Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015
51

British journalist Andrew Drummond has quit Thailand after 25 years covering Southeast Asia from the Thai capital Bangkok.

The primary reasons were a direct threat to the safety of himself and his three children from foreign criminals in Thailand working in liaison with the Thai Police and Thailand’s Crime Computer Crime Act, which he said was being used by foreign criminals to silence criticism of their activities.

In a statement issued today he said:

“I have enjoyed my time in Thailand where I have made many good Thai and foreign friends but there comes a time having too much knowledge which I cannot keep to myself can be too dangerous.  

My well being has been threatened as have those of my children. This is not of course the first time, but the recent threat came from a group of people who have killed with impunity before, and have even had police set up people on false charges.*

Alan and Chutima


“The Department of Special Investigations kindly invited me to sit in and work out of their offices on certain cases, but of course my primary function is as a journalist and matters I am dealing with cannot be written about safely in Thailand, and if I am to continue to function as a journalist it must happen outside Thailand’s borders. 
I have left information in Thailand which should be of use to the DSI and will remain on call should they need any clarifications.” 
On the matter of Thailand’s Computer Crime Act I have been supported alongside Alan Morison and Chutima Sudasathian of Phuketwan and migrant workers activist Andy Hall in statements by the British Ambassador and European Union.  
However statements are not going to protect my family.


Andy Hall
The harassment of Andy, Alan and Chutima, has no place in a country calling itself free. Thailand’s inability to take criticism, and its greatly flawed justice system, are major handicaps to its progress. 
I have successfully defeated a tranch of cases brought against me in the Thai courts. I could not have done that without the support of readers to my website. 

However criminals do not have to pay costs when they lose and they continue to take cases which are so ridiculous in their nature that they are not even worth spending the cash to defend.
 
For example Brian Goudie, 48, a British citizen who technically should not be in Thailand at all (He had been sentenced in Australia for fraud) is suing me for publishing photo-shopped pictures lampooning him as a British barrister and a former officer in Britain’s Royal Marines – false claims that he made in Thailand. Goudie is charged in Thailand with defrauding a 75-year-old woman out of 7.9 million baht claiming he was a British barrister. 
What I have done has been clearly in the public interest. But apparently not according to judges in Koh Samui who are now handling the Koh Tao murder cases. I am also being sued by a former pimp from Melbourne, Australia, whose case for racketeering has disappeared into the Pattaya ether. I am also being sued by an American convicted of extortion in Pattaya.  
I have worked as a journalist for over twenty years in Britain, the United States and Australia without being sued once. In many ways foreign criminals will be seen to have won this battle. They have not won the war.


'We're offski!' Archie, Annie, Mat


I will of course continue as before while looking for a home and decent education for my children. 
* New Zealander Ian Travis was gunned down in March 2002 after quitting Foreign Currency International run by American James Muller. Paul Hayward was one of his lieutenants at the time. Muller was extradited from the US to face conspiracy to murder, and his security officer Jalit Sanitchon was also arrested as were the paid gunman. But no murder trial took place involving Muller or Sanitchon whom I had confronted.

 Canadian Stephen Sharpe a long time boiler room employee spilled the beans on Hayward's operations in Thonglor Soi 25. He was later set up on rape and drugs charges in the Philippines and was only released - after three years - when the Philippines Human Rights Commission looked into the case.

American brothers James and Jim McCleary were jailed for 18 years after quitting taking files on Hayward's Jackson Cole and other scams to Royal Thai Police. It was the wrong police. A kidnap was arranged for Mark Hutcherson, Hayward's partner, but the plot was foiled. Three policeman were charged. Two got 12 years imprisonment - the third got away with US$400,000 - an upfront payment made during negotiations.

In none of the above cases the Embassies of the countries of the victims all refused to assist on the grounds that they did not interfere with the justice system of other countries.




Brief Bio:  Andrew Drummond has covered South East Asia as a journalist for The Observer, The Observer Film Company, London Evening Standard, The Times (10 years) and more recently the London Evening Standard again. He also regularly broadcasts from Bangkok and stories by him have also been syndicated world wide.

