BANGKOK – Pol.Lt.Gen. Thitirat Nonghanpitak, commander of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB),has reported that police raided several jewelry stores and arrested 21 people in connection with a notorious tourist scam in Bangkok.
According to Khoasod News, police officers with search warrants raided three gem stores in Dusit district earlier this week and confiscated their financial documents for investigation.
The long-running hoax involves tuk-tuk drivers telling foreign tourists that famous attractions, such the Grand Palace, are “closed,” and then offering the tourists discounted rides around the city.
Those who fall for the con are then ferried to jewelry stores where they are sold poor-quality gemstones at exorbitant prices.
“When the tourists try to refund the goods, their requests are denied,” said Pol.Lt.Gen. Thitrat.
The managers of the three gem stores have been charged with violating Thailand’s consumer protection law for inaccurate description of goods, and 21 tuk-tuk drivers have been arrested and charged with illegal parking and causing nuisance to the public, Pol.Lt.Gen. Thitirat told Khaosod.
Pol.Col. Supapone Arunsit, commander of the Tourist Police, said his division has received many complaints about the scam from foreign tourists.