Times are hard in Boyz Town - here's one man glad to be out of it.
FROM ANDREW DRUMMOND,
BANGKOK, JANUARY 15 2012
At the end of probably the worst case of injustice I have studied at length in Thailand Briton Kevin S. Quill has now learned from the British Embassy in Bangkok that his six year sentence for drugs has been cut to two and a half years as part of the recent Royal Amnesty.
Of course drugs offenders do not normally qualify for pardons, more's the pity. But before you write in in protest please do not get enraged. Just remember that in Thailand during Thaksin Shinawatra's 'War on Drugs' probably as many people were set up as were 'injudicially executed' and we did not see any 'big men' go down.
Kevin (left) should of course be celebrating but actually he was released from Moorlands Open Prison in Yorkshire last year and he completed 2.5 years last June.
Kevin got the news from British Vice-Consul Kate Duffal, whom he describes personally as one of the greatest humanitarians he has had the pleasure to meet. This is quite an accolade, considering the restrictions under which consuls are placed.
If only the Embassy Chancellery had acted on the letter written by the consul at the time Deryck Fisher. The letter is reprinted below.
But it appears the Embassy thought that Consul Fisher overstepped the mark because outside 'consular assistance', where connected people talk to connected people, not another finger appears to have been raised in Kevin's aid by any Embassy official. So all the remarkable Kate could do was console and make life easier for Kevin while Fisher retired in Miami.
Kevin had bought into Boyz Town in Pattaya, thereby reducing his chances of a sympathetic hearing in the press. He had invested his cash with two Scotsmen, still well known on the local scene.
The Deryck Fisher Letter - it seemed unequivocal but nobody noticed. A bit like dropping a rose-petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting to hear the echo.
Kevin Q was a smoker, and a drinker, and when he decided to take loads of Benson and Hedges cigarettes back to the UK back in 2000, he sealed his own fate. The cigarettes were acquired by his partners, and came from Don Muang airport duty free via a friendly policeman.
(This was a great investment by those in on the scam. Kevin also got fined 600,000 baht and they got their cigarettes back, for re-sale. Read on).
Kevin was stopped 2 km after leaving the Scotsmen's hotel to go to the airport. In one of the packets in just one of a staggering 198 cartons police found just under 100 yaa baa tablets. Quill was not a drug user. Yaa baa was certainly not the drug of choice of his destination, the UK, and never has been.
Kevin never stood a chance. He lost his business (removed as a partner within a month of his arrest) and a lot more too. He eventually got it back but only in a 'Noyes Deal' if he signed a statement saying the equivalent of the fact that the Scots were the nicest people to have made Pattaya their home. He had been clobbered just like an investor before him, Iain Macdonald, 28, from Inverness, who invested his 250,000 pound inheritance with the two scots. Iain died in a fire which started in his room in the Scotsmen's hotel.
Police testified these cigarettes came from Cambodia but they only opened one packet in one carton.
A month before he had written an illegal will (It was signed by the beneficiary and the two Scotsmen) leaving everything to the go-go boyfriend of one of the Scotsmen. The go-go boy, Supan, got nothing, not even Iain's motorcycle, he complained afterwards. Macdonald's family got nothing either.
Now who would sign a will like this? Supan was the beneficiary.
Despite the delicate matter of 'Boyz Town' I wrote a story. It appeared in the UK and the Bangkok Post later publish a version. One of the Scots sued me and the Bangkok Post.
I lost in Pattaya, and won on appeal, once I had got the case out of the Pattaya court. Luckily funds came from friends at the Guardian, Telegraph, Times, Associated Newspapers and News International, not forgetting Steve Turner of the British Association of Journalists.
Ten years on its still to go to the Supreme Court. This incidentally is the case American Drew Noyes, the favourite to win this years 'Flying Sporran Golden Globes', refers to when he calls me a 'convicted criminal'.
I went to see Kevin Q when he was in the prison hospital in Klong Prem. Actually I got pretty free access because I knew the Director of Prisons at the time, Wanchai Roujanavong *, a fearless campaigner against child abuse, and also an authority on 'The Thai mafia', now back in the Attorney General's office.
Kevin was then suffering from throat cancer. Actually he had been acquitted on appeal, even allowed to go back to Britain, but the Supreme Court confirmed the initial court's sentence after he returned in 2008.
That surprised us all and demolished my belief that the further you go up the system the more likely justice will fall in your favour.
So good luck in your new life Kevin somewhere in a neighbouring country.
Or in the words of Kate Dufall 'I trust this creates a whole new beginning for you'.
But this case really sticks in the craw of the 'Flying Sporran'
Damning - What Iain Macdonald's mother had to say
Kevin's story was apparently recently still the talk of gay forums and the biggest 'Sawasdee-Gay' recently banned all posts on the subject as it was apparently breaking up the 'unity' of 'Boyz Town'.
This fragile unity is apparently suffering because gay punters have found a site which is called
'GayRomeo' and is tearing apart businesses down there.
Punters now do not have to pay bar fines to find a go-go boys in bars which the Chonburi Police have ruled are not 'commercial sex businesses'.
Nor do they have to sit through endless drag shows to get what they were there for in the first place. All they have do do is register and order home delivery, as the same boys are available for private, er, romance.
Pattaya - you just can't make it up.
How the Scots press recorded my acquittal
Meanwhile for those who have read something like this before, well, its never wrong to re-emphasis an injustice never corrected. And while this news can be wiped from forums, here, we tell it as it is.
*Wanchai Roujanavong: Director of Thai Criminal Law Institute and author of Organised Crime in Thailand amongst many others.
Kate Dufall received the M.B.E. in this years New Year's Honours