His television documentaries in this region include

No Man Wants to Die - Exposing a worldwide drugs syndicate

Burma's Forgotten War - with the Karen National Liberation Army

Lord of the Golden Triangle - living with drugs warlord Khun Sa

He also has featured heavily and employed in other documentaries including 'Garden City Killer' on serial killer John Martin Scripps, The Sex Slave Trade, and Who Killed Kirsty Jones?

Andrew Drummond and Andrew Chant tracked down Paul Gadd (Gary Glitter) in Vietnam following which the former rocker was arrested on child abuse charges.

Footnote: With special thanks to Jonathan Head, BBC correspondent and President of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, Dominic Faulder, former President and long term stalwart, Ally, Barry, Ryan, Nick, Pi-Nok, Pi-Tuk,Nong Pi-May, and Foxy, and supporters of this site.



51 comments:

  1. We look forward to even MORE revealing evidence from your new base in ..... Huddersfield. Best of Luck! Go for it!

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    1. If it is any grain of comfort whatsoever, you will at least no longer be disenfranchised by the treacherous piece of legislation that says 15 years out of the UK and you can't vote.

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    2. Let us know where you are heading Andrew! We can then engage in a bit of Kurt Vonnegut style hero worship when we are next in the UK. (Kurt was mighty pissed-off one morning to find that some of his adoring far-out fans had decided he wouldn't mind if they camped out on his lawn.)

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  2. I hope you continue to prod Noyes and Goudie from the UK.

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  3. It's a Thai trait not to like criticism of their country. They therefore dislike even honest investigative journalism. The Noises of this world know that and feel secure that the Thai way will protect them. That and of course they know how to play the corrupt system.

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  4. Sad news in almost the same week as the Charlie Hebdo killings and subsequent protests. Unfortunately, can't see Thai's being overly concerned with press freedom.

    Thank you for shining a light into some very murky corners of this country, when most other media are more than happy to turn a blind eye, at great cost to yourself.

    Hopefully you'll be able to return safely soon.

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  5. Thank you for your incredible efforts. Your presence will be missed and best of luck to you and your lovely family. I feel sure in a year or so, (or maybe just a week,) you will be very glad you made the move to civilization. It really is going to get very, very bad in Thailand very soon.

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    1. I enthusiastically endorse your first two statements Christy, & reluctantly the last two.

      Mataleo; think about it. Nothing is forever -

      Bon voyage, Andrew and family.

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  6. We wait with baited breath. Be safe Andrew and family.

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  7. Very best wishes to you and your family - you will be missed!

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  8. Wish you and your family the very best, will miss you and your reporting!

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  9. Andrew wish you and your family the very best - you and your reporting will be missed!

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  10. All the best to you and your family Andrew, and thank you for all your hard work in the reports and investigations you have done over the years. It is to Thailand's shame that you have had to leave. Yet if you were engaged in criminal activities you would be more than welcomed to stay (providing of course that you paid the expected and required 'tea money').

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  11. Fare thee well Andrew. You are right to take your family far from the vipers' nest...vipers you have often exposed fearlessly and for all the right reasons. We expat parents all wish this was the Thailand we would wish for our children, but sadly the opposite is the case as the country proceeds into the realms of Hollywood crime fiction, an open sewer run by vile fakes and evil, cowardly thieves. Not a place for children or for anyone who has the option to go elsewhere. Difficult to see how it might change for the better and I am relieved you and the family will be safe, long since fearful that the reptiles might strike. Imperative you be safe, you a beacon of the righteous in an ever-darkening landscape. Haste ye back in less troubled times. Slan ju vah!

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  12. The scum reported about on this site are pathetic cowards. Taking the savings of old ladies and the vulnerable and gullible is their game. If they were to go after anyone it would be a certainty they'd pay someone else to do their dirty work. Set up a site beyond any of these vexatious bastard's reach and let them have it without fear of one of their petty lawsuits. Good luck and safe travels.

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  13. Andrew, you have done a credible and valuable service to those of us residing here in Thailand under the threat of false accusations by the BIB and people who use loopholes in the system to further their ill gotten gains. I for one of many, will encourage you to remain, find some other disreputable people to run through the mill, leave the ones alone that you have already beaten. No need to beat a dead horse, they have no chance of continuing their charade.
    Drew has quietly backed away from the mudslinging and is now concentrating on family, I would encourage you to do the same. I love your investigative journalism and you have done a great service to the Expat community, if you insist you must leave keep up the good work from wherever you land. Best of luck to you and your family.

