Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Well as I have been following the Harlequin saga, particularly with regards to the projects it initiated in Pattaya – later taken over by Briton Richard Haughton, former President of the Pattaya-Jomtien Rotary Club – I should at least record here that Harlequin Property & Hotels has now gone into administration. So others will have to sort out the mess.

David Ames’s Harlequin of course needs massive cash injection to survive having sold thousands of holiday homes in the Caribbean before they even had planning permission. Ames was a former double glazing salesman made bankrupt, not once, as I reported, but twice according to the BBC.

They may wish to sell their own aircraft which they seemed to have bought a little bit prematurely. It was bought to hop between Harlequin resorts, but of course there is nowhere to hop to from the Buccament Bay Resort..

As for what happens in Thailand and those who bought properties from Thai Media and Exhibition Company – Haughton’s former company – I will try to keep news up to date.  But it’s a wee bit Machiavellian.

Those who bought condos at Emerald Palace in Pattaya from Richard
Haughton, a former Tupperware salesman and VDO store owner,  to find they had been hawked to the Kasikorn Bank have either had to fork out thousands of pounds more or are fighting in the courts.

Incidentally this is not the first time Kasikorn Bank have accepted chanotes/deeds on properties which had already been sold to foreigners.

A reader posted this link for a BBC Radio 4   report on Harlequin. Thanks and enjoy.


  1. UPDATED: Harlequin Property applies to go into administration

    11:39am Tuesday 23rd April 2013 in Local News Exclusive By Jon Austin

    Harlequin Property applies to go into administration
    SOUTH Essex multi-million pound Caribbean investment firm Harlequin Property has applied for its sales arm to go into administration.

    The business run by the Ames family from Wickford blames negative publicity on the decision, which it says could still secure clients' investments.

    The firm, which is promoted by big name sports celebrities lodged an intention to appoint administrators for Harlequin Management Services (South East) Limited, of Honywood Road, Basildon, at the High Court in London yesterday.

    A statement signed by director Carole Ames, of Brock Hill, Wickford, said: “The company is or is likely to become unable to pay its debts.”

    She intends to appoint London accountants Shipleys LLP as administrators.

    It has prompted fears over the future of at least 6,000 investor’s deposits, many paid through personal pensions, and around 40 jobs at the Basildon head office.

    The company, which is promoted by former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash, golf legend Gary Player and footballer Andy Townsend and trades as Harlequin Property, has taken more than £300million in deposits from at least 6,000 investors for off plan luxury holiday accommodation across the Caribbean since 2006.

    However, it has so far built just around 300 of the thousands of properties and is being investigated by Essex Police, the Serious Fraud Office and Financial Services Authority.

    The move comes after around 40 investors served statutory demands on the firm for monies owed to them which could have lead to a winding up petition if left unpaid.

    Harlequin maintains its Caribbean-registered firms run by the Ames family, which own and plan to build the resorts, will continue.

    It said: ‘Due to unfounded negative publicity in the public domain that has been instigated since 2011, the day-to-day UK sales business of Harlequin Property has become increasingly challenging, to the point that it is now almost impossible.

    ‘The underlying business model of the Harlequin group is strong and the directors are confident that, with the external finance and property completions anticipated, our investors will see significant development at our resorts in the near future.

    ‘Investors can be assured that the company sees no reason why these circumstances would threaten their investment with Harlequin. In fact, the measures set out above are a means of further securing their investments from external and contrary interests."

  2. This last comment was info sent in by a reader. I am on the road at the moment. Thanks

  3. "Due to unfounded negative publicity in the public domain that has been instigated since 2011, the day-to-day UK sales business of Harlequin Property has become increasingly challenging, to the point that it is now almost impossible".

    In other words since the 2011 exposure it has become "increasingly challenging, to the point that it is now almost impossible to rip unsuspecting UK investors off"!