In Pattaya, I continued my progression in a city that I did not master. It did not disturb me, and I made contacts everywhere to offer my computer services. It was not as easy as hoped, but I was not discouraged. I then received a phone call.
My interlocutor, a certain André Lampiri, said he had heard about me. He did not tell me how. This surprised me since not many people knew my phone number in Pattaya. He added that he would need my services for a semi-industrial application. He asked to see me quickly at his home. Naturally, I was enthusiastic, and we made an appointment for the afternoon. He offered to come with my friend, adding that our women will get to know each other. If it happened today, I would think right away not to leave the house empty.
I was happy with this call. I was not worried about not knowing how this man could have my contact information. I immediately told my friend that we had an appointment during the afternoon and at 14:30 we were gone. Half an hour later, we arrived at our destination. André Lampiri was a man in his fifties, or more, rather handsome man. He described himself as a French businessman, industrial engineer. He had a project to submit to, and we went to his computer.
Faced with this one, André Lampiri, showed me pictures of a kind of big eggs. He told me that they were sensory relaxation boxes. Once closed, the box released, for the person installed inside, scents, water, atmospheres. All this was managed by a control panel, located outside the box. André Lampiri asked me if I could program this control panel. I also had to take care of all the valves contained in the box. He asked me to confirm if I was comfortable with this project and he asked for a quote. I was of course very enthusiastic.
When our meeting was over, we left. I was happy to have found a new contract, but several things disturbed me. How did André Lampiri know me? The two times I asked him the question, he bounced back on something else. Regarding these caissons, he had shown me nothing concrete or material. What he showed me came from websites that had nothing to do with him. However, André was rather nice, and I made him his offer.
Days passed, and I had no news of Andre Lampiri. I sent him several reminders by mail and phone. He replied that his project was a little delayed. It was possible, but it was something more among the strange aspects of this case.
I almost ended up forgetting André Lampiri when he called me back to ask me to come to his place. However, once we were in his house, I learned that he did not call me for his project. He was, he said, still blocked by the absence of another individual. I did not have any reason to ask myself if this excuse was real.
He wanted to see me to talk about a French company he knew very well. They would need a programmer of my kind for a semi-industrial application. He asked me if I was willing to take this kind of mission. There was no reason for me not to be. So I accepted. He immediately told me that he would inform this company and that they would contact me quickly, and we went back home. I turned on my computer, and I found an email from the technical manager of this French company. Only something surprised me. My interlocutor, a certain Eric Collier, told me that I had met Nicolas Triche about a semi-industrial project. He begged me to call him back as soon as possible.
I did not meet Nicolas Triche, but André Lampiri. However, I realized it was the same person. I did not stop on this question. So I called this Eric Collier, being too impatient to have a serious project to start.
Eric Collier described me on the phone his need. I had to develop the new version of a cash register management program for discotheques. He also explained this program was also connected to ticketing systems at the entrance and to alcohol dispensers. These should also be replaced by a new version. I should integrate them into my programming. According to his former programmer, this mission would require fifteen days of work in France. He inquired me for a quotation to go to France for a fortnight. I told him we would have to add a week of tests and corrections and that I would make a quote including this. He asked me to do it as soon as possible because they wanted to launch the production of the new devices.
After hanging up, I was working on a quotation for this work and this trip. I went to the Internet and started writing the quote. I chose to apply a daily rate far below the usual price of the French market. I lived in Thailand, and the money was not the same value. That's also why they chose me. It still meant, in my eyes, a nice amount of money and I asked, a deposit in case of agreement and payment of airline tickets. So I sent my quote hoping they would accept it.
The answer was fast. The French company agreed and asked me how to pay my deposit. I rushed to communicate it to them, and they did just as rapidly to pay it to me. All this has gone far too fast. I did not realize the trap I had just fallen into.
As a result of the payment of this deposit, the technical manager, Eric Collier and I, exchanged several phone calls. The latter spread over several days and gradually, he disclosed to me more details about my mission.
I finally understood, in several stages, that my work was about the realization of a program of VAT fraud. It was destinated for cash registers and faked alcohol dispensers. This system was running for a very long time, and the inventor of all this was André Lampiri, aka Nicolas Triche. He told me that hundreds of customers should benefit from the new version. The internet allowed me to put a name on this vast organization. I finally understood I had been badly trapped.