Beware the Sanky!

The Dominican Republic is rife with Sanky Pankys. The term Sanky Panky is derived from the English expression “hanky panky” (to fool around) and the Spanish expression “saca panty” (takes panty). So just what is a Sanky Panky exactly and why are they best avoided? The short answer: a sanky is a male gigolo who solicits on beaches and other tourist hot spots like shops, restaurants, bars and hotels. The long answer: a sanky is a master manipulator looking to extort as much money as possible from foreign women visiting the DR. They hustle hard and they hustle well. They can be Dominican or Haitian and, in my short experience, vary in age. They are not prostitutes per se as the woman who involves herself does not necessarily know her guy is a gigolo about to take her for ride, both literally and figuratively. There are no open negotiations about exchanging sex for money. Instead, a sanky creates a pseudo-relationship with a foreign woman – or often times, many women simultaneously – using his charms, looks and one-liners. He tells her she is beautiful and unique. He tells her something about her makes him feel alive in a new way. He takes her Bachata dancing. He dotes on her, calls her baby, and says he’s falling madly in love with her. Many women fall for it hook, line and sinker because let’s be honest, Dominican men are gorgeous and rumored to be incredible lovers. She develops real feelings falling head over heels for her amazing, new Dominican “boyfriend” without knowing that he is faking it completely. He may even take her to meet his family. He most likely has several other women (or men) in the wings, numerous cell phones, a Dominican wife or live-in Dominican girlfriend, and numerous children as well. But she knows nothing of this and it’s too late because she’s hooked.

When the woman’s vacation is over, she returns home.  The “relationship” with her sanky continues long distance with him hoping she will return to the DR annually to visit. Many do. Meanwhile, the extortion begins. First he loses his phone and can’t talk or chat with his beloved so he asks her to wire him money for a new phone, which she does obligingly. Then his mother falls deathly ill and his family can’t afford the hospital bills. Then he gets arrested and needs bail money. (I’ve heard of one woman wiring $1,000 USD to bail her sanky out and he had shot another woman with a .22!). Then he lost his job and can’t pay his bills. Lather, rinse, repeat. If a sanky has 4 to 10 rotating “girlfriends” wiring him money consistently, visiting him annually with gifts in tow, he’s created a pretty lucrative business for himself which requires a level of skill and tenacity to keep it all afloat and avoid overlap. Love doesn’t factor into it at all for him and he will hustle his girl(s) until she no longer sends money, at which point he leave her abruptly and set out for fresh meat.  The woman is left devastated emotionally and oftentimes financially as well.

Some sankys have a larger objective of getting a visa and a one-way ticket out of the Dominican Republic. The DR is a poor nation with most Dominicans earning just $180 USD per month. 40% of Dominicans are living at or below poverty. This creates financial desperation and a longing for a better life elsewhere. If he hustles well, he may eventually marry his foreign woman, obtain a marriage visa, and leave the DR for her native country. He will stay with her until the gettin’s good at which point he will split leaving her in ruin emotionally, and, if he’s had a chance to drain the bank account, she’ll be left in ruin financially too. The whole ordeal was an act of deception, deceit and dishonesty. I’ve heard horror stories ranging from tourist women being impregnated before they return home from their vacation (a sanky’s golden ticket) to women losing their entire life’s savings only to be left to raise their sanky’s children on their own. Dominican women certainly run a similar game as well with love-starved middle-aged gringo men. Some refer to them as “sankiettes.” And yes, there are variations of this type of love scam all over the world, but it seems to have taken a very sophisticated level here in the Dominican.

Lindsay de Feliz is a delightful and insightful woman I met in an Dominican expat Facebook group. She’s been living in the DR for over 10 years, has a delightful Dominican husband (of course not all Dominican men are sankies) has authored a page-turner about her incredible journey entitled What About Your Saucepans and blogs frequently. Check out her article Ten ways to spot a Sanky Panky in the Dominican Republic

The bottom line is this: When it comes to romance in the Dominican Republic, whether you are male or female, looking for a fling or something serious, you best proceed with ultimate caution. Don’t get sankied! Have fun, use protection, keep your head in the game and don’t get blinded by the Dominican Voodoo.


82 thoughts on “Beware the Sanky!

  1. One thing this article is missing out: Sanky Panky can be females too, even though is more likely that these women looking for a real relationship than men. But is still a point to be aware.

    1. Si, claro Wilbert. Women run game here as well and you can see many young, beautiful Dominican women with older, less attractive gringos. I’ve spoken to some of these couples. The men seem to think their “girlfriends” are authentic, but most I’ve chatted with have met online and rarely share the same fluency in English or Spanish. Someone once referred to the women as ‘sankiettes’. Prostitution exists as well but that’s more straight-forward. I’m fully aware women are scheming too, but my article was written about Dominican men specifically and the numerous personal accounts I’ve read of foreign women who’ve been devastated by their entanglements. I don’t think the men experience such devastation and I’d go so far as to say I bet they are getting what they want outta of the deal.

      1. Unfortunately while your article is accurate and point on, your reply leaves an air of feminizing on your part and overshadows what otherwise is a great story. I am the male victim of a Sankiette. More over, I ‘ve come to learn that there are thousands of similar stories like mine.

        I am currently a single custodian dad who lost over $100,000, my retirement account, supporting a Sankiette. The minute she got to the United States, she would stage unexplained fights often striking first in the hopes of a retaliatory response. The minute you hit back in defense, they call the police and use the stringent domestic violence laws against you. They get orders of protection, you pay child support, you pay mortgage for the house they get to stay in, and you get booted out of your own home and leaving you penniless.

