Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

28 November 2011

The conversation was not muted at all but I guess we were out of earshot of most of the golfers practicing their swings at Pattaya Driving Range.

 One Asian golfer slicing a ball into the netting to his right did look in our direction a couple of times, but he seemed more concerned about what we thought of his Tee-offs.

'Its easy; no problem.   The fastest boat in the province is available.  We can get him miles out to sea in minutes.  He would never be found. Nobody would care.  But that would not solve the problem,' spoke the person directly in front of me.

HE in this conversation is 63-yr-old Briton Richard Haughton the former President of the Pattaya-Jomtien Rotary Club, exposed here as a man behind massive property rip-offs in the Pattaya area, and who some people at least want to put in Davey Jones' Locker.

At this point I need to point out that I had egged the pudding so to speak. Having suggested that I heard there were quick local remedies for 'ne'er do wells'.

Haughton is the boss of TPME Co. Ltd.  - Thailand Property and Media Exhibition Co. Ltd.  A couple of months ago buyers of units in a condominium called the 'Emerald Palace' on the city's Pratamnak Hill, found that their investments had gone up in smoke, or rather into a 71 million loan to Mr.Haughton after he gave their title deeds to a bank. The fraud, for that is what it is, was exposed here three stories back.

Residents on another estate, Lake Villas, rebelling against his business practices, have found their water and electricity cut off.  On other estates called Fox Lea 1 and 2 yet more are confronting his 'Chairman' Nicholas Pearce, who has slipped back into Thailand, and 'CEO' Paul Salisbury to deal with a revolt over shoddy workmanship.

Haughton has been comparatively safe. His victims are all foreign.  Thais as are uninterested about foreigners cheating foreigners as the 'Met' might be about Mexicans cheating Mexicans in London.

Haughton (below right) has been keeping local Thais happy, and he has been strutting the town as a charity-do-gooder - a pillar of society, while apparently secretly robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Initially Pattaya Police refused even to take a complaint.  And their officers stood by watching when Haughton's henchman moved in on Lake Villas to remove the paid for electricity and water meters of the beleaguered expats there.

The DSI - Department of Special Investigations (Eastern Region) - to whom the victims were referred by Pattaya Police, spoke a lot and also did nothing , or perhaps worse than nothing  as one of their officers was accused of trying to force the victims to settle with one of Haughton's holding companies, while claiming to put out the equivalent of an all points bulletin for Haughton's arrest.

This was not looking good for those people who had lost their life savings as hundreds of people in Thailand have done before them on bad property deals.

It looked like the situation was heading south.

But now the DSI have been side-stepped and Haughton is being hunted and/ or investigated on three fronts.

Now if you think my was meeting was with mafia figures talking about fast speed boats you would be quite wrong.   I was talking to the 'good guys', well perhaps wise guys of a sort.

Wise guys in Pattaya can put together snatch squads as easy as turning a tap. But they are not going to in this case.

The first two groups chasing Haughton are the 'owners' of the Emerald Palace and there are two teams there - The Russians and 'The Rest of the World', mainly Brits, Finns, a feisty Canadian, and other Europeans.

One of the Russians ' has influence' and has brought in his own lawyer to deal with the problem the 'Russian way', one that does not involve Thailand's sluggish court system. 

Their leader whom I shall call 'Ivan' has been gesticulating and talking loudly looking with contempt at the stupid Brits of the 'Emerald Palace' who 'know nothing' about how the system works in Pattaya, saying the Russian way is best. His lawyer has been nodding in agreement.

It's true about the Brits of course. The Brits are just Brits who want a pad in the sun with whatever Pattaya has to offer or local Brit investors like Lee Booty, 53, from Stepney who boasts one of the best English breakfasts in Pattaya at his restaurant  from which he can see TPME's temporary offices in Thappraya Road.

One aspect of course they did not anticipate is the various mafias. They have heard all the stories but only in relation to other people.

The consensus, among representatives of the British group, is that 'Ivan' wants the Russian Mafia involved. He is a bit loud, not a mediator.

 It might be sort of comforting to know 'Ivan' who has been duped as well as the Brits into putting millions up on an off-plan project, is a member of the Russian mafia.

