(UPDATED) AN APPEAL FOR SANITY, er, and CASH.
The recent murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller have of course assisted in this decision as have moves by the Thai justice system to make it extremely difficult to operate as a foreign correspondent based out of Thailand.
Having the mothers of two victims state 'Nothing as changed has it? Both of whom who regret keeping quiet on advice from Britain's Foreign Office, also spurred me on. We are all upsetting apple cart type people.
This has nothing to do with the current military junta, which appears to me to be trying to do its job, albeit a seemingly impossible one, to make an attempt to eradicate institutionalized corruption.
I have for the last few years been, I hope, doing a public service hoping to protect and warn people about the crooks in our midst.
I know these warnings have helped people avoid traps and when I have called out for help readers here have thankfully contributed and literally saved me from jail for paying bail required in ridiculous libel cases all of which I have won bar one – and in that case I was convicted for allowing a poster to describe an Australian brothel owner (David Hanks) as a pimp, something I had already described him as many times.
It would appear that the only matter which is of any concern in the justice system is cash. In the next ten days I have to find another 150,000 baht cash to pay bail in a case brought by a convicted criminal, Brian Goldie alias Goudie, who is in breach of immigration rules by even being here. (He was jailed for six years in Australia for fraud).
This man arrived in Thailand under the name Goudie printed his own false cards stating that he was a Barrister, also claiming he was a Captain in the Royal Marines, and then set about cheating foreigners, all of whom were in trouble, out of their life savings. He is even accused of stealing their bail money.
Police in Pattaya have notably never taken any cases against him and foreigners, if they have any money left, have had to take out private prosecutions against him.
One, who did, got his condo back, part as part of the deal was he had to withdraw his case. That is what happens in private prosecutions.
Goudie is currently in court in Pattaya charged with swindling a 76-year- old lady out of 7.9 million baht. Did the police do anything? Sweet FA. She is home in Madison, Wisconsin, leaving lawyers to squabble over cash, because Goudie will try and buy himself off with property obtained for another person he swindled. Have Pattaya Police done anything about a court damages award to a client which Goudie is accused of pocketing for himself? Sweet FA.
Foreign crooks have caught on to the Thai laws. They know they can cheat and steal other people’s life savings and defy their victims to get their cash back.
And when victims take criminal actions themselves the crooks can delay and delay in a dysfunctional court system until the victims no longer have the power to continue (because the thieves have their money) or have to settle at a much reduced claim.
And when they do they are even required to sign ‘secrecy’ clauses. This is why Thailand has become the fraud capital of the world and why in Bangkok it is getting more difficult to find a place that has not been bought from the proceeds of crime.
The inability by Pattaya Police to catch up with a con-man the whole world seems to know about is spectacular in the lack of dimensions of police.
How many Pattaya Police to investigate a burglary at the home of a rich foreigner?
CCTV can catch police too. Here the Pattaya Special Police ' Goon Squad' are lining up to go an investigate a burglary at the apartment of New Zealander Tim Ward, a high rolling if eccentric foreigner. He claims they tried to set him up on drugs charges
I am currently being sued for libel and libel under the Computer Crime Act, punishment seven years in jail, by Goudie, for using photo-shopped pictures, amongst others, of Goudie wearing a barrister’s wig and gown, and in the uniform of an officer of the Royal Marines. He faked that he was a barrister. He faked that he was a lawyer, which was the point of the pictures.
I operate my British registered website under British laws and British lawyers would consider these cases as laughable.
So too I guess does Brian Goudie, as he is a well known international confidence trickster – and the subject of the international documentary programme ‘Brian Goldie – Swindler Scot’.
Do I have faith in Thailand’s justice system? Not one iota.
Even though I have won all but one of my cases no awards are made for costs and it takes years to get the money back, if indeed you can, as Goudie frequently boasts.
I do of course have to continue to fight. As a journalist I have to stick by the rules in a country where few other people do – and am in discussions with people in higher authority – but I need to get through this bail hearing, so if anybody out there can still help, I would appreciate any donations however small. And I apologise having to do this once again.
If this does not succeed then my colleagues in Koh Samui prison could be the two young Burmese from Koh Tao, who look quite safe to share a cell with, and a young Aussie, whose only crime has been to get beaten up by rich kids in a Koh Samui music bar.
You will be forgiven for thinking – ‘When will this ever end?' Not until the Thai authorities see sense.
|This week's Reader's Picture - In the shadows in Cha-am|