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Songkran Trip to Japan turns to disaster

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More than 1,000 Thai travellers were stranded at Bangkok’s busy Suvarnabhumi Airport, on the eve of Thailand’s annual Songkran holiday, when their holiday arrangements to Japan no-showed.

They thought they had bought packages from a travel agency and early media reports appeared to confirm that, but within hours it became apparent WealthEver, the organiser of the fake Japan tours has no connection with Thailand’s travel industry.

It probably represents the biggest holiday scam to hit Thailand’s holiday travellers. Tourists were visibly upset and angry when they realised they had prepaid between THB10,000 to 15,000 for packages that were fake courtesy of Facebook pages.

Credit Thai Rath

Tagged a travel agency, WealthEver turned out to be nothing of the sort. Media claimed it was a direct sales company and even a fortune teller, the latter ironic for the duped tourists. None of assertions proved true, but considerable damage was done to the good name of Thailand’s travel agency as a result of jumping to conclusions.

It was quickly confirmed that thousands of passengers stranded at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Tuesday night, had been scammed by WealthEver without any of the travellers asking for the company’s credentials. They had paid for the tours through bank transfers.

The Office of the Consumer Protection Board said there was no evidence that WealthEver had been registered as a direct sale company, while there was no listing for a travel agency called WealthEver on the Department of Tourism’s Bureau of Tourism Business and Guide…

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