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  14. Very unfortunate news. What is also unfortunate is that the Thai legal system and authorities have no idea or no understanding of the damage that actions like this have towards their country. While it may sound crass to talk about the "brand", it is synonymous with reputation. This extends beyond the country being a tourist destination. It also represents perceptions at economic, political, and cultural levels. Does Thailand really want to be nothing more than a wasteland for foreign crooks and deadbeats? It doesn't bear well for the future.

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  15. Best of luck, Andrew. We will miss you being physically around here in Thailand but at the same time can't blame you for leaving. Although nothing compared to the problems and threats facing you and your family, I have recently been confronted by racism/prejudice from the lower echelons of Thai society. It appears to be a problem from top to bottom. Not a lot of fun!

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  16. There is neither law or justice in Thailand Andrew. As you well know. Empathy is a Dulux paint colour. Blatant unfettered corruption and Thai Rak Thai is an unbeatable foe when allied to a mutable legal system that has no precedence or accountability and burries us lesser beings at will. Here the sword is mightier than the pen. My young daughter was abducted and sexually abused and the female judge managed to see humor in her victim impact statement. I look forward to reading your free scribblings from afar.

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  17. There is neither law or justice in Thailand Andrew. As you well know. Empathy is a Dulux paint colour. Blatant unfettered corruption and Thai Rak Thai is an unbeatable foe when allied to a mutable legal system that has no precedence or accountability and burries us lesser beings at will. Here the sword is mightier than the pen. My young daughter was abducted and sexually abused and the female judge managed to see humor in her victim impact statement. I look forward to reading your free scribblings from afar.

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  18. You have done a remarkable job in exposing the low life that feeds off expat community here in Thailand. Please never say quit because reporters like you our becoming extinct. I hope you have the chance to interview Paul Cryne in your new location.

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  19. I wish you and your family well, Andrew. All the very best to you and for your future. Thank you for all you have done. Keep up the great work. We are with you.

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  21. The world is a much better place with the likes of Andrew Drummond, who is as brave as any soldier. He knows the best (his Thai wife and kids, the food, most of the people, etc..) and the worst of Thailand, an utter dichotomy that would be beyond comprehension for many, but for journalists like Andrew, and Phuketwan Editor Alan Morison, who also fits the category of brave warrior, although these folks would deny it, such is their modest mentality..

    But when the lowest common denominator of foreign scum pays off corrupt Thai police, and other assorted thugs, for any number of nefarious activities, where morals and ethics are found at the end of a gun barrel, or at the tip of a machete...whether we are reading about no good Goudie on Andrew Drummond.com, or the marginalized Rohingya on Phuketwan.com.

    According to the thugs, Mr. Drummond's best-buy date was up years ago, yet he remains relatively fresh, quite undaunted, however cognizant that he has a family that has to come first. He's smart enough to know that he'd be little use to his cherished family, if the thugs (farang and Thai) got their way.

    Whether Islam extremists, corrupt Thai police, or expat criminals languishing in Pattaya, all those with the conscience of a plastic flower, with the morals and ethics of a cornered rat, need to be put under the spotlight, or else the rats will continue their depravities, their scams, their murders unabated...in murky shadows, where they prefer to be of course.

    Virtually every one of them are cowards, when isolated. Consequently, folks of this ilk stick together, like sh-- on a blanket.

    Journalists like Andrew and Alan are in the same category as Charlie Hebdo, they are modest, albeit imperfect people, light years ahead of their adversaries, in terms of a moral compass. Now it's up to readers of conscience, to help them, to emulate them in some small way, like sharing information that could save lives. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

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  22. Andrew, since you exposed Garry Glitter to the light of day in Cambodia, FYI, Rock and Roll Part 2 has NEVER been played in any sports arena in Canada again - not even once - prior it was a STAPLE after almost EVERY big goal or score for the home team...

    That it's still played in the USA, with relish, speaks volumes..shows we are a little different here in Canada, perhaps partly due to the British AND French influence..

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  23. Thailand and Burma is a twin countries of Sin. It is better to stay away from these countries.

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  24. Andrew, Thank you for your reportage. First class my friend. Enjoy your years and family.