        While I was the victor in my case because I did not hit back and our daughter testified to what really was taking place in the home, I lost a professional practice (optometry business) because of all the court appearances and other related tasks that needed my personal appearances. The $100,000 was the money that I wired to “support” my fake family including the Sankiette’s father. She played
        me like a fiddle. “My father is going to kick me to the streets if he were to find that I am pregnant out of wedlock.” Then, my father says that now that I am married, I must get my own home.” This goes on and on. All the flights to visit, the hospital bills, medicine, food, clothing, etc.

        I write all this because we (men) are not all in it for the sex. I am middle aged but the truth is that I did not want to die alone and I was truly looking for a good woman. Today, I honestly believe that there are very few good women in the Dominican Republic. I do not say this out of bitterness. I write this because of the countless stories mimicking mine. I write this because the women of the Dominican Republic seldom marry a native Dominican. He’s retitled to be called “my cousin,”El Primo.” They will bear a natives child, act like a wife, all while waiting for the great hope that a foolish man like me marries them for a visa. Once mission is accomplished (visa) they stage a domestic violence event, boot the “gringo” and petition for their “real family. Nuff said.

      2. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry you experienced such devastation and loss. Of course, I write in the perspective of a woman because I am a woman, but that is not to say this doesn’t happen to men as well. As you’ve clearly experienced, it does and it is not uncommon. It happens a lot here in Thailand where sankiettes are doing the same thing — using men for money, businesses, visas, opportunities, then draining their bank accounts, removing their names off business titles, and disappearing with the financial gain. Sadly, we live in a world where some (men and women) are at a socioeconomic disadvantage and will use others to get a leg up in life. There are so many men, like you, who have very sad stories about women who took advantage of them. There are many women with the same experiences too, and they, like you, are often stuck with the children made from these faux relationships. It’s truly disturbing. Thank you, again, for being a male voice here and coming forward. I’d love to hear more from men like you. I’d love to hear from all victims on what can be done to prevent this. Warnings, red flags, things to look for, how to protect oneself, because we all want love but how do we keep ourselves from being blinded?

    2. The women don’t do it so much for visas they are more interested in having a provider and not having to work. Very few enter another country and leave their husbands.

  2. From experience. ..and living there for 7 years. They are horribly inept and selfish lovers once they hooked their partner. It’s all about what you can do for them and you might as well be a blow up doll. Another thing that women should be aware of: many sankies don’t care if they sanky a man or a woman….please protect yourselves.emotionally, financially and sexually. Also many young girls move down, move in or marry their Sanky, get pregnant, which is his golden ticket, and end up being rutally beaten and abused for something as simple as asking where he has been all night or not having his dinner ready for him, and usually need to be rescued by family members before they leave.

    Another thing, most sankies work in tourism so they can easily meet prey; hotels, tours, transfer reps.

    If he spills his sob story, tells you he loves you and goes out with you expecting you to pay for all, all within your visit…..,run away!

    1. Thank you for commenting April! I’d love to talk to you more if you have direct experience. It’s true, while some like to jest about sankies, they are actually quite devastating and criminalistic. A lot of women get entangled in this mess and some even more than once! Some women are impregnated. Others lose thousands of dollars. Some get attacked with acid from the sanky’s ex wife or another Dominican girlfriend. The question begs, what can be done to reduce or eliminate this cultural phenomenon? I think we start with awareness and educating women not to fall into the trap. In a country where 40% live at or below the poverty line earning modest wages each month, I don’t think corruption and scheming here will ever fully dissolve. Where there is desperation, there are desperate measures. Regardless, sanky behavior is atrocious and I wish the Dominican government would step up its game to protect its tourists interests and make it harder for these hustlers to hustle.

      1. You don’t know what you talking about, thats not the real true. Too many women and men come to DR to get beach guys and have some fun with them thats the real point. If some one fall in love with one of those guys is because she or he wanted.

      2. I just found out that my husband is a sanky. I speak fluent Spanish. I thought it was real because he was eloquent, and we could communicate in our native language. I thought the connection we made was real. I met all his family. His grandmother, aunts and uncles, cousins. And I thought their family embrace meant this was the real deal and he wasn’t hiding another girlfriend or child away somewhere. Turns out the family was involved. To Chellos point, I fell in love because I wanted to, but that doesn’t excuse his horrible deception. He delivered an oscar-worthy performance, but I was still willing to believe it. While some might salute him for being smart, I am a human being, with a life, and emotions, and he abused my trust. Abuso de mi confianza, de mi bondad, y de mi amor. I know I am not the first to fall for this, but I really wish I was the last.

      3. Beth,

        Thank you for sharing. I’m so incredibly sorry to hear of your experience. It’s such devious, criminal behavior that ruins hearts and lives. I wish these fuckers would be held accountable by the law somehow. I believe your sanky will meet his karma one day. And if you are lucky, you will get to see it play out. The trust factor for you will be forever altered, but you will survive, heal and thrive again, with time. I hope you didn’t have children with him. Divorce his ass. Report him to immigration and have his sanky ass deported back to his home country. Is he Dominican? Cut all ties. Block him from everything and block all associations. Cut the cord and never look back again. A new chapter awaits…forward ever, backward never. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Xo

  3. Great article, it’s very realistic. I’m dominican and encourage any tourist that wants to have a good time to do so (with a consensual adult) but to be aware of these scams wich are very common.

    This is a beautiful country and if you can manage not to be entangled with this type of character, you’re gonna have a great time.

