'THERE IS NO LAW ON PHUKET!’
A long awaited report by the BBC’s South East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head went to air yesterday on BBC2 in the UK.
It is difficult to guess what affect it will have if any; but it was good to see the BBC dealing with frauds against foreigners in Thailand, which in this case impacted on Irishman Colin Vard and Briton Ian Rance, who were cleaned out of everything in Phuket in a conspiracy between lawyers, police, money lenders and government officials.
|Ian Rance with family before his world fell apart|
The piece was titled ‘Defrauded by My Wife and Criminals in Thailand’. But cheating Thai wives were merely the gullible catalysts in these cases – and these cases happen where there are no Thai wives at all of course.
The property of both men in Thailand was of course distributed among the thieves and in both cases, as usual; officials not only took no action, but also played a major part.
The great thing about television is that we can get to see the faces of those taking part in the fraud and those who actually can do something expressing sympathy and understanding while doing very little and probably have no intention of doing so.
The plights of these two families who have been impoverished by the system are of course just the tip of the iceberg of one of the world’s great fraud hubs.
And of course foreign criminals did not take too long to work out that this could be a good little earner for them too.
|No camera! says Rance's lawyer as Head shows him the signature he forged|
I enjoyed seeing a lawyer squirm and then pretend it was quite in order for him to forge his clients’ signature in his absence, and the Deputy Governor of Phuket feigning surprise at the five years Ian Rance has been battling for justice, while knowing it could take a life-time, literally.
|Head interrogating Rance's lawyer. The Flying Sporran would of course have turned the lamp on the lawyer|
I also enjoyed the Royal Thai Police spokesman (top) announcing that he was not there to argue he was there to solve Colin Vard’s problems. Actually the RTP promised to solve the problem in two months – that deadline went by a long time ago.
It’s a pity the BBC2 piece did not contain this latest non development – but I did not see the lead into the programme or the final comment by studio presenter Victoria Derbyshire.
|Vard accepts promises at the Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok.|
The long delay in transmission may have been as a result of the BBC not coming up with a slot easily. Frauds against foreigners in Thailand are at the bottom of news agendas. It is the same with boiler room stories. It’s the ‘fool parted with his money’ syndrome I’m afraid. ‘Don’t they know Thailand is corrupt’? ‘Serves them right for taking a young Thai wife’ etc.
But both these men have been defrauded of millions and they are part and parcel of systematic frauds common place in places in Thailand foreigners put down new roots – and when they tried to expose it they put their lives on the line. That is not in many guide books or government ‘travel advisory’ that I have seen.
And they also face being sued.
And they also face being sued.
"This is the result of laws that punish people for outing criminals and scammers - you get sued back as the victim and the perpetrator gets off.
The above is what Ian Rance posted on this site's Facebook page. Readers of this site will recognise the scenario.It also stops you warning the public about corrupt lawyers, money laundering banks and court judgements that are absurd. This is how a cheating corrupt society which is what we have in Thailand perpetuates itself".
And in these cases while the wives took the initial steps (by trying to sell their husbands properties) they in fact got little of the rewards, while the wolves waiting in the wings, all from so called respectable professions had a feast.
The establishment is the criminal I am afraid.
Good effort by Head (above) and his team. Pity it will be missed by many. It’s part of Thailand’s black economy.
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