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  25. Andrew, Thank you for your reportage. Enjoy less bizarre 'freedom'.

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  26. My first post on your blog. I am a Solicitor ( yes a real one ) I specialise in Immigration and Human Rights. Any difficulties in obtaining visas for your family my organisation will help. No charge at any time of course. Richard

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  27. You endured what many could not do against this lot of scum Andrew and you can do even more from afar. Good luck in your endeavours as why let these monkeys take advantage. Goudie will get his just dues believe me.

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  28. Whistle blowers never win
    as there is always money involved and money speaks louder than anything else - all around the World.

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  29. Thank you Andrew for your courage and commitment throughout. I want to add my voice to those of other readers who have commented here. We are all indebted to you for your unflinching readiness to expose crimes affecting foreigners, even as the mainstream English language broadsheets systematically ignore them.

    Your excellent reportage of the escalating harassment, violence and death threats my family and I have faced over the past few years gave the issue global media exposure as well as much-needed moral support.

    Your departure is a great loss to Thailand, and I really can’t imagine who will step up to fill your shoes. I hope therefore you will continue your work from a safer location, and maintain your interest in Thailand.

    I wish you every success.

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  30. I will miss your insightful view of Thailand but, given the circumstances, believe you have done the right thing for your family. Best of luck for the future.

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  31. May I add my name to the list of many, Andrew, who have wished you God Speed and good luck for the future.
    I have greatly enjoyed reading your articles over the past couple of years.

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  32. Very sad! Best wishes and Good Luck.

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  33. Indeed, Andrew, taking the higher moral ground against the forces ranged against you has not been enough and the exercise of discretion over valour is the only sensible and honourable course . You have a family and they must take priority over exposing the vermin that infest this corrupted land but we all look forward to you carrying that banner of truth and justice from the sanctuary of a more civilised country.
    May you and yours prosper and I hope Blighty is kind to you.

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  34. Andrew one thing we would all like an answer on, is not having your feet on Thai soil going to unchain you and allow further exposure of the criminal elements in Thailand.

    Is it a good thing knowing you haven't gotta chase around courts defending ridiculous cases designed to weaken your spirit.

    Is it not now the case you can flip the middle Finger and say come on guy's try your luck in UK courts and bring an overnight bag to the court as there some cid officers who want a word in your shell like. LOL.

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  35. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

    You will be missed. Even though you may continue, the feeling is--there is one less good guy that has our back. Good luck Andrew, you deserve it.

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  36. all the best Andrew to you and your family .These days there are so few with your courage.

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  37. Good luck in the UK and keep up the superb work you have been doing... all the very best

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  38. Your honest accounts of the corruption and the lawlessness in Thailand will be sorely missed Andrew. As someone who has suffered physically and mentally at the hands of foreigners and Thais living in Thailand who roam free but should be in jail for the crimes they commit I sympathise with your decision. Thailand can be a great place to live but with a family and your children's education to consider you're wise to make this move. I sincerely hope that you can continue your much needed contributions from afar. Even if things often don't feel like they'll improve here your work has absolutely helped many and brings comfort and hope to those of us remaining. Good luck and thank you for your reporting which brought justice in the murder (by his wife) of my friend in Ranong a few years ago.

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  39. Margaret and I look forward to meeting up with you in London. Let me know if I can help in any way. The old office number will find me. Regards, John Rodgers

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  40. Wow does it end in 2661? Great to hear from you

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  41. Thank you for all the hard work all these years , and your fight for justice in Thailand. We will continue the fight against crime and corruption in Thailand.

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  42. Andrew,
    Good luck in the UK - I can completely understand your decision. I hope you will still be able to shine a light on Thailand's dark corners, but also have a closer look at the UK - press freedom and justice there aren't all they are cracked up to be either and I hope you don't find yourself facing similar problems in your new/old home.
    All the best,
    Steve (AWOL Hua Hin)

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  43. Andrew,
    Good luck in the UK - I can completely understand your decision. I hope you will still be able to shine a light on Thailand's dark corners, but also have a closer look at the UK - press freedom and justice there aren't all they are cracked up to be either and I hope you don't find yourself facing similar problems in your new/old home.
    All the best,
    Steve (AWOL Hua Hin)

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