  4. Hy im Dominican and I get a sickening feeling every time I see women letting these douchebag sanki pankis mess with their heads and purse. I do believe we as dominicans should stop this cultural happening but let me tell you ive also seen examples of tourists both male and female who visit the DR especifically to look for a dominican sanki to satisfy their sexuall needs so its both ways Dominicans are to blame for sure buts its gotten to a point where you have people coming here looking to get sankied and they have no problem with it.

    1. Thanks for commenting Daniel. You bring a valid point about foreigners (both men and women) coming here to find love or sex or both. They are certainly participating – some even get sankied more than once. That is not to say it’s okay to manipulate people to devastation.

  5. Loneliness is what pushes these women into DR waters, those guys make them feel special even if for a short period of time during their vacation. The problem is, better have someone in the family monitor the relationship, so the lady doesn`t drain her account into the Sanki`s….

  6. Oh Sanki Panki, old, known rewritten story .
    Yes, the description is very true. Dominicans are able to be in the eternal love, as long as some one pay for them. But I can assure you, that 50% relationship of 2 Dominicans are in the same way. Sanky Panky job are for many Dominicans the unequaled way to attempts family, pay medical bill, or simply survived. They travel to beach towns where tourists are, and selling their body for money. It is their only option….. But let’s looks at tourists !!
    Is it really them, it is sacrificing ??…. What represent a person who has to pay for sex and a moment of love? or how commendable are those, that come here, just to satisfy their sexual fantasies to cheaper money?? What about those that come here as a sex tourist traffic, with travel sold by Travel Agencys in USA and Europa.. People come here for sex orgy with children !!! Most of this children will be hurt forever ..Who is sacrifice ??? Let me hear, who is sacrificing ??? rich bitch, nobody wants, so she need to
    pay for a man and love, or just maybe she was in hell relationship with her compatriot and she need just let it flow…or is it all dominicans fault, because they satisfied hungry tourists and use it as survival !!! Open your eyes !!! – it is matter of Supply and Demand Deposits…Demand falls – Offering fall, Its easy to understand!!! for me it is a very simple definition
    for people from civiliser country with an OK-education…. And the last thing – I hope that Blogger has permission to use this photo of the woman as having fun with this young man, using of photo like this, by the Human Rights Convention, are qualify for “violation of privacy”

    1. We are not talking about sex tourist, perverts, or child molesters this topic is about local men or women who prey on tourist for a financial gain or visa. They trick, manipulate people into sending them money with all kind of lies and the victim is any person that is not familiar with their MO.

  7. There is actually a book about this eleven years ago. It’s called “What’s love got to do with it? Transnational desires and sex tourism in Dominican republic” by Denise Brennan and provides an in depth analysis of both men and women who are sanky pankys.

  8. Not trying to be rude or anything like that but who you choose to spend your time when come down to the DR is your choice. If you wanted to get together with the most uneducated, weird and funny looking person to have FUN and then fall in love that’s your problem…

  9. Women traveling anywhere in the world have to ask about the men of their interest’s education, work, and family before entering into a relationship (Just as in any relationship in their native countries). Not all Dominican men are up to steal from women and forget what love is.

    Generalization is never good.

    1. Of course Lina, not all Dominican men are sankies and no one is suggesting that, least of all me. There are plenty of good Dominican men and I know several expat women who’ve been married to Dominican men for a long time. But this blog is specifically about sankies so that is the focus.

      1. What I mean is that even some “sankies” that their main focus was primarly emigrating, treat well their women by starting a new life together abroad (they both take good benefits from that relationship. I know happy couples).

        I also meant that you should make it more clear that they have to indagate more in their lovers as if they would do in any part of the world as opposed to say that all black men in a Dominican beach might steal from naive white women. (By apereance and apporach they have to know that nothing good comes form a men doing that. Even American and European men talking quickly about love and money are a red flag! So it’s not just about Dominican black men).

        Good job informing women. Keep blogging!

  10. Those dudes are atrocious. They do it for sport, and get paid in the process. But many gals know exactly and way before hand what they are getting themselves into: a quick fix in a foreign and sometimes exotic land, where both morals and the law are as loose as a moose in the plains of Alaska. But your article is good. Thing is, how much do you baby an adult?

  11. Hi, I live in the Dominican Republic, and I must say you’re like 25 years behind. Right now, you hardly see sanky pankys, and they are not so into that game anymore. I think men and woman can have a resonable thinking to decide whether it is a good relationship or not, especially these days where you have all the information of anyone in google.

    Yes, some people do this, ass they do in so many other countries, but in my opinion I think this is a little exagerated and old.

    1. I disagree Natasha. I’m not 25 years behind the game. I’m here on the ground in the Dominican Republic and I’ve been approached by at least a half dozen sankies. I’ve gone so far as to out on the town with Dominican men to see what the game is these days. And I’ve talked to dozens of women who have been affected. The sanky is alive and well and flourishing. If you are outside of the tourist area, then perhaps you are not seeing what’s going on.

  12. I’m sorry to admit that the only thing the Dominican government is interested in is getting reelected. Crime and corruption are the order of the day there and nothing is done to solve those problems because the authority and those in power are only interested in improving their own lives at whatever cost,

  13. Your post is great but I think that happen worldwide, I can mention a lot of differents country. That’s why in the US you can find laws that protect people from those kind of scams. The thing is in Dominicana Republic they have a name for that type of scams, period.

