961-7) newspaper. They broke the story and are following it. We contacted them, but they do not seem interested in pursuing the story further. Sources at the Tourism Authority have in formed us that the gem dealers have reopened under another name, but they can't be sure.
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