Illegal Chinese guide falsely claims theft of 754,000 baht

Jihong Mao was arrested and charged with filing a false police report.
Jihong Mao was arrested and charged with filing a false police report.

An illegal Chinese tour guide was charged with filing a false police report after claiming a designer bag containing 754,000 baht was stolen from him.

Jihong Mao, 26, was arrested Jan. 4 a day after he claimed a Chinese couple took his Gucci bag containing US$20,000, 10,000 yuan and 70,000 baht.

The story he told police was that, when arriving at Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Dec. 31 he met and befriended the pair of compatriots and invited them to join him at his Pattaya hotel, despite just having met them.

He said the three went to Pattaya Beach, with the cash-stuffed handbag, on Jan. 2. While Jihong went in the water, he left the bag with his new friends, but forgot to reclaim it before they went back to the hotel.

Jihong said he didn’t remember the couple had his 754,000 baht until the next day and, when he went to their room, they had already left, taking his bag and his passport.

Skeptical police investigated and found the couple – Lian Yaxi, 27, and Li Yiying, 25 – at the Mind Premier Suites Hotel on Central Road Soi 12. They had no bag and told a very different story.

The couple had hired Jihong as a tour guide while still in China and they traveled together. However, once they arrived in Pattaya, the illegal guide jacked up the price of the tour by 1,000 percent and they got angry and checked out.

Lian and Li admitted taking Jihong’s passport, but only so they could report him to police. There was never a bag to be stolen and Jihong was lying, they said.

Under interrogation, Jihong admitted he lied, but only to get the attention of police so he could get his passport back. He did, but is now facing multiple charges.