    1. Of course this exists worldwide in different forms, Doug. In Thailand, where I lived and worked for 3 years, it is the women who run the game emptying the bank accounts of many a lonely, love-starved middle-aged Western men. But I’m a travel writer and I’m in the DR so I am focusing on cultural phenomenon where I currently located.

  14. This is the first time I read an article on Sankies. When asked for counseling on relationships I always state that “time is your best friend” because someone with a mischivious-agenda will no survive the “time challenge”. If you are interested in someone here in DR, take this tip into considerarion.

    In the other hand, I don’t think it’s posible for the goverment to control male-sankies, since many of them work at those touristic places. I do know that there in La Romana police used to be watching and arrestong those women that seemed to be prostituting themselves. I will investigate how things are working right now…

  15. While your description of the sanky panky is very spot on, it also simplifies a very complex situation and vilifies people who are victims of their environment and economical situation. Prostitution is the recourse of the ignorant and desperate, whether you are male or female.
    Instead of demonizing sankies, shouldn’t we ask ourselves what pushes these young men and women to sell their dignity so cheaply? And while a few might get “swindled” as you put it, the majority of people who participate in sexual tourism, do it so fully aware of the situation and consequences.
    In your narrative you portray first world women as gullible, helpless victims at the mercy of the sanky panky masterminds. That is a bit too black and white.
    It takes two to Sanky.

    1. That is what I mean:
      “In your narrative you portray first world women as gullible, helpless victims at the mercy of the sanky panky masterminds. That is a bit too black and white.
      It takes two to Sanky.”

      They are two adults not forced to do anything.

    2. Thanks for commenting Igor. My article was a basic introduction to the sanky phenomenon in the DR. Nothing more, nothing less. It wasn’t focused on poverty or other push/pull factors that lead people into different lines of work. Of course, in a nation such as the DR, where many are at or below the poverty line and just trying to survive from day to day, some will take desperate measures to survive. This is global. It is a socio-economic issue, no question. Discussing that is a much deeper conversation about education and employment in the DR, corruption, and access to opportunity.

      I know many prostitutes in Southeast Asia who negotiate for their services, make the exchange with the buyer and it’s done. Isn’t that a more straight-forward, honest way to go about it? If you want to be a sex worker, be a sex worker. Sell your sex to someone who wants to buy it. As long as it involves two consenting adults, I’d honestly rather see this in the DR. Don’t pretend to be something else, manipulate people into believing things that are not genuine, use and extort them, then bail when the well runs dry. I am going to vilify a person who does this because a person who does this is a predator to society and to their victims. Regardless of their socio-economic status, they do not have license to royally fuck up another person’s life for personal gain. If the sanky is smart enough to run this hustle, why not just run a different hustle that doesn’t devastate people? Or as I’ve already said, just be a sex worker and charge by the hour…then the cards are on the table. Or better yet, use your wits, street smarts and intelligence to create, to innovate. I’d much rather everyone (male and female) use their brains to make their money rather than their genitals.

      I do not consider that all first-world women are unintelligent, gullible and helpless. Far from it. But I will say, even as educated as many of them are, many have gotten entangled in this madness really not knowing at all what the game was. She might be 22 years old and not so experienced at life or romance. This might be her first time out of her native country. Add language barrier and cultural differences into the mix and yes, some things are lost in translation. Some women just want a hot Dominican man. Who wouldn’t? Maybe they know what they’re in for and don’t mind. These are not the women I hear from when I interview people or read the forums and these are not the women I was focused on when I wrote this piece. Some sankies are master manipulators and it doesn’t matter how intelligent you are. They are more so. Other women have been sankied, gotten royally burned, and yet gone back for more. There is every type of situation here. None of it is black and white. It never is. But I do not think it’s gullible or desperate for human beings to desire love and companionship. It’s in us all. We all have beating hearts in our chests. To suggest the victim of a sanky is stupid, gullible, deserving of the fall out, or a part of the game just doesn’t sit well with me. If she knew the game going in, then maybe yes. But if she didn’t, then no. That’s akin to saying a rape victim deserved to be raped because she wore provocative clothing.

  16. You are right, the Sanky -Panky business has been in DR since forever, unfortunately. And I say unfortunately because DR is such a beautiful place with so much to give, it can be considered paradise. Indeed, it has to do with the economic situation being so terribly bad, and like you say, the only way to end this scam is to make people aware of it. Although, many times people know and they purposely look to be sankied, Which perhaps is even worst since that says how needy or desperate for affection you are. Unfortunately, I have news for tourists: DR is NOT the only country where you find this phenomenon. You’ll find Sankies in Africa, Asia and Europe. What matters here is that you become aware that you are very likely to find Sankies EVERYWHERE you go vacationing, so be very careful with your heart and even more careful with your bank account. And if you choose to fall for it, then enjoy it while it last because it’s a decision you make. There wouldn’t be prostitutes out there, if no one pays for their services. There wouldn’t be Sankies, if no one falls for them.

  17. I’m Dominican and it worked most of my life as an animator, and is seen both selective environment under attack mostly with groin news, good for those who do not know, is very easy to prepare an article like this, a tourist is very befriends a Dominican and asks for a picture as I can see and from there take your article, and damage imagnes any young, causing psychological trauma, young people who have a serious relationship with a girl and end up causing this false information, for this Rason not be surprised when a hotel person refuses to take a photo with a tourist, but there are many good people around the world.

  18. This article is so ridiculous. Not 40% of Dominicans lives under poverty conditions. Whoever that wrote this article needs to invest time searching real info. Its kinda true that some percent of Dominicans are looking for easy money but not all of them. They still mans who work hard for what they want.

