Blue Dragon scam – December 2, 2004

Blue Dragon scam - December 2, 2004

It looks like I just became the next victim of the gem scam. My story is very similar to the ones posted on 2Bangkok.com.

As my boyfriend and I approached Grand Palace, we walked by the side entrance where there was a very friendly and seemingly nice old man standing there who told us that the Palace was closed until 2pm because there was some special ceremony happening and only Thai people were allowed. So he suggested that we go tour the other temples around the area and then come back. He made arrangements to have a Tuk Tuk driver take us around for a great bargain price of 40 Baht. He also went on to say that we should stop by "Thai Export" because you can find great deals there. Because he seemed sincere, we believed him and went on our way with the Tuk Tuk driver. At first, we didn't think much about visiting the Thai Export. It wasn't until we visited the temple near the National Museum that we ran into another seemingly nice guy who claimed to be a journalist. As we were heading to our Tuk Tuk to go to our next stop, the driver told us that he needed to go to the bathroom and to go ahead and wait for him at the Tuk Tuk. Right by our Tuk Tuk sat this seemingly nice guy who we happened to strike up a conversation with. He asked where we were from and what we had planned for the day. We told him we were heading to see the green buddha next and pointed out on the map. When he saw that "Thai Export" was marked on our map, he immediately asked how we heard about it. We told him that the man by the Grand Palace had suggested that we go there. We were curious about why he was asking and what that was. So, he went on to explain that "Thai Export" is a gem/jewelry export center where normally only people with retail licenses are allowed in. He asked if we had heard about the promotion going on and we said "no." He seemed surprised that we had not heard about the promotion because he said it had been advertised all over Thailand and that many Thai students and tourists come to Thailand this week to attend this promotion. He said this promotion was sponsored by the government to help fund Thai students for studying abroad. This was what had helped pay for his education when he attended school in England. When he was a student, he would come back to buy jewelry from this place and re-sell in England for 100% profit. He said that the this was the last year that the government and this company was offering this promotion because there are no more sapphires to mine in Thailand and this was a great time to get great deals on sapphires to save for the future. He went on to say that his friend flew in from New York this week just to attend this promotion. As a matter of fact, he and his mom were there this morning and had bought a ring and a necklace, which he could easily sell in the states for twice as much. He was so friendly and seemed very innocent that we believed him. We asked him for the exact name of the the company, and he told us it was the Blue Dragon Export. He said that if we wanted to buy anything we had to be there by 2 pm and it was the last day of the promotion.

When our Tuk Tuk driver finally came back from the bathroom some 15-20 minutes later, we told him to hurry along and take us to the Blue Dragon Export. When we got there, everything seemed legitimate and seemed like a trustworthy place. So we proceeded to look around and found a sapphire necklace and bracelet that I liked. The lady at the shop said that these were a good deal and they do not normally sell to tourists, except for today. She said they guarantee all the gems to be of good quality and would provide all the appropriate documents with the purchase. I was excited and thought it was a great deal and so decided to pay about 320,000 baht for both. We left the shop feeling happy with our purchase. At the time, we had no idea about the elaborate scam. It was when I was waiting in Seoul, Korea for my flight back to Seattle, that I decided to go on the internet and looked into the Blue Dragon. When I did a search for the Blue Dragon, it directed me to 2Bangkok.com. This is where I saw all the other victims' stories and realized I am a victim as well. As I was reading these stories, my heart sunk and I became so distraught that my boyfriend was so concerned about me. I felt so helpless and embarrassed that I allowed myself to be in this situation. I tried to call my bank to stop the payment, but because of the time difference, they were not opened. There was basically nothing I could do at that point in time. The whole flight from Seoul to Seattle, I was restless and crying most of the time. When I arrived in Seattle, I contacted my bank, but it was too late.....payment was already processed. What I am having to do now is file a dispute for the charges. I still have the jewels and all the paperwork and will try hard to get my money back just to keep my sanity and to see if any justice can be done.

I don't know if any of you can help me, but I'm begging for any help I can get. This situation has taken a toll on me and I don't know how I will overcome this. I am a wreck and haven't been able to sleep the last couple of days because of this. It just makes me so sick and angry that I do not ever want to come back to Thailand. Nothing is what it seems in Thailand. My perception of Thai people has been jaded and this is so unfortunate...

More on the Gem Scam & maps to the scam stores

This entry was posted in Gem Scam. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.