My Locked Up Abroad moment.

It all started a week ago when I was Kathmandu between my Everest Base Camp trek and my Bhutan tour. I bumped into this dodgy Indian jewellery shop owner whilst wondering around the chaotic Thamel markets. I had a brief chat and I thought that was it.

When I returned from Bhutan I had all but forgotten about the shop owner until I again bumped into him. He invited me into his Jewellery store and we started to chat about my travel through Bhutan over a cup of tea. It started off all above board. He showed me through his shop and wanted me to by something. I picked out some earrings and and pendant for my wife. Turns out they were proper gemstones in silver and cost $500 AUD. I said thank you but I can not afford that, I explained that I was travelling cheap and that I have no money.  We exchange conversation and he said how much have you got I pulled out a $50 Aussie note and that is it. He said “ok, money is not important, you are my brother” So i got it for $50 AUD.

Thats is were the conversation turned south quickly. He said do you want to earn an easy $5K? My radar went up straight away, I new exactly what he was going to offer to me and I was not interested. This was his sales pitch:

Dodgy Shop Owner: I import gemstones into Australia and I have maxed out my import levels. So I want to do more business in Australia. So I will send you a package with “My Gemstones” and then I will just come past your house and pick up the package. It will be fine and I pay you $5K”

Me: Bubba, Thank you but no thank you. This sounds to good to be true and just doesn’t sit right with me.

Dodgy Shop Owner: It is fine, your government will not find out.

Then all of a sudden his brother walks in and started to put the hard word on me to do it. A little later his wife walks in and I was blocked. I could not get out of the shop. Bubba and his brother were really trying their hardest to get me to receive “the package”. Saying things like, “It will be just be gemstones”, “It will be just be a like you are sending some souvenirs home from your holiday” “you are my brother”. I new exactly what was going on and want out with out getting them worked up and it turning bad. I kept my cool an managed to get out safe and sound.

I am safe and sound and sitting in a coffee shop writing this now. So fellow travellers heading to Kathmandu, be aware, there are drugs and dodgy scammers everywhere in this city. Be alert and do not get involved, doesn’t matter how smooth and nice the dealers seem to be. They will tell you all levels of lies to get you to do there dirty deeds. You will be the one that gets done and they will be no where to be seen.

Be safe and enjoy your time in Nepal, aside from the dodgy people Nepal is an incredible place well worth the visit.

Have you been to Nepal? Have you got any crazy stories? I would love to hear them. Just comment below.

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Thank again,

One Life, One Search.

Shane

2 thoughts on “My Locked Up Abroad moment.

  1. Interesting story…my friend’s then 25-year old son fell for this exact same scam in 2005…paid $10K AUD for a bag of gems to be imported into Australia, and flew to Sydney.on receiving the bag of stones he waited for the instructions on where to take them to collect his payout…needless to say the instructions never arrived, and on contacting the Indian jeweller in Kathmandu (sound familiar?!) he was told the ‘Interpol was onto them and they all had to lie low for a while’… After some days he contacted his parents and fessed up what had happened, they took the stones to a Melbourne jeweller who confirmed that there were a few cheap gemstones in there, but that the ruby and sapphires were just broken glass, and nothing could be done. A very expensive mistake for a traveller to make, and even he couldn’t believe he fell for it. Your street sense paid off, and I hope other readers may be warned…if it seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is!

    • Wow that this is a sad story, something i hear way to often. These types of scams are very common in these countries and something that travellers need to be weary of. I hope my little story helps fellow travellers learn to see these scams and recognise them.
      I hope your friend still travels? I am certain he has learnt to be weary and hopefully has passed his knowledge on to his friends? I wonder if it was the same guy as my scam??

      Thank you so much for reading my blog and posting such an interesting comment. Its comments like yours that inspire me to write more stories.

      One Life, One Search,
      Peace Out,
      Shane

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