  19. Exactly!!
    They are adults, and some of then acepting sex favors from kids, girls and boys from 13 to 16 years old, when they know this is not legal in Dominican Republic or any where else, kids that are victims of the enviroment and economical situation.
    Why dont you talk about that?? When a sick nasty old man or woman takes those kids to their hotel room, offering food and money.
    If you are going to talk about hell, make sure you mention all The demons…

  20. Hey I’m Dominican, you all have reason, ones more than others, yes Sanky is a reality in DR, ahora bien, adults people deside what to do with their life. Those guys (Sanky or not) sometimes make women live in one night what they have never expirienced in their life. And certanly they can do bad things sometimes. Yo lo que creo que la persona que escribio el articulo tiene una espinita que le pica, le dieron con espuela de manatti y luego le dieron banda.

  21. Let’s be realistic! What a 60 years woman expectes of a 23 years guy. That’s not a Dom.Rep. exclusive situation.

  22. They don’t care if it’s man or woman. I’ve been approached multiple times. they speak sweet words for days. Before you know they run out of internet and if i can recharge their phone with some pesos or that they cannof pay for their motorbike anymore, etc. Never fall in love. Maybe some protected fun. Never give your phone number. However, there are also a lot of good dominicans around. That makes it fun to live here. If they ask my name it’s always the same from my side: mi nombre es Paul, paul no dinero.

  23. I invite all of you guys to see Sanky Panky Movie , it’s have been 3 movies about this subject.
    It is a parody but reflect the reality and the truth of what you guys are talking about.

  24. Didn’t take much to notice how you only thank those who agree with your point. On another note not sure if your heart has been hurtby one of them but as adults we decide how long every encounter last and where it goes. They are not asking or forcing you for money to have fun or sex with you. There job is more important at that moment but you as the tourist who wants to have fun/sex, whatever it is take it to your benefit.

    Sankys rarely ask for anything in return during their initial encounter. If you are the adult that when back home and are willing to send money back to someone else in return for love then that’s on you. That’s no different than a player from any country asking for money.

    By the way, the 40% poverty and the income received is pretty much irrelevant. While working at these hotels they get paid not great but okay money for DR economy and get free lodging. If you live in DR you should know better then to compare or include Sankys working in resorts with those living below poverty by the standards in the Dominican Republic.

    1. Dear Anonymous,

      I approve all comments on my blog whether I agree with them or not, unless they are vulgar, crude or disparaging. I try to reply to every comment and typically do but this particular blog has created an onslaught of comments and I have not been able to keep up primarily because I have the worst wifi ever here in Bavaro so my replies, much like my internet connectivity, are spotty. In the case of this blog, I’ve replied to those who add something to the conversation or bring new information and I have absolutely responded to comments I don’t necessarily agree with. Good debates and respectful discourse are what make comments interesting to read, so why would I only comment on those in agreement? Regardless, and with all due respect, this is my blog and I can handle it in any which way I so desire. If I chose to ignore negativity and trolling, that’s my prerogative.

      If all sankies are all gainfully employed in the tourist industry, then why sanky at all? That just means it’s even more sinister.

  25. I say not even 1% of the male population of the Dominican Republic are sankis but you only hear about the bad stories. I have always hear about this but never witness it. Yeah in the beach I see odd couples but never thought about it. There are old diggers all over the world. Have any body walked in Miami Beach. You see it all the time; old ladies with body builders boyfriend. It is all over the world. So be aware.

  26. I agree with anonymous, and the sankys are not just Dominicans anymore a lot of people from other countries man and women are here doing the same, because the story is not just for the tourist that comes and goes, there is a bigger picture with the locals…

  27. One thing to remember… Sanky are usually man who range from 20 to 35 yrs old and they focus on women who are between their 40’s and 60’s. The plan is to get this woman to believe that this younger guy has fallen in love with her. That’s when she’ll start spending her money on him. This is when he needs money because is electricity was cut off, then his mother got ill, now he can’t pay his rent and is about to get kicked out if he doesn’t come up with 300 dollars and other things will keep coming up… Women and men need to understand: If this person is 10 to 20 years younger than you, barely speaks English, says he is falling in love with you and HE JUST MET YOU… well, there is a sucker born every minute… Some people just want to be manipulated. It should be obvious that a younger guy/girl does not want your old ass, he/she just want your money, so stop messing around with these young man/women if you are looking for love.

  28. @noel I can’t believe how this dude really tried to defend Sanky Pankies. Them dudes main objective is to get money from women or men. They don’t offer sex for money, but through manipulation that’s exactly what they do… Sex for money, they just disguise it as love. Every single one of them is looking for money. This guy is probably a Sanky Panky himself and that’s why he is defending them. By the way, the hotels these guys work in… They pay them peanuts. Barely enough money to live, definitely not enough money to send to his girlfriend, wife and kids.

    1. I’m never a fan of someone who blames the victim and defends the perpetrator. In places where there is economic hardship, there is desperation and desperation creates all kinds of hustle. Let’s talk about how governments and societies can create lucrative jobs for people where they can support themselves and their families using their brains and hearts rather than manipulating, cheating and abusing others. Male or female, of any nation, it’s unacceptable. As we say in Thailand, “karma’s only a bitch if you are!”

  29. One thing you didn’t mention is that there are far fewer sankies and tigueres than there are good Dominicans. Many Dominicans are opportunists and given the salaries that is understandable. But the good Dominicans are amazing people and they greatly outnumber the bad.

