A number of industry members from Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia became victims of a fraudulent travel mart that was supposed to be held in Jakarta today.
A fraud event organiser called Sampoerna Events, managed by Simon Leung, Ernawati and Joshua (who was also known as Rian), promoted the ASEAN Travel Mart (ATM), slated to take place in Jakarta on February 22-23.
Adri Rivai, director of sales and marketing of Royal Tulip Saranam, Bali, who was one of the victims, said: “The proposal sent looked professional and the way they promoted the show was also convincing. The organiser promised there would be around 80 sellers from Indonesia and twice the number of buyers from ASEAN countries.
“My suspicion came when they still had not sent the list of buyers last Friday and by Monday the website could not be accessed any longer and the phones could not be reached,” he shared.
After Adri arrived in Jakarta yesterday for the booth setup, not only did he find out that the venue under renovation, the hotel also did not receive any payment despite receiving bookings from the organiser.
“The hotel told me the participants from Vietnam and Malaysia had to pay on their personal account in the end,” he added.
A similar story was related by Meitta Purwasanti, director of Pelayaran Wisata Maritim, who arrived in Jakarta three days before the show. “We (sellers) met (yesterday) to find solution to the problem,” she said.
The representatives from 18 exhibiting companies met with the board members of Indonesia Tourism Industry Association (GIPI) yesterday and together made a report to the police.
This is the first time such a modus operandi took place. Thirty-four sellers were registered for the show and they suffered a loss of some 400 million rupiah (US$30,769).
GIPI chairman Didien Junaedi expects all event organisers to report their events to the association and approved events will be uploaded on the GIPI website for participants to check.