Thursday, March 3, 2016

Thursday, March 03, 2016

The personal financial guru of the Bangkok Post has been indicted by the Thai Securities Exchange Commission along with eight other ‘financial advisors’  for operating securities businesses without licences.

Andrew Wood, who was afforded a regular financial column in the Bangkok Post’s Spectrum section had an unenviable reputation for losing clients’ money.  

He was repeatedly exposed on

But when new clients cottoned on they were faced with massive financial penalties for withdrawing their accounts.

These of course represented the commissions which were paid to the financial advisers up front.

Wood, who began his career as a management trainee for Lambeth Borough Council at Chiswick Poly, is named with his company PFS International (Platinum Financial Services) and five other , colleagues, namely  director Mark Edward Kirkham, Mr. Harpreet Sajjan,  Roger Sefton,  Ms. Sakun Chaiyakun and Mr. Timothy Lock.

Mark Kirkham, 50, was given a three week prison sentences (suspended for biting a  Hong Kong policeman outside the Yung Kee Restaurant in Central Hong Kong. He was described in court as the Chief Executive of Business Class Group.

Wood was involved in several financial scandals. First as financial advisor for  Barclay Spencer he put clients’ money into the now infamous ‘Football Fund’ which crashed disastrously and was exposed in a documentary on Britain’s Channel 4 TV.

SUN story on the Football Fund
The second time was when he put clients’ money into Axiom Legal Funding, which turned out to be nothing more than a PONZI.

The third was when he put clients’ cash into Centaur Litigation which went bust with US$10 million of clients’ assets.

And the fourth time was when he put client assets into the Australian based LM Managed Performance Fund run by New Zealander Peter Drake, which also spectacularly crashed with an estimated US$600 million of client assets.

The PFS slogan was 'Helping expats with the business of life'.

Also indicted are members of the Gilt Edge International Group (2/3 Moo 14, Bangna Tower A, 2nd Floor, Room No. 207, Bangna-Trad Road, KM 6.5) and its members named as Mrs. Karen Elizabeth Entwistle,  Mr. Steven Entwistle and Mr. Neil Callard.


The Entwistles have a very low internet profile – but Neil Callard was the principal speaker at a Bangkok seminar on Forex trading, claiming to have been a ‘trader’ for 25 years, employed by many well know banks.

In both cases the files have been sent to the Economic Crime Division Police to prosecute.

Footnote: These prosecutions will come as little consolation to those expats who have lost their life savings. The penalties, as the SEC points out  “include imprisonment for a term of 2 to 5 years and a fine from 200,000 to 500,000 baht, plus a daily fine of 10,000 baht until the violation ends.”

boiler room traders in Bangkok

When Bangkok’s boiler room fraud operations were raided in 2001 the bosses were merely fined and they went back to work again. A maximum fine of 500,000 baht in these cases meant little to them.


Bob Kneale said...

All of those indicted so far, low internet profile or not, from this and your previous reports appear on the SEC's Investor Alert list. I imagine that there are a few others feeling rather nervous right now!

The Entwistles' outfit is another of those "international" companies that along with a low internet profile also has a low telephonic profile, i.e. no phone numbers for any of it's offices. Why don't investors see through this right away?

Andy said...

And does the Bangkok Post publish this news and apologize to its readers for years of accepting self-serving advertorial articles by Andrew Wood? Amazingly, no. If you google "Bangkok Post" and "Andrew Wood" instead of coming up with the SEC's criminal complaint against Wood or an apology by the BP for their shoddy practices, you find Andrew Wood's articles are STILL posted on their website!

Ron said...

I have to say that all the actions by the Thai SEC were as a direct result of members of the LM Thailand Investor Group (LMTIG) who have worked tirelessly to get to a postition where these illegal IFA's will hopefully get there just desserts. The LMTIG are now setting their sights on the Bond Providers (via the Thai OIC) who had their policies illegally sold in Thailand by illegal IFA's. Within this close knit financial circle there are also the QROPS Pension Trustees who will have a case to answer s these were the people that were entrusted with our pensions. We will get these b4@$T4Rd5 eventually.

Andy said...

Ron, your group deserves a lot of credit. For so many years, very few said anything or even tried to complain. It didn't help that the press were actively promoting some of these "IFAs". Have you been in contact with IOSCO, the global organization that all regulators belong to, as well? Their 2016 Market risk assessment addresses the products and the product providers:

D. Farang said...

These bottom-feeders keep surfacing

And like the cockroaches they are - they come out of the sewer

Only to be squished under foot

And their boot-licking sycophants just a keep on a comin'

"There's a sucker born every minute"

Been there

Loiner said...

Fair play to SEC for eventually getting their finger out, at the insistence of Ron's LMTIG and LMIVC groups.
It's not the Thai SEC regulator that IOSCO should investigate but Australia's ASIC. The land down under is full of failed investment funds and crooked banksters. Even Greg Medcraft ASIC's chairman admitted that it's a fraudsters paradise.
As Ron points out - they are ALL after your money! From the bottom feeding IFAs that still stalk social media and the expat networking circles of Thailand, to the big insurance companies, bond providers and trustees. Each of them grabs a slice of the unwary investors' savings or pension. All wrapped up with household financial names and fancy brochures, nobody would suspect that the friendly expat IFA is only after his cut of your lifelong hard work.
Roll on the next cockroach to be fingered by SEC. With the help of LMTIG there's plenty more now on their list.

jules in KL said...

Bangkok used to be awash with IFAs and maybe still is. I was on a dialling list from membership of a club that published its members details, I could expect 2 or 3 cold calls each week, sadly I now get few. Easiest way of stopping them in mid spiel was to ask for company name and address, only a few would reveal this (usually cited as confidential) and no-one ever got past the question of who their manager was and his phone number (far too confidential). I have never got to the question of registration. Sharks but the opening spiel often sounded very convincing and smooth so I could understand someone being fooled.