Home Ecuador Forum Ecuador Guide Moving to Ecuador Real Estate Healthcare in Ecuador
Ecuador
Resources
City Guides
Cigna International Health Insurance
JoinSign In
Cigna International Health Insurance

Ecuador Expat Forum

Theft and dishonesty

Post New Topic
Royboy
6/5/2019 16:29 EST

For some time I have that thought that I should share a few of my personal experiences with you. You should probably be aware that people here in Ecuador have grown up in a very different environment than many of us and many, are lacking in honesty. The following are some of my experiences in this area, since living in Ecuador.

Several years ago I owned a shrimp farm in Esmeraldas. Friendly police officers, store owners and neighbors very often pried and ask alot about the shrimp, their size and the aproximate date of the harvest. This information gets around quickly and many times I had run ins with people on the property in the middle of the night with nets, stealing large quantities of shrimp. The larger the shrimp, the higher their. I finally put barbed wire anchored to posts just below the surface of the water around the most remote areas of the ponds so their nets would get caught and be irretrievable. That, as well as an armed Colombian guard and two really mean dogs helped curtail much of that. At harvest time, workers we hired had to be searched when they arrived as well as when they left to be certain they didnt bring in their own nets or leave with stolen shrimp. Our harvest there was done with boats on the river and though we didnt find all of the ways they stole from us, on one occasion I did find a large net full of my shrimp they had sunk in the river and tied to the boat with a cord.

After some time I sold the farm and used the money to buy property near Guayaquil to begin building a chain of hotels.. I tried to maintain tight control by requiring that each person who entered or left each day had their bag and person searched. Still, on the first construction site initially we lost thousands of dollars in materials. Including hundreds of bags of cement, porcelain tile, bondex etc.. I found that during the day, at times when I wasnt there, the employees loaded cement and other supplies in a small truck and sold it just down the road to another construction site for half its value. All the employees were involved or complicit except the one who stayed guarding the property at night. I fired all of them along with the contractor. Since then I have never hired another contractor. I now control each building site personally and handle the workers personally. I had been purchasing alot of wire for the electrical contractor who constantly said he needed more. Soon I caught him on camera, acting as a lookout while one of his employees placed a couple of dozen rolls of electrical wire in the trash and then carried the trash out to the street to presumably call a friend or to pick it up later. I fired them both and refused to pay them for the last week of their work to make up for some of the losses.. Later I caught a painter who had dropped a 5 gallon bucket of paint with a cord outside the perimeter wall so that he could retrieve it later. He also was fired. I paid to put in a concrete utility pole in front of the business and paid another $1,500 for a large transformer and mounted it and a light on the pole. A week or so later the power went out. A local electrical company utility truck was parked under the pole and 3 employees were removing the transformer. They claimed the transformer was illegally placed there and they removed and took both the transformer and the light leaving just my pole... I went into the local electric company to complain and they didnt know anything about it. They said that there are alot of thefts like this and suggested I make a report with the local police. Which I did. In the end, I simply purchased another to replace it and now have it anchored with an additional cable and lock.

One day, a constrction worker on his first day said he fell on the stairs and as he could barely walk, he needed to go home early. At the end of the day I found a couple of power tools a d their batteries were missing and realized the new guy had likely stolen it. Since his grandfather worked for me and had recommended him for the job, I went to the grandfathers home and asked to search his house along with a guard that I had brought with me. The grandson wasnt there and we didnt find the tools at the time. I told the grandfather to come to the construction site on the following afternoon and to find and bring the tools, or to simply collect his pay. The following day the grandfather came to work accompanied by a couple of male family members as well as with his grandson. They had beaten the grandson severely and had him apologize to me. I recieved the power tools a couple days later after having to pay a cousin he'd sold them to $50.00. I took the $50.00 out of the grandfathers pay over the next month.

Months later, when the building was open for business, during an inventory my wife found that more than 500 towels and a lot of sheets were missing. Not knowing which employees were guilty of the theft and which were complicit, my wife simply charged all 6 employees the $1,500 by docking each one a hundred dollars from their pay during the next couple of months. Since then and by increasing the number of cameras inside the business to 16, the amount of employee thefts has decreased dramatically.

