Despite city hall pledges to crack down on Pattaya’s scurrilous jet ski rental industry, tourists continue to fall victim to scammers with a group of Ukrainians taking the latest beating from extortionists.
Police were called to the beachfront near Welcome Plaza hotel in South Pattaya Dec. 8 to find two female and one male 20s-age Ukrainians arguing with Sorayut Je-mad, 34, and Nattapoom Poomnok, 25. The two Thais were demanded the Ukrainians pay about 78,000 baht for alleged scratches to jet skis they rented in front of the Royal Garden Plaza.
When they refused to pay, the two allegedly grabbed one of the women by the neck and forced them back to their hotel by holding two of their friends hostage. Refusing to release the two people they “detained” until their fee was paid, the Thais only ended up facing the police after the victims contacted another Ukrainian friend.
Sorayut denied to police there was any physical assault, that the Ukrainians had agreed to the 78,000 baht fee and voluntarily left their friends at the beach while they went to retrieve the cash. Police demanding to see the alleged damage were told the jet skis had already been moved to a garage.
The “helpful” police officers involved “negotiated” the price down to just 10,000 per each of the three jet skis, sticking the Pattaya tourists with a 30,000 baht bill for supposed paint scratches and a bad memory of Pattaya they’re sure to tell people back home about.
The jet ski vendors were set free to find new victims.