Then we headed for a jewellery shop. I do not remember the name. It was a quite small shop. I did not buy any. After that we went to the Chinese temple. When I entered inside, a woman was praying and taught me how to pray and left there. In few minutes, when I was about to leave there she came back with a man. He tried me to stay there, then conversation began.
When I said I was Japanese, he started speaking Japanese fluently. I can speak English to some extent, so at first I talked to him in English. He said "My mother is from Thai, father is Japanese and lives in Tokyo. Today is the last special offer day. If tuk-tuk drivers take tourists to a jewellery shop, they can get gasoline coupon from the government, because the government want tourists to buy more jewellery with reasonable price.
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He have bought a jewel about , yen then went to Japan to sell it to where the jewellery shop introduced to him. He sold it for , yen. His aunt bought a lot of jewellery during special offer, then went to Europe to sell them. She went well. He asked me whether I watched this commercial on TV.
He said I could trust the driver. Nobody has no intention of cheating me.
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I trusted what he said completely, because I did not think Japanese will cheat Japanese. After that, we went to the jewellery shop. At first I was not interested in jewellery, but I completed believed that the government was running. In the shop, a Thai woman was buying a set of jewel and said to me "This is the second time I have bought jewel at this shop. When I bought the jewel last time I went to Switzerland to sell it and earn a lot of money. I needed ,B, but I could withdraw 90,B. It was limitation. The woman was a bit nervous.
Then we went back to the shop, I paid money and filled in the documents.
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A man who are charged of the shop said to me, "We will send you your jewel by EMS. When you receive it, the shop you choose will contact you when I can sell it to the shop. You can get ,B worth yen. I am in panic now. I cannot get enough sleep and lost a lot of weight. I hope next victim never appear.
Unfortunately, I have just been scammed and realized it after reading your website. I just can't believe how sophisticating the organized crime is I was walking around and wanted to go the weekend market, but the tuk-tuk driver convinced me that the market is quite far.
He offered to take me around temples for 30 baht instead, and alright there I went to this Big Belly Buddha Chinese temple. There a respectable looking Thai speaking fluent English approached me. He asked where I'm from, and said that he works in Bangkok embassy in Hong Kong.
Because I thought we came from same place, this is why he are very nice to me and tells me where I should go. And of course, he mentioned about the gem trade.
Before I left, the Thai man offer to take me out for dinner at 6pm, and when we both back in Hong Kong, he'll take me to Tsim Sha Tsui. He can even name a reputable jeweller in Hong Kong. He also told me he's leaving on the same flight but hinting he's flying first class. So I went to the store and the manager spoke to me. But a set of gems is expensive around , baht, I didn't have the money and thought the place was dodgy.
The manager told me this is the last of the 7 day sale which is open to public, and the store will close at 1. They are friends and we were just chatting. Then i started to ask them about the trade and disgustingly, the white man claimed that he has already done it for 3 times.
It is very safe and he have the company sent it back to the states. The Thai person confirms it's legit and they have both done it, it makes me think I'm a fool not to participate in it. If it wasn't for the American, I could have escaped the whole episode. I was going to max out my card to get the cheapest set, so they took me to ATM and gold shop.
Luckily, both cards have limits set and my Visa refused the transaction, so I was only able to draw 20, baht from the bank. So with that money, I bought 2 small sapphires and they convinced me to mail it home. I was very skeptical but was so tired, so I just let them. Later I went back and met the guy on Khao san road, and let him bring me around for dinner and drinks.
During the drinks, he flaunted how connected he is and, that how he wants to make more money. He also said if I don't make enough money from gem trade, he can bring me to the headquarter where I can use my card. He gave me his number and reminded me to meet up with him in Hong Kong to sell the gem. A couple of days later, I went back to Hong Kong and received my package.
I have not yet checked the price of the gem but I don't think I even have to now My friend and I were approached outside of the gates of the Palace by a Thai man wearing a shirt and tie. Since we both were wearing shorts, he told us that we wouldn't be able to enter the palace grounds unless we had pants on -- but it didn't matter because today the palace was closed He introduced himself as the Manager of the Palace - to which we just laughed and said "Whatever".
We didn't know who he was or what he wanted, but we knew that the real Manager wouldn't be outside dressed in long sleeve shirt and tie on a day when it was near degrees, wandering around chatting with tourists. Instead of seeing the Grand Palace, he said we should go to see another temple nearby or up the street. I don't recall the name of the temple, but he said it would just be 50 baht by tuk-tuk to get there.
He flagged a driver down who was waiting in what appeared to be a tuk-tuk queue and gave him instructions in Thai, since he allegedly didn't understand English.
This "Manager" of the Palace then told us that not only would we see a nice temple, but we'd be near a Government jewelry shop where we could purchase jewelry as part of a Government promotion that was only taking place that day. Even though the "Manager" was a bit shady, we figured at least it would be a ride in a tuk-tuk through Bangkok and we'd get to see city life mid-day -- worst case, we could jump out of the tuk-tuk if there was trouble.
Since we were pressed for time, we went back to the tuk-tuk and waited for our driver, who seemed to disappear somewhere. While waiting, another Thai guy approached us and asked us all the typical tourist questions Then of course, he told us about this special Jewelry sale.
It seemed like everyone we talked to knew about this special sale, but we didn't really question it since we weren't going to be making any major purchases. The tuk-tuk driver came back and this former exchange student told him in Thai to take us to that jewelry story - or it appeared as if he was saying something like that. When the tuk-tuk pulled away, we looked back and saw this man just walking around. Where was his car he had to move? We didn't see any car, nor was the tuk-tuk blocking any parking space.
That was shady too, but we didn't realize or suspect all these people could be connected in a big scam. We got to the jewelry story and went inside. It was a non-descript cement storefront with no signage or anything to identify what it was. I suspected it was like that for security reasons, but in any case, it was air conditioned and we were dying of heat. We were the only ones in the store besides about 10 salespeople. They offered us drinks and one man claimed to be from Washington DC -- citing a location of his Jewelry store at 16th and K -- something we'd recognize.
Luckily, because we had a flight to catch, we only had about 5 minutes to browse around the store. I saw a silver ring I liked. I used my credit card which I'm about to go cancel right now and the sale was completed.