The Songkran holidays are happening now in Thailand, but unfortunately for approximately 1,000 Thais who were looking forward for their holiday in Japan, they were left stranded at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok on Monday.
The estimated number doubled on Wednesday afternoon by the police.
It was reported that they have actually been scammed by WealthEver, a Thai supplement company who offered a holiday package to Japan for a heavily discounted rate.
The six-day tour was sold for just THB9,000 – THB20,000 (RM1,156 – RM2,570), when the usual price for such packages to Japan costs around THB50,000 (RM6,431). The tour was shared to the unsuspecting tourists through the LINE app and word of mouth.
Coconuts reported that the package tour includes a Cathay Pacific flight to Osaka, onsen experience, entrance to Universal Studios theme park, and a five-night stay in the five-star Universal Port hotel. The hotel price for one night usually costs at least THB4,500 (RM579) per night. We’ve said this countless times but if something sounds too good to be true, 99.99% of the time it is!
The six-day tour was supposed to start from 11 April – 16 April, but the travellers who arrived at the airport waiting for an exciting Japan trip was left sorely disappointed and angry.
According to Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, 470 people have already lodged a police report and police are investigating the case. The Samut Prakan police deployed more than 50 officers to the airport to help the airport and tourist police.
After checking, the Office of the Consumer Protection Board informed the public that the company WealthEver is not a registered company, they were never authorised to sell anything including the supplements they were selling previously.
WealthEver also took down their Facebook page as the hapless tourists were arriving at Gate 1 of the departure hall at 8pm at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Many of the unlucky tourists have already given up and are making their way back home. Some of the others who came from other provinces such as Chiang Mai and Songkhla are still trying to get bus tickets that will bring them home.
Based on Bangkok Post, the police have caught one of their executives Pasit “Shogun” Arinchalatis when she was escaping her condominium in Ranong and will be interrogating her.
Unfortunately, ‘holiday package’ scams are not unheard of. In fact they are pretty common and have happened in Malaysia before. So always be wary guys!