S.S.S. Jewelry Limited Partnership

S.S.S. Jewelry Limited Partnership
May 14, 2004

Via email: I would like to report about my misfortune incident for been involved in a gem scam just this Sunday (09-May-04). On that very morning, my wife and myself were happily preparing to visit one of Bangkok's famous tourist attraction - What Pho. After we had alighted from our taxi, when we were walking towards the main entrance, we were approached by this "nice" Thai man with a kid. He spoke good English and was offering to help us, although we didn't ask for it. He asked where we were from and where did we intend to visit for the day, seeing him being so friendly, we told him that we planned to visit the What Pho. But he told us that it was a Buddhist holiday that day, thus the temple was closed for prayers till 12pm. So he suggested that we hired a tuk tuk to tour other places instead, then return after 12pm. He suggested visiting places like the Standing Buddha, The Lucky Buddha, The Export Centre, then the Golden Mount then back to What Pho. And he even helped us to get a tuk tuk and bargained down the price from 80 baht to 30 baht. So we happily believed him and thought that we had met a nice Thai man. So we proceed to the Lucky Buddha.

Upon reaching the Lucky Buddha, we were told to walk around the temple for good luck. When we were doing our round, another "nice" middle age Thai man walk up to us. He told us he was a Thai working in Malaysia, and returning to pray to the buddha. He asked a lot of questions and finally saying that the Thai government was opening the export centre to foreigners to buy "cheap" jewelry, which he claimed that could fetch high price back in our home country and make 100% profit. And he even showed us a receipt of the shop where he bought a set of ruby jewelry which he paid with US$4500. And he told us that we should not miss this opportunity to make money. After a long conversation, we decided to proceed into the temple. And in the temple, we met with 2 more "nice" men, a Thai and a French. Both claims that they had, many years, bought the same jewelry from the same shop and make big money. And both showed me the receipts from the same shop.

So after leaving the temple, we were shown to this shop which was claimed to be the Export Centre by the tuk tuk driver - S.S.S. Jewelry Limited Partnership at 386 Visuttikasat Road, Banpantom, Pranakorn, Bangkok 10200. And talk to the manager, with the name of "Prayuth". He provided very "good services" and eventually "talked" me into buying a Ruby ring and a Ruby pendant for my wife, which cost me a total of 61360 Baht. And in the course of conversation, we did asked him why such a expensive Ruby will have lines in it, and he told us that it was like that. So we believed him as he looked really "professional". And because my wife preferred white gold, so the manager agreed to change the gold setting to white gold, and for me to collect the next Sunday (16-May-04), before I return to Singapore on Tue (18-May-04). And because my credit card had hit the limited, thus the jewelry was paid by my wife's credit card.

After leaving the shop thinking we had made a good deal, we proceed on to our other attractions. And eventually we were back in What Pho at around 2:30pm. And the tuk tuk let us down some distance from the main entrance of What Pho, and when we were walking to entrance, again we were approached by another "nice" Thai man. And he said almost the same thing as any other men we had met earlier. So this time I find it fishy, and choose to ignore him and observe him from a distance. And he turn out to be not a passerby, after we had ignored him, he just stood somewhere near and walk for his next "target". And then thinking back what had happened in the morning, I started to realised that I might had being tricked into the gem scam.

So the very next day (Monday, 10-May-04), I went back to the shop - S.S.S Jewelry - at 9:30am, just after they opened, and asked for a full refund as I still haven't collected the jewelry, which was schedule to be ready for collection on next Sunday, 16-May-04. But the manager only agree to refund 80% of what I had paid. I was very unhappy, but there was nothing I could do, until I read this articles in http://www.2bangkok.com/2bangkok/Scams/Sapphire.shtml#Latest%20News .

So I am emailing you hoping that you can help me to claim back the other 20% that I had paid, as I think the police can't help much. I had also CC this email to Singapore Embassy in Thailand, The Bangkok Post, Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association and to http://www.2bangkok.com for assistance, and alert any other potential visitors to Bangkok, Thailand.

More on the Gem Scam & maps to the scam stores

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