May 17 2012
They call him ‘The Penguin’. Could it be because he has all the attributes of the fictitious villain in the ‘Batman’ comic - come- Hollywood hero series – a fiendish mind with a fishy smell about him? At any rate if you come across this British charmer and his side-kick in Phuket give them a wide berth.
Neal Davies (left) is his real name and major scamming is his game. His side-kick is called Peter Simmons.
He’s ex-public school and an ex-banker who should know better. Both are Brits, drive Mercedes open topped sports cars and live in 165,000 baht per month rented accommodation in the upmarket Naiharn Baan Bua estate on the holiday island.
They claim to be wealth advisors. But the only wealth they are interested in is their own.
They have a website for their company called Caldora Asset Management and they boast to victims that their money is safe with them because they have scores of properties world-wide as security.
Most of the properties have never been built and never will be. Most of them are Caribbean projects of Harlequin – a company well known to readers here. These guys could make an honest living. But why bother?
Their main companies are registered in Mauritius.
So why not relax on the beach in Thailand and take in money from fairy tale projects while sipping on a G & T. They're living the dream.
Neal Davies, 45, from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, has no real real estate at least not backing up client investments. In fact the only property these charlies have put real money into is in a place called the Belair Panwa Resort and Spa in Phuket.
The structure of this purchase makes interesting reading but actually what they have ‘bought’ is part of the Thai side of this development. The minority foreign shareholding is already sold out.
So who is this rather flash Mr.Davies, who is known to trawl the bars of Chalong seeking to impress very young fair maidens? And if he has not got much property what has he got.
He was actually automatically discharged from bankruptcy after a year in 2008, but not the BRO. His discharge does not mean he paid off creditors.
Britain's lenient bankruptcy laws means that foreign companies have been striving to set up business there.
The BRO is why ‘The Penguin’ is in Thailand of course. But he has made himself unpopular in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore along the way.
Messrs Davies and Simmons have been trying to sell their units in Britain under a 'fractional ownership' deal. No Thais will buy at the prices they are demanding, and people in the U.K. don't have a clue.
They also have a couple of touts, paying for their booze and women by trying to flog fractional ownership on the spot in Phuket. All illegal of course under Thai law, but who's looking?
Here’s a list of companies and funds to stay clear of; Caldora Asset Management, Caldora 90 Fund, Caldora 80 Fund, Caldora 360 Fund, and of course the Harlequin Income Fund where they take your income. Nearly 6,000 Harlequin investors want to know what's happened to their cash.
Also beware of Elite Capital Solutions which is registered all over the place and under scrutiny in Hong Kong and Singapore.
But let’s hear from the son of one their investors – a 73-yr-old woman who was tapped by these men as she sat admiring the view from Nikita's Bar in Rawai Beach, Phuket. Yes indeed, these guys just do not care who they take money off.
"My mum called me when she received your email asking for immediate attention to this fraud thing in Thailand so were both here my mum has arthritis's and at 73 she has a hard time working on this computer.
"I do hope you don't mind, as per your email request we shall start from the beginning.
"In April 2011 my mother made her second trip to Phuket because she has friends living there and she was so happy there that she was thinking about selling her home in Australia and moving to Phuket as the weather and the people according to her are wonderful. I have never been.
"Whilst she was sitting at a beach front bar called Nikky's in Rawaii the people on the next table started to talk with her because she was alone and invited her to join them which she did.
"She told me they were from England and one had his wife a lovely Thai girl and the other another girl but just a friend.
"After awhile of talking questions were asked such as does she live here.
"She told them she was thinking about buying something. She said that the two men told her that they were wealth management experts.
"At this time, one of the men Mr Neal Davies, gave my mum a business card for a company called Caldora and they told her to look up their site and if they could help her then great.
"Mum is not very good on the computer. She mentioned she was talking to her bank back here about setting up a trust fund for my 2 year old son Daniel so that he would have some money when he turned 16.
"These two guys started to offer free advice in how to invest tax free and how $10,000 can turn into $100,000 over that amount of time with properties all over the world as collateral.
" In case something went wrong they showed her what I now know as a PC tablet and went from website to website (to show her the off plan properties).
" I myself have to admit after seeing these sites that I can see how someone especially an elderly person would think they were the way to go.
" They are very well done.
"They took her out, being nice, and she doesn't remember any talk of money until 4 days before she was due to return home.
"Basically they were able to talk her out of $10,000 to invest into some fund that would one day benefit her grandson.
"She is embarrassed about this and now claims she will never return to Thailand because if these people could con her then there might be others.
“ I went and looked everything up and now I can truly see how she was conned.
They were nice to her and well spoken plus the websites and the knowledge
they had. She was an easy target.
“I would like my mother to get her money back I don't know how things work over there, but if nothing else I hope those bastards go to prison for a long.”