India warns citizens to keep away from Phuket jet-ski
Friday, 27. April 2012, 19:24
One of the strongest warnings yet for tourists not to ride jet-skis in Phuket or Pattaya has been published online today under the heading: 'Jet-ski at your own peril in Phuket and Pattaya
The cover story at the Indian site, bangaloremirror.com, goes on to add: ''Police are 'hand-in-glove' with the mafia.''
Some of the harshest language we've read is used in warning Indian vacationers, being attracted by the appeal of Thailand's beaches in increasing numbers, to stay away from jet-skis.
''The Eden of their dreams has a dark underbelly which reveals itself on the beaches of Phuket and Pattaya - a local mafia-run jet ski scam which has ripped off scores of foreign tourists,'' the article says.
''The racketeers' modus operandi is simple: they rent out jet skis, which have some damage in a not-so-discernible place, to vacationers at attractive rates.
The claim that insurance has brought an end to problems with jet-skis on Phuket is not accurate, according to honorary consuls and police and volunteers at Kathu Police Station in Patong.
Most often, claims on Phuket these days involve demands for the cost of the jet-ski being out of action. If tourists crash a jet-ski, the haggling over the cost of repairs can take hours, often with the jet-ski operators hurling insults and gathering around the tourists in numbers.
Where two jet-skis have been involved, the total cost is 32,000 baht - even if one of the jet-skis has only lost a layer or two of paint.
The magazine provides details of a case in which Bangalore man Raul Shanth and his father hired jet-skis in Pattaya, taking the precaution of photographing the jet-skis first.
Even though the father-and-son produced the photographs after the operator claimed the jet-skis had been damaged, the pair ended up paying.
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