    Get to know them, watch and learn about them and their culture in their settings before you invest yourself in them. But, the same can be said for ex-pats in their country :/ There are a lot of really foul and crude sex-pats and ex-pats in DR. They just fuel the fire.

  30. Anonymous once again. Haha, no I’m not a sanky but a well established individual in the USA, and yes I’m Dominicano. I know my breed pretty well and it’s not good to generalize as this happens everywhere. If you are going overseas specially to the Dominican Republic to have fun, GREAT FOR YOU. I’m pretty sure you busted your ass and worked hard for it. If you go overseas to FALL IN LOVE, stupid you .

    Jay Sanchez do you know much about the culture or experienced it? Better yet, have you heard about “chapiadoras”. Noel, do you? I’ll be glad to explain as this is something extremely popular done by females.

    1. Listen, we all know women and men all over the world pull scams on others for a myriad of reasons, mostly for financial reasons. We also know that not all Dominican men are money-hungry gigolos. There is no need to state the obvious. We live in a big, beautiful, multicultural world. People live and work all over the world…many out of their native countries. If you expect people to only have relations and fall in love with people from their native countries, you are not only naive, you are unrealistic. Many people fall in love legitimately and have marriages and families and lives together. People are not stupid because they have open hearts, trust others, develop genuine feelings and take a chance on love. Stop blaming the victim as if it’s entirely their fault. Of course if your guy (or gal) is telling you he loves you and wants to marry you before you’ve known him for very long, this is a pretty good indicator something is amiss. When requests for money come, another good indicator. But, Anonymous, some people are kind, compassionate and caring and actually want to help others…so they do.

  31. As a Dominican i can corroborate the veracity of your article, to all the women that visit my country, just be cautious and take the necessary measures to not be entangled by these characters, they are very deceitful.
    A couple of years ago I was in a hotel in Punta Cana and I spotted one of these guys in action, after I realized who he really was I warned the girl and the guy acted as if I was stealing food from him.
    My point is take care of yourself, these people can be found everywhere, not just here.

  32. My wife went to visit her sister at Ft Hood, Tx. My wife got drunk and fell for a soldier, who was from the DR. Long story short, my wife came home pregnant by this really nice guy who spoke spanish. The long arm of the Sankied touched my family. Yeah, it takes two to tango, I do very bad things to him when I catch up.

  33. I am now just leaving the DR without a penny to my name. Lived with my dominican husband for 2years. Legal married him. My money ran out he got himself a dominican chica and told me to go back to USA. I go back to nothing. I lost everything including my pride. I do not wish to see family or friends because I am so imbarrased. I am a smart woman I just trusted the wrong man

    1. Oh, Elizabeth. I am so so sorry to hear this. I know it hurts like hell right now but I PROMISE you there is nowhere else to go but up. Therein lies the silver lining of hitting such a low in life. As for money, we make it, we lose it, we replenish it. The good news is you can leave that rat bastard in your rearview for good and never make the same mistake again. I know you are embarrassed and returning home with your tail between your legs, but please tell your friends and family. They will most certainly be there for you in your time of need as you get reestablished. I’m not sure of any resources I can offer but social services in your area may be a good place to initially inquire. I do wish you the best moving forward. There is life post-sanky. And it’s beautiful. I promise. It’s just going to take a while to get there. I wish you could prosecute the sanky dick bag.

  34. Hi guys, I found this post and your blog Noel by accident as I’m doing my PhD on women’s holiday relationships and experiences with guys from the DR as well as other places. I’ve spoken to a few women all with their own stories, sometimes good, sometimes bad. I wanted to research this because not much is known about it academically and women’s perspectives are largely ignored, unless of course they are being talked about (usually not in the nicest of ways) in tabloid papers. I’m still looking to talk to more women about this if any one would like to contribute to research on it.
    My website is here: and all the ways to contact me are on there too if anyone would like to take part and help get women’s voices heard regarding this.

