Fake football package tour swindles 30m baht from 10 devastated victims

Surachate, Image courtesy of Bangkok Post

An estimated 30 million baht has reportedly been swindled from ten individuals who booked a fraudulent package tour to watch a football match in England, according to authorities. Deputy National Police Chief Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn revealed that several victims faced severe financial difficulties after using their life savings to pay for the trip.

Surachate stated that the tour organiser has been apprehended, but it remains uncertain how the 30 million baht can be recovered to reimburse the victims. He also mentioned that similar scams involving fake travel packages have been on the rise since borders reopened following the pandemic, reported Bangkok Post.

One of the victims, Pallop Chuniam, approached the deputy national police for assistance yesterday. Pallop informed Big Joke that he and other victims had booked and paid for a package tour to attend a football match between Liverpool and Arsenal teams. However, they later discovered the trip was a hoax, and their attempts to secure a refund were unsuccessful.

Pallop explained that the tour was promoted on a YouTube channel featuring celebrities as presenters of the so-called “Happy Trips” to make it appear legitimate. He said…

“I was cheated out of 450,000 baht. Other victims paid varying amounts for the fraudulent tour.”

He identified the tour organiser as “Suksan,” whom he became acquainted with through contact via the YouTube channel.

Pallop was drawn to the promotional campaign offered by the channel, where he and three others could travel on the same trip for the price of three. However, they were required to pay the full amount in advance, which he did.

He transferred the money to the tour organiser in November last year, and the tour was scheduled to take place from April 6-13.

As the date drew closer, he did not receive any communication from the tour organiser. It was only after the travel date had passed that the victims demanded a full refund. Pallop said that although he could maintain communication with the tour organiser via a Line Chat app, the organiser refused to refund him, reports Bangkok Post.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.