A few days ago I placed a loaf of warm homemade bread in the business kitchen along with some honey. I sliced it and spoke with one of the employees and asked her to make sure each employee shared it. Later in the day the loaf and the honey were gone and no one seemed to know what happened. I found that the female employee had actually placed the loaf and the honey in her purse to take home rather than share it.... she cried and apologized and I didn't fire her.

I share this information with you not to make judgements, but simply to make you more aware. I personally find its best not to be too trusting and I do what I can to fair but also to hold people accountable.

Ed

Post a Reply

10abuse

kmoriarty45
6/5/2019 18:49 EST

I will not go into any lengthy anecdotes about the "honest" folks here but I will say that the ONLY reason my Ecuadoran wife and myself were able to build the additions on our home, and our casa de canna in the country at a very reasonable price, and within a reasonable amount of time was that she personally vetted every maestro. and one of us was always there to oversee the work.


They called my wife La Generala and she lived up to her name. She had no compunction about firing someone who she thought was ripping us off or not performing - this included her own brother!

Post a Reply

10abuse

expat health insurance from CIGNA

Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. With Cigna Global Health Options, you can create an international health insurance plan that's perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family.

Learn More Get a Quote

GringoinQuito
6/6/2019 09:22 EST

What I don,t understand is why take the $50 from the grandfather, if it was the grandson who commited the theft? It doesn't seem fair to me.

Post a Reply

01abuse

Royboy
6/6/2019 15:51 EST

GRINGOINQUITO
The employee brought his grandson onto the jobsite. On his first day, while working with his grandfather, he stole several hundred dollars worth of power tools. In the end the grandfather was responsible for the remaining 50 dollar debt. I held the grandfather responsible and I'm sure he will hold his grandson responsible. Whether you agree or not isn't really the point.

Post a Reply

20abuse

GringoinQuito
6/6/2019 20:21 EST

No wonder you're looking for friends.

Post a Reply

01abuse

Royboy
6/7/2019 06:35 EST

GringoinQuito

I apreciate your comments. You seem like a real gentleman.

Post a Reply

10abuse

expat health insurance from CIGNA

Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. With Cigna Global Health Options, you can create an international health insurance plan that's perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family.

Learn More Get a Quote

Egoandid
6/7/2019 13:10 EST

Funny post.
Gringo capitalists are the leaders in theft, dishonesty violence and exploitation ...world wide.. and your dissing Ecuadorians?

Post a Reply

02abuse

CeridenNilsson
6/7/2019 13:17 EST

Good comments, everyone. As a PhD depth Jungian psychology student who sometimes lives in Quito and is studying expat motivations in multiple regions now as the key months of my fieldwork here, I am now here intentionally for a long period of time, compared to my original coming and going to see family and friends and enjoy Ecuador on shorter vacations. Many things are becoming clear to me that I did not see as a sightseer and traveler who dramatically enjoyed the beautiful weather, friends, sights, foods, and wonderful locations with interesting circumstances and overlooked many of the realities. The theft, the lack of boundaries, the need for vetting workers, keeping close watch constantly on possessions, and supervising everything, the aggressive feral animals on the streets in huge numbers, from Quito to Cotacachi to Vilcabama, everywhere. Two attacks recently: my sister, an experienced expat who loves cats, took a beautiful black cat into her home and was two days ago attacked, badly and violently bitten and scratched by him after 8 months of her love, care, and feeding...she did not see it coming. While I was running in Cotacachi, before interviews, for my morning cardio, on a perfectly beautiful morning in a lovely quiet part of the town, I was viciously attacked by two huge dogs, that I also did not see; they were hidden, sleeping in a recessed doorway; that morning, I was defenseless, although usually I carry rocks in my pockets to fend off intruders and feral animals. These shocking, painful, bloody, now-infected, and unsafe episodes seem to counteract what I have known about Ecuador as a kind of safe, friendly, varied paradise, when more of a frequent visitor rather than a semi-expat on assignment. What is developing in me is a new view of what paradise means on the earthly plane, and how there are things to be wary and watchful of. Do not fall asleep again, said Rumi. What strikes me, as in the last part of the poem, is that Ecuador is at the portal between the two worlds. We must be watchful and we can be relaxed, but the two experiences must blend or we cannot be satisfied, happy, or fulfilled here. It is a journey of individuation similar to the hero's or heroine's journey; at times we are strong, then vulnerable, then helped, then in the cave, then back out into the light.