But I don't know how 'Ivan' came by his money. It could have been earned from heard honest toil. It could have been easy.

For a lot of Russians in Thailand it seems to have been easy, but there seem some very nice Russian ladies at Emerald Palace who seem miles away from images of Makarovs or Klin sub-machines guns.

The Russian method, not to put too fine a point on it, is to approach Haughton and his cohorts and meet over dinner.  That's talking euphemistically.  He will not be getting blinis, borscht or caviar. They have, says Ivan, impeccable police contacts. But they are the sort of contacts, I suspect, who are impeccable until things go wrong.

The Thais laugh off the Russian Mafia threat as a little bit silly.  The Russians are here and tolerated because they pay their dues. That's why Uzbeki and Russian speaking girls from all the 'Stans' get arrested, while real Russians*, Ukrainians and even Romanian prostitutes can ply their trade with impunity The one time a group of Russian girls did get arrested they brought Pattaya Police Station in Soi 9 Beach Road to a standstill with  Russian patriotic songs (One caught on tape was 'Katyusha' sung here by the prancing Tomalchevy  but so the Brits can get on with their Russian neighbours here is the rather weak English version)

Katyhsas were also the barrages of rockets the Russians fired against the German Army in the Second World War

 If they overstep the mark those responsible would face a larger and greater local threat, it appears. It would not be good for the Russians to take cash off the locals and no matter how senior their policeman is he in unlikely to be the deciding factor. There are higher beings.


( Having written about the execution  of a Brit, Tony Clements,  a former member of the British 'Charlie Richardson' gang who was gunned down in Pattaya years ago in what was clearly a local strike by guys almost out of uniform (white t-shirt short and bomber type jacket) I can easier understand how local arrangements work.

Clements and his mate Glyn Croft, set up a bar called 'The Gorilla Bay' in Pattaya's Beach Road, Soi 2, and had a strong handle on steroids and exotic substances.  They also did extortions.

After Clements was gunned down in Pattaya, Croft came to me for help in Bangkok.  Actually he put his hand on my shoulder from behind in a dark pub and said in a South London accident: 'You Andrew Drummond then?'

Right: Croft at Centre Point. He was returned to prison in the U.K.

Five minutes later - after I had cleaned up the mess  No just joking here - he asked me to clear a way for him back to England.  I did that and he was housed by British law enforcement in Centre Point, Pratu Naam, where he created havoc apparently warding off women whom, he thought,  should look after him for free, before he could be flown back to the prison from whence he had escaped.

The most memorable thing about these two guys was that they had to develop another method of torture in Thailand as the two bar electric fires which they used in England were not readily available in Robinsons.


Anyway the Russian way was dismissed by the reps for the 'Rest of the World'  Bleeding an anemic pig is not going to help. It's not Haughton who is holding the cash but the Kasikorn Bank.  For the 'Rest of the World' plan to work they do not need Haughton to be hanging from the rafters.

 I can only reveal it when I fall on my sword.

Then of course there is a third group on Haughton's trail. They comprise the management team Haughton brought in to sort his books and give him respectability, who claim he fired them after they pointed out the ugly truth.

Britons Martin Simons and Robin Warren have both won their cases against TPME at the Labour Court.  Mr. Simons has a court order for seizure of assets.

It will not now at this point surprise readers that the value of TPME is just 50,000 baht, while his Headland Holdings Ltd is 50 million.

Haughton is keeping to the shadows while directing his own troops by phone and email. His known bank accounts in Thailand have been drained and his staff have been moved to satellite offices in Lake Villas and Thappraya Road, Pattaya.

As for the Russian mafia, I know little. I have to defer to the greater knowledge of an old colleague, and sometime sparring partner at the FCCT, Bertil Lintner,  a journalist who has spent a lot of time looking at the Russian mafia in Asia together with his own ex-KGB aide. You can read some of his stuff here.  Its a little bit historical but reading between the lines the Russian mafia in Asia don't have it all its own way at all.

All the same if I were on the board of TPME I would be more cautious of sitting outside 'The Paradise Bar'  on Thappraya Road, as if I did not have a care in the world.

