CHIANGRAI TIMES – An Elderly Couple from Australia, Betty and Albert Jager had visited Thailand before but their most recent trip was considerably different as the unsuspecting couple were drugged, robbed and left for dead.
During a holiday to Bangkok in June last year, the elderly Perth couple were enjoying dinner on their final night’s stay when they were approached by a friendly Thai woman.
Charmingly persuasive, the woman set her attention on Betty, describing a traditional dance show just minutes out of town.
“She was beautifully dressed,” said Mrs Jager.
“A lovely lady and very nicely spoken. She asked, ‘would you like to come along?’ ”
Deciding to try something new, the unsuspecting couple drove for 45 minutes, eventually arriving at a small restaurant.
There was a band playing modern music and a small crowd, but there was no dance show.
“I was just annoyed because I had no idea where we were, and Betty wanted to see the dance show – she told us it had been cancelled.”
It was then that the woman, whose name neither of the pair can remember, began offering them continuous food and drinks.
Assuring their host that they were not hungry, the three piled back into the taxi and began their journey home.
Driving for what Albert estimates was another half an hour, their taxi suddenly stopped and their host disappeared.
She returned a few minutes later with an open tub of yoghurt and some bottled water.
Mrs Jager said the woman remarked on how lovely the yoghurt tasted and gestured to the couple to try it.
“I said ‘no we don’t want any’, but she was very insistent so we both had a couple of teaspoons… and that’s all we know,” Mrs Jager said.
The next thing Mr Jager remembers is waking up in what appeared to be a hospital ward, with a drip in his arm and a draining tube attached to his urethra.
Initially thinking they’d been involved in a car accident, Mr Jager felt his hand for his wedding band and realised it was missing – they had been robbed.
He ripped the tubes from his body and desperately tried to wake his unconscious wife.
Calling out to nurses and security staff for information, no one could offer answers as to where they were or why they were there.
“Either they couldn’t answer me or they didn’t want to,” Mr Jager said.
With his groggy wife underarm he fled the clinic, and flagged a tuk-tuk back to the city.
They turned to Thai tourist police for help but were told nothing could be done.
It follows the murder of Perth mother Michelle Smith in Phuket last June, who was stabbed in the heart during a bag snatch, and more recently the supposed overdose death of an Australian man in Bangkok last week.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade had no figures on the instance of tourist drugging and robberies, but warn about the dangers of such incidents.
In the case of Betty and Albert’s experience, a spokesperson from DFAT said it would be inappropriate to comment or speculate on the incident.
The hospital that Mr and Mrs Jager were taken to or even why they were taken there in the first place remains a mystery.
“Maybe they wanted to take our kidneys,” Mrs Jager said.
The couple had around $2000 stolen from their credit card along with jewellery, including their wedding rings.
However, beyond insurance purposes, the couple chose not to report to Australian authorities.
Despite their frightening experience the couple say they will return to Thailand.
“I’ll fall for that only once in my life,” said Mr Jager.
“And it doesn’t matter where you are in the world,” added Mrs Jager.
“There are bad people everywhere.”
DFAT advise that any Australian who is the victim of a crime while overseas should notify local authorities, and may also contact the Australian Embassy or High Commission in that country.