Filipino Tourists in Beijing Lost Over P1 Million Over Bogus Precious Stone Purchase

A group of Filipino tourists visiting Beijing, China lost more than P1 million to a swindler who sold them precious stones that turn out to be fake.

According to a GMA News report, the Filipinos were employees of an insurance company in Manila, hired a tourist guide on their four-day tour to Beijing. In between visits to attractions the guide brought them to a store that reportedly sold precious crystal and stones.

“Sa bus pa lang mino-motivate na kami na puwede namin maging investment or pamana [yung stones],” said one female victim who refused to be identified. She added that the owner of the store who claimed as a Filipino-Chinese, accorded them with warm welcome, giving them complimentary tea and other giveaways.

“Basta daw Pilipino ang nagto-tour doon, may pitak sa puso niya, kasi daw bibihira ang mga Pilipino na nagtu-tour sa Beijing,” the victim said.

“Pinainom niya kami ng tea, then parang as a token of appreciation na napunta kami sa store niya, nagbigay siya ng sample jade, na puwede namin i-chain sa amin, ‘yung parang pinaka-pendant,” she added.

The report said the group became interested in purchasing the jade gemstones because the owner offered it to them at a huge discount.

From a price tag of P1.3 million, a set was heavily discounted to P300,000. A crystal necklace worth P400,000 was sold for P70,000. Due to the value of purchase, the group received gemstones worth P100,000 as freebie.

The group reportedly had no doubts on the quality of products sold as they all had certificates of authenticity.

“Ang laki-laki ng kumpanya, naka-escalator pa nga. So hindi mo aakalain ganoon na manloloko.”

Another victim said they discovered the precious stones were fake only upon their return to the Philippines when they had them appraised by a legitimate jeweler.

“Masayang-masaya pa kami dahil yung experience namin [ay] parang nakamura na kami and masaya. Nung ma-search sa internet saka lang namin nalaman na marami na palang ganoong pangyayari, na hindi lang kami ang una,” he said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has already been informed of the case and has vowed to assist the victims, the report said.