But perhaps finally I should state that I have no personal knowledge of persons or persons about to commit a crime and of course I hope it does not happen.

But these are interesting times.


*An unsubstantiated remark about two murders in Jomtien has been removed. My apologies for this lapse in judgment.


  1. Great write up Drummond - Now who nicked my poison-tip umbrella?

  2. Can you please pass me on a contact for a snatch squad member...sounds kinky, but willing to give them a go. Croft looks like a rather nice chap above the shoulders. They must be serious if they scared him off...begging transport back to security in blighty tells a tale in itself I guess. Do you know if there is a Russian counterpart to Drummond ? Pattaya makes an interesting read, hope it continues for awhile longer...I love reading about it from a distance.

  3. Andrew excellent exposes on whats happenning in Pattaya. Almost all the comments to your recent articles have not offered advice to those people who have lost their money , particularily the Emerald Palace project. It may be that you have not published with a view to not alerting Haughton etc. Please either publish this a comment or pass to the people defrauded. ONE I am assuming the brits sent their funds from the UK. They should go to their MP and ask that the MP writes a letter to the British Ambassador asking him ensure that the said Brits have their rights under Thai Law fully honoured and asking the Ambassador to provide regular updates on the status of their case,
    (i am aware that the Embassy cannot interfere in a case but the Embassy can support by providing observers and questioning any undue delays etc.): also asking the MP to write a letter to the Inland Revenue with documentation of fund transfers, your articles, the three british directors etc and ask for them to be investigated, (this should bring their bank accounts in the UK under scrutiny). TWO they should file a criminal case in the Thai courts and at the filing they should ask the judge to issue a court order freezing company and personal bank accounts and an order to the Land Office freezing the transfer of any property in their names. THREE they should file a civil case in the UK demanding an accounting of what has happened to their funds and ask for a freezing of their UK accounts and the stopping of any sale of property in the UK and at the same time asking ,possibly thru their MP, for the local or national police fraud unit to investigate. FOUR thru other foreign nationals contacting their embassies, the brits thru their MP, or foreign office, they should demand that all the relevant embassies representatives take some co-ordinated action to make representations for the full force of Thai Law be brought to bear etc. on this matter.

  4. Hilarious Chicago tat. A flapper with a bow,a 20's gat, the I. M. Pei building (he designed it forget the actual name), the Hancock Tower and the Sears Tower (known stateside as ""Gordon's Last Erection). So its rather historically confused if nothing else, certainly not a standard yakuza stock tatoo. Me thinks that this gangster is more of a poseur.

    Which reminds me of a question for Andrew. With all the Thai's who claim they are mobsters and all the foreigners who come here and claim they are mobsters what do the mobsters claim they are?

  5. Right on the russian way!!!!please comrades let us know when you will dish out the law Russian style I would love to see that prick haughton & his girlfriend Paul Salisbury get it.

    I bet this doesnt seem worth what they stole to them right now,what goes around comes around!!

  6. Sometimes I have this weird idea that we need a Dexter guy around here..

  7. Andrew wrote ""I am still furious after paying out for a Red Army Choir DVD and not getting it!"" hahaha that's one of the well known Russian Mafia scams hahaha Maybe you find it on Torrent ??

  8. Martin. I'm suprised you cannot distinguish Sears and Hancock Towers from derricks in the Uvat oil and Baku fields and a famous Russian female athlete. I am afraid people may not understand your earlier comment. I have changed it. I picked the first picture up from a Russian website thinking sod it I'm still furious about paying out for a Red Army Choir DVD and not getting it! These guys have had it from me!

  9. Andrew,

    I clicked the link and read what Bertil had to say about the Russian mafia and Korean crime syndicates some years ago. Macau was mentioned several times. Then it registered: the photos of Dirty Dog were taken in Macau.

    Is there any evidence that Dirty Dog has Russian mafia or North Korean links? He can't deny being in Macau and although the story was dated I can only imagine the Korean presence has gotten stronger. He must have some serious protection from somewhere to make the kind of threats he has made in the past.