  35. I would like to share with you my story with the Haitian Sankie living in Bavaro, Punta Cana. I wrote this down already in December 2015. I left him last time I was in Bavaro (3 weeks ago, april 2016) I just have to find time to write down the whole story – the second part as well. Apparently he had 2 other women as well at the same time ( maybe even more but I don’t know the other ones. The sankie is called Nike/Nikey. He was born in 1993 in Port-au-Prince. Here is the story:
    I can reveal some more tactics that “my sankie” used to extract money from me:
    1. He wanted to change his studio to a better one with toilet inside so I had to pay for the deposit, first and the second rent…
    2. He said that his visa was terminating in 3 months – in July- (He was a Haitian living in Punta Cana) and he had to fix it 3 months in advance according to the laws. He went to Haiti saw his family with that came back and told me that he couldn’t get a new visa for 1 year.. It was too early! Then in July he asked for new amount of money to go back to Haiti for his visa.
    3. When we started to go out he was receiving pictures of his mother from his younger brother who lives in Haiti. The pictures was showing that the mother had some dermatological problems and that she needed money for hospital visit…And he was saying to his brother that he doesn’t have money hoping me to pay for that.
    4. His father was always communicating with me on whatsapp and telling me how sweet and kind person I am and that I am so different from other tourist women smile emoticon and that I should marry his son and take him to Europe…
    5. My sankie had scooter accident ( which was real) and when he was at the hospital he asked for money. I sent him 165 euro; He said that he needed another 380 euro for hospital costs otherwise the hospital wouldn’t give him back his passport. He had just a little injury on his knee, so he hadn’ t stayed in the hospital. I didn’t send the 380 euro.
    6. For some days he just disappeared so no contact at all and finally when I got through to him he said that he had anemia and that he had fainted so he went to see the doctor. The doctor had prescribed some medicine and that all this cost him a lot of money. To be able to pay this he had given his smartphone to somebody for a return of money (by the way I had given him this ultra expensive smartphone) and the person would give him back the smartphone only if he paid back the loan. I sent him money again to save the phone because it was only 3 months ago that he had received it from me..
    7. After that he called me and said that he needs to go to the supermarket to buy food. He had nothing in the kitchen. I sent him 55 euro. He said that this is not enough in Punta Cana. PC is very expensive. And he added “Are you messing with me?”
    8. He let me pay for everything when I was in Punta Cana.. It was a schock for me. I have to buy gas to my scooter, I have to go to the gym, I have to pay my rent and so on.. In return he wouldn’ t even buy a simple beer..
    9. We lived in a condo together. I had rented it. During the time I paid for everything, the transport, food and so on.. When I came back home we continued to have contact through messenger, whatsapp and tango. But Already after one month he had met another woman from the USA and initiated a relationship with this woman. He had also taken pictures with the women while he was kissing her and sent the photos to his dady. His daddy had uploaded them on his Facebook.. When I became friends with his dad on FB I happened to see these pictures 5.5 months later. I told him to take away those pictures since it is not me. He didn’t but he said that he would. I repeated again. His dady said: he should take them away but he didn’t. When I confronted ‘ my sankie’ he said that he was very rude with his father. He had asked him to take away those pictures smile emoticon Finally I blocked the father.
    10. Before I saw these pictures I had already booked an all inkcusive for two people ( sankie pankie and me) in a 4 star hotel in Punta Cana. I wanted to cancel, but since it would cost me a lot of money, I kept it.
    11. While we were at the hotel he had forgotten hos phone in the hotel room, somebody called, I replied. It was a woman. She just said hello hello and hung up the phone; She called again ad same thing. I noted down her phone number and made a google check. I found out her name and her in Facebook. She had an unusual name. When I confronted the sankie he said that she is a Dominican lady who has her own business in Punta Cana. He was lying again. I sent pictures of my sankie and me to the american lady by Facebook, she blocked me:))
    12. By the way when I went to Punta Cana in October to stay in all incl with the sankie the smartphone that I had given to him was already gone. I gave him my old iphone 4 since I had bought a new smartphone he put password on it so that I couldn’t see anything and he was sleeping with it under his pillow:))
    13. After our 2 weeks vacation at the hotel, he said ” before you go back to your country, we go to the supermarket and fill my kitchen”. I said that I don’ t have money. 1 day later he said ” I spent 2 weeks with you in the hotel, so I didn’t work so I need money for those weeks…!! I said again that I don’ t have money.
    14. I came home to Europe, he asked me if my trip went well I said yes. He started to send me a lot of photos of him. I understood that he would ask for money again which he did. He said: Send me money for my rent. I have no electricity, no water, nothing”. I replied again that I don’ t have money.
    15. He had no problems with asking ” bring me this, bring me that from Europe”
    16. Once I said that I would like to buy a gift to his mum and his grandmother and I asked what they would like to have.. The answer was ” my mother wants a fridge and my grandmother wants a bed because she is sleeping on the ground
    17. All the expensive clothes, and shoes that I gad given to him first time were distributed to his family members in Haiti.
    18. I had bought him a very nice watch, brand expensive as a birthday present. I saw it only 2 months on him after that I didn’t see it. He said every time that it was at home. Last time when I was in Punta Cana I said to him that I want him to bring the watch and that otherwise he wouldn’t see me any more. He said that he had lent it to a friend. He brought it back. I said that I will give it to my brother so I kept it. He stole it from my bag. I took it back again when we were in the hotel. He repeated every day that he wanted to have the watch. It is a birthday present for him. But he had lent it to his friend for 5 months..
    19. Until he got his visa to Dominican republic he was sending me youtube songs, writing to me every day, and telling me how much he loves me and misses me. After he got his visa it became less and less and now lately almost nothing because I don’ t send him money any more..
    20. From time to time when we still had contact he was disappearing for 2 or 3 days.. Then he was saying that he doesn’t have money to buy minutes for the internet. In fact he could have gone to the internet cafeteria or use te restaurant wifi connections. There are a lot f free wifi connections ( like the restaurant Delicia) in Punta Cana. This was just a regular trick for getting more money!!
    All I can say is that when you regularly send money to these guys there is something wrong. Open your eyes. Some of them they have only 2 or 3 women at the same time, some sankies they screw up all the foreign women they meet. Some sankies they work in gift shops so they take commission. They introduce shop owner and the other employees as cousins. Some sankies you meet in a bar or a restaurant. They still work for commission in the shops. They take you to a nice beach next day and they are extremely nice with you.. The say very quickly that you are beautiful, you are soft you are nice and that they are in love with you. They re always happy and they dance on the beaches on on the street. You find them charming but it is all part of the game. Happy, problem free, dark skinned handsome guys!!! They rarely fall in love these guys! When they see you they just see you as somebody who will save them from their miserable lives.
    Some of them they black mail you saying; saying well we aren’t married yet so I can do whatever I want.. Actually they want you to marry them and take them to your home country, not out of love but for money.
    Give your relationship some time. Don’ t think that you are special just because you are introduced to family members or friends. They are all in the same game.. They are actors. And don’ t feel sorry for these people because when you send them money, instead of continuing working and putting money aside to have a better life, they stop working so it is a vicious circle.. They always need your money.
    These people they don’ t have moral values. When you are in love normally you protect the person and don’ t screw them up. They do just the opposite. By the way my sankie was an artist painter so it was even more difficult to understand that he had chosen a life as a sanky while he was painting and selling them to the gift shops and also working as a commissioner at a gift shop. You expect an artist to be emotional and delicate but he was only interested in screwing up people.
    Take care, don’ t feel sorry for these guys and open up your eyes!!

  36. It would be interesting to hear in detail other women’s stories as well who have fallen victims for Dominican or Haitian sankies living in Dominican Republic.

    1. I am happy to say that finding this blog has saved my hurting heart for now. Thank you, Noel, for your post. While I will say that I completely agree that not all DR men are “Sankis” there are a few that are as im sure is true anywhere; the problem is knowing who is and who isn’t and by the time you find out who is, it is probably too late.

      I should preface this by saying that when I travel I prefer not to go to resorts. I like to go somewhere and meet the native people, eat local food, and experience the culture while in my 20s. I was stunned by how pleasant the staff at the resort in Peurto Plata were. All of them were impressively attentive and kind. There was one employee; a very kind, attractive, always smiling, incredibly polite man I had a connection with. He could tell that being waited on made me uncomfortable- we became more like friends.

      On my last night, he convinced me to go to the evening party, and he gently held my hand even if that meant someone seeing along the way. One thing lead to another and I found myself romantically invested and fooling around with him which may have been the case regardless of the country I was in. Does this make me naive? desperate? or just open hearted and interested in a kind, hard working, good man (and no, we didn’t have sex – my choice).

      I got back to my home country where I was pleasantly surprised to receive a Snapchat from him. I had forgotten that at the party he asked for my snapchat ID to send a photo of the two of us dancing. From there things immediately went sour. He told me that messaging was easier. He then told me that he injured himself the night that I left and needed money because he couldn’t afford the doctors fee. I felt tricked, and found your blog which gave me the confidence to tell him I couldn’t send him money. He got angry, walked away and blocked me.

      Unfortunately Im the schmuck who feels heartless, like I’ve let him down or didn’t care. I don’t think the girls who give in are desperate, I think they find someone they care about and become stuck.The saddest thing is that I actually hope I did get played and that he’s not truly hurt.

  37. I am happy to say that finding this blog has saved my hurting heart for now. Thank you, Noel, for your post- incredibly insightful. While I will say that I completely agree that not all DR men are “Sankis” there are a few that are as im sure is true anywhere; the problem is knowing who is and who isn’t and by the time you find out who is, it is probably too late.

    I should preface this by saying that when I travel I prefer not to go to resorts. I like to go somewhere and meet the native people, eat local food, and experience the culture while in my 20s. I was stunned by how pleasant the staff at the resort in Peurto Plata were. All of them were impressively attentive and kind. There was one employee; a very kind, attractive, always smiling, incredibly polite man I had a connection with. He could tell that being waited on made me uncomfortable- we became more like friends.

    On my last night, he convinced me to go to the evening party, and he gently held my hand even if that meant someone seeing along the way. One thing lead to another and I found myself romantically invested and fooling around with him which may have been the case regardless of the country I was in. Does this make me naive? desperate? or just open hearted and interested in a kind, hard working, good man (and no, we didn’t have sex – my choice).

    I got back to my home country where I was pleasantly surprised to receive a Snapchat from him. I had forgotten that at the party he asked for my snapchat ID to send a photo of the two of us dancing. From there things immediately went sour. He told me that messaging was easier. He then told me that he injured himself the night that I left and needed money because he couldn’t afford the doctors fee. I felt tricked, and found your blog which gave me the confidence to tell him I couldn’t send him money. He got angry, walked away and blocked me.

    Unfortunately Im the schmuck who feels heartless, like I’ve let him down or didn’t care. I don’t think the girls who give in are desperate, I think they find someone they care about and become stuck.The saddest thing is that I actually hope I did get played and that he’s not truly hurt.

  38. My story a guy recuested me on Facebook I don’t know how he got my name. And every thing I started chatting with him for a while until he started asking me for money same story that his phone broke is so embarrassing but I have to save women I send him over $1000 plus like $ 800 for 2 phones he is so claver and I’m soo stupid he doesn’t live me alone I block him and find a way to get in touch with me. What to do? Please don’t mention my name.

  39. I am surprised at the common defense that “this happens all over not just the DR”. I have traveled extensively and have not seen anything like I experienced last week. I was approached very quickly at my resort by a staff member, a young guy in the street nearby (I am early 50s and these guys are 20s). A third staff member told my sister that I was beautiful but he apparently had no skills to follow it up because he only spoke to me twice. I thought I had developed a platonic friendship with the older, college educated bartender after we had many conversations on politics and history of Haiti and the DR. When I got home he starts to message me on Facebook with flirtatious talk and I imagine the scam is coming next. luckily I am in no danger of sending anyone money, ever.

    In all my travels, some in quite poor countries like Nicaragua, I’ve only been seriously approached once in a marriage ploy, in Africa, and that was done in a fairly straightforward manner. What these guys are doing is despicable.

  40. enjoyed reading your article Noel. We love DR and have been visiting it for years. We are well aware of the Sankies and we try to help other women recognize them. DR is a wonderful country with a lot of wonderful people. Anyone can become a prey for sankies, but we just need to know who they are and how to recognize them, so we can enjoy our vacation without worry! best, viktoriya and oksana.

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