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Bike hire outlets on Samui have been caught up in a scam that allows thieves to steal new motorbikes using old and outdated passports, an issue that has prompted a warning to bike hire shops in Phuket and Krabi.
Jurgen Weber, a Krabi restaurateur and the brother in law of the lady who owns the Samui bike hire shop speaking on her behalf said “two Russians turned up at the bike hire outlet and claimed to be renting the bike on behalf of a friend. The friend’s passport was produced as security for the Honda 150cc PCX when the bike was hired for two days from February the 2nd. However the bike was never returned.
”The immigration checked the details and informed me that the person named in the passport had entered Thailand in 2012 and left the country in 2012.
”Either the passport had been stolen after the person left the country or a second possibility – they use this method to steal motorbikes by intention.”
Patong Police Deputy Superintendent Akanit Danpitaksa said “I always tell rental operators that when they rent out a car or motorbike, the person renting must be the person identified by the passport I tell them not to rent out the bike if the passport picture doesn’t match the person who wants to rent it. If they’re in doubt, they should ask for another form of ID, the contract is very important” H
e offered this advice for those renting a bike “Read the contract carefully. Make sure you understand the conditions and all the fine print. If something happens later and you are liable, and your signature is on the contract, you can’t say you didn’t know.”
He went on to say that rental operators could photocopy renters’ passports, but were not permitted to hold them.