    A photo of Dirty Dog in Macau with the grandson of the Dear Leader and some really hot Russian blonde hookers at the Casino Lisboa would be a real coup.

  10. Bill Macdonald... sadly just about everything you have recommended would achieve nothing and simply waste more time and effort. There is simply no legal recourse in the UK for fraud committed by one British citizen against another where there are no reciprocal agreements between the UK and the country where the fraud was committed. The best method a person has is thru the Thai legal system with action against Mr. Haughton, his companies, directors and Kasikorn Bank, numerous laws have likely been bent or broken during this game, it is just a matter of digging deep and finding enough proof, or doubt as to the legal status of the transactions, to convince authorities it is in their best interests to become involved.

  11. I don't think any evidence really exists to support the claim those two women shot on Jomtien were hookers, or am I wrong?

  12. Lots of sound and fury here, signifying nothing. For all of the supposed gangsters, both Thai and foreign, supposedly dispensing ""street justice"" in Pattaya, the town is packed to the gills with the likes of Noyes who have been plying their trade for years. There are dozens of Noyes victims around town, but it took ""an overweight British journalist"" to finally stand up to him. Life will still be sweet for Haughton and all the other real estate cheats, as well as the legions of bar owners selling 50% shares by the dozens. If things get too hot for them, they move on, but most feel safe enough from both the law and street retribution to stay right put. The ""Wild East Justice"" of Pattaya is largely a myth although, certainly, tucked in amongst the blustering, threatening wannabe hard men, there are some truly dangerous characters who act instead of talk.

  13. Andrew, the Russian girls from the 'stans are every bit real as the Russians from Russia.In the days of establishing the great USSR Empire Uncle Joe and his cohorts settled the republics with folk from Russia, not necessarily with their agreement.The children of these forced migrants now constitute large minorities in the 'stans but are discriminated against since they do not qualify as true indigents. Many girls from these minorites inevitably drift into the leisure industry and Pattaya is of course a natural location for plying their trade.
    Quite sad really to be considered second class citizens in the land of your birth but these grudges do last. Many Latvian born folk are still travelling on stateless documents because the new government will not recognise the legitimacy of the Russians foisted on them after 1945.

  14. Westerby: I am 100 per cent with you on this one having spent some time in the Stans and even been up there on the podoum with Nyazov. I can actually say one of my best friends is Russian from Turkmenistan. Its a bit difficult to explain all this but for the record I should tell posters that pretty much all these Uzbeks, Kyrgis, Kazhaks, Tajikis etc are ethnically fully Russian, who indeed since the fall of the curtain have become ill treated minorities in their countries of birth.

  15. All quiet on The Eastern (Seaboard)Front.Not if Andrews report of certain foreign gang members Russian here there and everywhere is to be believed.It appears even on the gentle slopes of the Pattaya putting greens you and your caddy could have less than pleasant company.Ivan and his mates hardly seem the type you would want to play a round with.If you tee them off you could end up with a serious handicap.Like a hole in one ear and out the other.As for The Snatch Squad I thought that was the nickname for the posse of Lady Boys that hang out on Pattaya Beach Road in the early hours of the morning chasing unwary tourists down the Seafront.The best drag racing outside of the U.S. Seriously though I should imagine doing business with the Russian Mafia is like visiting a Soviet Era Nuclear Power Station on both occasions it is best to try avoid any possible fall out

  16. Not the only Brit that may have the reds after him ... Acccording to someone who recently contacted me for advice and/or perhaps a Russian phone number :)
    He who was behind the ****** bars has also aquired the odd Condo thanks to loans notorised by his friendly local Thai lawyer ; Payments due halt rather quickly once the paperwork signed - and true, the Local boys in brown dont give a toss if its farang ripping off farang !

  17. That Glyn Croft & Tony Clements were loonatics even when they was in Portsmouth and even when Glyn Croft cum back after that he still carried on from were he left off and cause a path of destruction. lol

  18. Glyn Croft & Tony were two of the most fearless men i have ever meet in my life

  19. I don't think any evidence really exists to support the claim those two women shot on Jomtien were hookers, or am I wrong?Russian Love