Here is the full and beautiful poem by this Sufi mystic from the 13th century:

“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don't go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don't go back to sleep!”


? Rumi

Post a Reply

10abuse

kmoriarty45
6/7/2019 15:22 EST

Living in "paradise" does not mean you can live obliviously to the harsh realities that exist everywhere - including Ecuador.


I can understand the dogs attacking a jogger - it's instinctual for a dog to charge after a moving target. Sadly, you were the target de jour. This could have happened anywhere, which as a runner, you know. It's one of the reasons people use the tracks in stadiums and parks for their daily runs and jogs or in my case walks.


The incident with the cat and your sister immediately prompted a question in my mind. Did your sister ever take the cat to the vet, prior to the attack, and have the cat checked out and inoculated against feline distemper?


Taking in any stray - kitten, puppy, or adult animal should include a trip to the vet for a checkup and vaccinations. I speak from many, many years of experience in adopting and taking in stray animals of all sorts. The few dollars spent at the vet will save you not only money but grief and worry in the long run.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Fredonia
6/11/2019 14:08 EST

I would not own a business or even a house in Ecuador. You are, and will always be, a target. Unless you are fabulously wealthy and have strong ties to Ecuadorian families, limit your liability to be hurt, financially or physically. I've decided to pay more and stay in the states. In closing, though, I can see where the mentality comes from to take advantage of the gringo and can't really blame them. If they only knew how their friends and family were being treated here - like dogs. It's a wonder they don't do worse things to the expats.

Post a Reply

13abuse

JedEcuador
6/15/2019 20:28 EST

Why be a target in a foreign country when you can be a target in your own country?

Post a Reply

00abuse

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Ecuador.

International Moving Companies

Moving to Ecuador? Get a moving quote.


Mail Forwarding to Ecuador

Mail Forwarding to Ecuador.


Expat Tax

Expat Tax Preparation, Expat Tax Professionals

Join Today (free)

Join Expat Exchange to meet expats in your area or get advice before your move. It's FREE and takes 1 minute!

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Ecuador from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

17 Tips from Expats about Moving to Ecuador

We asked expats in Ecuador for advice for newcomers. From cost of living to what to bring to culture shock, their insight is a must read for anyone thinking about moving to Ecuador.
We asked expats in Ecuador for advice for newcomers. From cost of living to what to bring to culture shock, their insight is a must read for anyone thinking about moving to Ecuador. ...

Moving to Ecuador: Tips for Newcomers in Ecuador

When it comes to getting an insider's perspective on expat life in Ecuador, our Ecuador network is the place to post! With hundreds of posts each month, members cover current events, moving and relocation advice and much more!

When it comes to getting an insider's perspective on expat life in Ecuador, our Ecuador network is the place to post! With hundreds of posts each month, members cover current events, moving and reloc...

International Schools in Ecuador

From the American School of Quito to Acadamia Cotopaxi, we cover the most popular international schools in Ecuador.

From the American School of Quito to Acadamia Cotopaxi, we cover the most popular international schools in Ecuador. ...

Expat Advice about Crime & Safety in Ecuador

Advice from Expats in Ecuador about Safety, Security and Crime in Ecuador.

Advice from Expats in Ecuador about Safety, Security and Crime in Ecuador....

Retirement-In-CuencaAn Expat Shares What it's Like Retiring in Cuenca, Ecuador

A retiree talks about what it's like living in Cuenca, Ecuador - she enjoys the slower pace of living, lower cost of living, climate and that she has friends from all over the world.

A retiree talks about what it's like living in Cuenca, Ecuador - she enjoys the slower pace of living, lower cost of living, climate and that she has friends from all over the world. ...

Moving-To-SalinasAn Expat Talks about Moving to Salinas, Ecuador

An expat talks about moving to Salinas, Ecuador - the lower cost of living, beach life and what to bring to make it feel like home.

An expat talks about moving to Salinas, Ecuador - the lower cost of living, beach life and what to bring to make it feel like home....

Ecuador Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2019 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal