Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015
9


The leading Bangkok English language magazine for ex-pats BIG CHILLI has come under flak today from an investment watchdog site for a two page advertorial it is carrying promoting a new financial services agency, which appears to be born out of MBMG International.

Lindell Lucy’s says on his site ‘The Rape of Hong Kong’: “Over the past year, Big Chilli has published several articles about the financial devastation caused by unscrupulous, unlicensed “financial advisers”.


"The magazine appeared to be committed to alerting the public to the deceptions, rip-offs, and criminality which have plagued the country’s financial services sector. Now, sadly, Big Chilli has become a facilitator.”

The advertorial ‘Swimming with the Dolphins or Drowning with the Sharks:   Who is looking after your investments?’ promotes SEAC (South East Asia Capital).


“The advertorial is loaded with blatantly false, misleading, and hypocritical statements, but that’s only the beginning of the problems, “writes Lucy.

All of SEAC’s directors—Ian Ferguson, Billy Popham, and Stephan Tierney—previously worked at MBMG International, which is on the SEC’s Investor Alert List.

The advertorial is impressive. It gives the impression that SEAC provides a proper and honest service in an area where Independent Financial Advisers have a reputation only a notch or two above “boiler rooms’ and possible two notches below pay-day loan sharks.

MBMG with one of its co-bosses Graham Macdonald being a former President of the British Chamber and a recipient of the M.B.E. - a fact it played on heavily - was former claimant to the being the whitest of IFA companies in Bangkok - that is until we got our teeth into.

This is not my investigation and I should point out that ‘Big Chilli’ did put a lot of effort into helping victims of the LM – MPF scam. But then again the magazine has taken a lot of adverts for boiler room establishments over the years.

Colin Hastings publisher of 'Big Chilli' when asked to comment replied: "Its an advertorial as you noted."

You can read the advertorial hereand ‘The Rape of Hong Kong’ article here. Its a long detailed and interesting read.

However my personal favourite part of this two page advertorial was the following question SEAC posted itself....Can you advise people - see cut-out right)

The bosses of 'Big Chilli' would have known of course that, RLI 360. Friends Provident, Generali and Skandia (Old Mutual) all put up LM MPF as a fund with their seal of approval and thus played a major part of the ruin of many people.

And does the last sentence mean, er, 'but we know some people who ARE regulated' ?



Declaration: Up until the LM MPF crash this site carried advertisements for Global Investments which had millions of (now lost) investors’ money in the fund. We do not recommend any site which is not registered with the authorities. Nor, incidentally, do we believe that registering with the Thai authorities should give the investor much confidence.

In short we do not recommend any IFAs based in Thailand or who have addresses in banana (offshore) republics.



9 comments:

  1. It's a jungle out there...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With Lindell Lucy's Spicy report - The Big Chilli now has a little indigestion issue - not fixable with laxatives mind you.

      The concomitant odor is wafting into the ether so buyer beware - it's appropriately "Min Soot Yot" Oyyy

      Delete
  2. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
    King James Bible - Matthew 7:15

    "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." –Mark Twain

    "There are two sorts of wealth-getting, one is a part of household management, the other is retail trade: the former necessary and honorable, while that which consists in exchange is justly censured; for it is unnatural, and a mode by which men gain from one another. The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural." - Politics, Aristotle, 350 B.C.

    No one who has significant exposure can be trusted because those who are responsible for permitting such exposure have allowed it for a very good reason, and that reason does not serve your best interests. They take great risks with your money. If things go right they take their cut and all the credit, if things go wrong, it was always somebody else's fault and you lose your hard earned cash.

    On Spotting Frauds: Whenever you wish to know whether someone can be trusted, always remember this golden rule..."a man is judged by the company he keeps." This is a very important rule to remember because con men almost always belong to the same network. You will see the same con artists referencing each other, socializing together, praising each other on blogs and so forth.

    ReplyDelete

  3. This is actually the direct link to the Big Chili editorial: http://www.thebigchilli.com/news/swimming-with-dolphins-or-drowning-with-sharks-who-is-looking-after-your-investments

    The IFA website is here: http://seac.asia/

    Domain Name: SEAC.ASIA

    Domain Create Date: 21-May-2013 09:44:21 UTC

    Domain Expiration Date: 21-May-2017 09:44:21 UTC

    Domain Last Updated Date: 22-Apr-2015 02:36:26 UTC

    Created by: GoDaddy.com, LLC R45-ASIA (146)

    Last Updated by Registrar: GoDaddy.com, LLC R45-ASIA (146)

    Sponsoring Registrar: GoDaddy.com, LLC R45-ASIA (146)

    Registrant ID: CR143687971

    Registrant Name: William Popham

    Registrant Organization: South East Asia Capital

    Registrant Address: 33/3 Baan Prida, Sukhumvit Soi 8

    Registrant Address2: Klongton, Klongtoey

    Registrant City: Bangkok

    Registrant State/Province: Bangkok

    Registrant Country/Economy: Thailand

    Registrant Postal Code:10110

    Registrant Phone: +66.892006105

    Registrant E-mail: billypopham@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

  4. This is actually the direct link to the Big Chili editorial: http://www.thebigchilli.com/news/swimming-with-dolphins-or-drowning-with-sharks-who-is-looking-after-your-investments

    The IFA website is here: http://seac.asia/

    Domain Name: SEAC.ASIA

    Domain Create Date: 21-May-2013 09:44:21 UTC

    Domain Expiration Date: 21-May-2017 09:44:21 UTC

    Domain Last Updated Date: 22-Apr-2015 02:36:26 UTC

    Created by: GoDaddy.com, LLC R45-ASIA (146)

    Last Updated by Registrar: GoDaddy.com, LLC R45-ASIA (146)

    Sponsoring Registrar: GoDaddy.com, LLC R45-ASIA (146)

    Registrant ID: CR143687971

    Registrant Name: William Popham

    Registrant Organization: South East Asia Capital

    Registrant Address: 33/3 Baan Prida, Sukhumvit Soi 8

    Registrant Address2: Klongton, Klongtoey

    Registrant City: Bangkok

    Registrant State/Province: Bangkok

    Registrant Country/Economy: Thailand

    Registrant Postal Code:10110

    Registrant Phone: +66.892006105

    Registrant E-mail: billypopham@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Excellent, detailed analysis by Lindell Lucy. Fascinating read into the background of not only SEAC and its principals, but also each of its so-called "preferred partners". Given the backgrounds of these "preferred" firms, makes you wonder how they settled on them - outside of commission kick-backs? None are lily-white, and at least a couple appear quite shady.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If an IFA is flogging any sort of an offshore fund in an overseas jurisdiction it's a bad idea to buy into it. They just cannot stop themselves from scamming the punters. When it all goes bad where can the expat turn for compensation?
    The big name Bond Providers are the first to disclaim any responsibility too. After taking their fees from the same dodgy funds and doing sweet FA, they point you back to that unregulated IFA running his scams from the financial jungle.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Whether they are sharks or dolphins, South East Asia Capital is now the latest entry to the Thai SEC's Investor Alert list: http://market.sec.or.th/public/idisc/en/Viewmore/invalert-head?PublicFlag=Y

    ReplyDelete