Australia shoots Phuket jet ski scam video

23 Aug 2011

The Australian Foreign Ministry is in the process of creating a video that will warn tourists of the dangers of renting jet-skis on Phuket. Officers from the Australian embassy in Thailand shot film footage at Patong Beach earlier in the month, and say they plan to turn it into an online video that will alert visitors to the scams perpetrated by so called jet-ski mafias on Phuket and in Pattaya.  

Online blogs, complaints and videos are regularly posted in which people who have rented jet-skis are charged for damage that the craft had already sustained before the current rental. The success of the con by jet-ski operators has been so great that motorcycle owners are now trying the same tactics on tourists who rent out motorcycles.   

Tourist agencies from countries that send visitors to Thailand as well as diplomatic staff from various foreign embassies in the country have long warned of the jet-ski cons. The action of the Australians in making the video is seen as a condemnation of Phuket officials’ lack of action over the problem.

Honest jet-ski operators on Phuket say that the forthcoming video will harm their operations and they are being penalised for the actions of the rogue few. 

Larry Cunningham, the Australian honorary consul for the Andaman region that includes Phuket, said complaints about the rip-offs by jet-ski and motorcycle owners seemed to be never ending.  

Aside from the pre-existing damage con, hire operators are also alleged to have tried to extort exorbitant amounts of money for minor damage as well as stolen rented motorcycles, which had been parked overnight at the hotels of renters, with spare keys. 

Tags: Phuket jet ski scam

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