Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Thailand’s international status as an international fraud hub, set in stone over the last 25 years, is unlikely to suffer in the much publicised war on corruption by the current military government

Police in the UK have passed on information on a prominent British citizen, named Paul, who controls the master lease on Nana Plaza in Bangkok with the Indian Thai FICO group, to a special ‘Panama Papers’ Squad set up after the revelations last year. But I’m guessing the enquiry is going nowhere.

Thailand's first Police Chief under the military government greeting foreign punters at Bangkok's sex entertainment area 'Nana Plaza' - He left office a millionaire.

For while British police and Scotland Yard have a pretty good international reputation, old hands know that there is a lot of spin and as often as not they do not get their man. It’s a matter of hand wringing not least among the police themselves.

Fraud is one area where they consistently fall down despite an upbeat reputation held by the City Fraud Squad, or rather Economic Crimes Unit.  

Sadly also, officers on this unit have been known to retire early to join major banks – such as HSBC – the very people they should be watching – because at the end of the day the proceeds of all major frauds, and money lending goes through them.

Indeed the Fraud Squad's link man who investigated Paul in Hong Kong some years ago has indeed retired to join the security staff of HSBC.

And while many names have surfaced in the papers of well known ‘boiler room’ (share fraudsters) in Bangkok, our British pal Paul, has, as has been shown, kept a low profile. This supports his own statement to me several years ago in which he said: ‘I do not have a bank account – not even a credit card’. 

This is difficult to believe as he gave an ‘exclusive’ statement to Crawley Town Football Club in the UK, to which he had contributed some £5 million, stating he was a high profile figure.

"My name is Paul (redacted). I was born in Northampton. I have three wonderful children and have been married for 15 years. 
"I currently co-own and manage the largest [night] life group in south east Asia with branches in Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore. 
"In addition to this we manage and co-own, as landlords, the largest adult entertainment complex in the world, although we don't manage any of the businesses inside the complex. 
"Our group currently has more than 3,000 employees in bars, restaurants and nightclubs. 
"My group was formed in 1998 and started with just two Irish bars.”  

His partner was Mickey D.

He added: “"Mickey and I saw Crawley Town as an escape from high-profile lives in Asia, where we can't buy a loaf of bread without being recognised as the 'big club guys'".

They were men of the people, he said.

"We weren't interested in the boardroom. I prefer a burger and a pint to a prawn sandwich," he said. 

Only reular clubbers might recognise Paul as the ‘big club guy’.

PAUL and MICKEY(right) at Crawley Town Football Club

No. Crawley Town FC was not so much an escape from Asia but much more likely a way in which to launder funds for which he could not have a reasonable explanation. Though in this case, having been outed, they ended up pretty much as a gift as the club has now been sold to a Turk.

In reality, whether he like's it or not he is much better known as the 'bald-headed Brummie boiler room &*%£@@!' and 'Mickey' is known as his gofer.

Two months ago Thailand's Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul announced:

"We want Thailand to be about quality tourism. We want the sex industry gone," she said.

This of course led to the London SUN running copious pictures of Thailand's sex trade.

Followers of the Thai military government’s moral crusade have to understand that this is all as meaningless as as government statements, such as those on Avian flu and now the Zika virus. 

And while there have been raids on sex establishments carried out on government instructions its business as usual and of course these have not involved those which come under Paul’s umbrella.  But rival clubs have been raided.

Of course Paul's clubs could not be committing any offences because the security officers employed at them are pretty much all off-duty cops. Watch the office on the first floor of Nana Plaza.

Of course if Paul has top generals on his payroll, as the Confederation of Defrauded Victims (see below) maintain, then nothing is going to happen to him under the current government, and while the Thais appear to have voted against democracy, his victims are in for the long haul.

Foreign police forces (the boiler rooms concentrated on European and Australian punters for years) know there are links between the boiler rooms and the Thai 'establishment'.

When the US DEA asked the Crime Suppression Division to raid the Chiang Mai home of boiler room king Glen Bullard a heavy cocaine user in 2014 they were somewhat dismayed when the CSD found absolutely nothing.

And when days later DEA help co-ordinate a raid on Canadian boiler room boss Frank
Giannini in Lat Krabang, Bangkok, they were also 'dismayed'.  Although Giannini and another were caught with heroin - both were quietly released from jail and and Giannini was given his computers back

International investigations into 'boiler rooms' in Thailand were scuppered between 2000 and 2005 after the much publicised raids on the Brinton Group, FCI and other boiler rooms in Bangkok.

FBI officer (in jacket in foreground) at the raid on the Brinton Group in Bangkok City Tower

The raids prompted by the Australian Federal Police and also attended by the FBI resulted in no charges being brought against the bosses - except for running financial companies without the proper licences.  The bosses were fined about 300,000 baht each - a mere bagatelle to them.  After that they stared diverting their cash into Thailand's sex industry.

But its not as if the Aussie Feds came out totally clean. They knew that much of the defrauded victims cash was sitting in banks in Hong Kong and did sweet F.A. about it.

As for Britain. Despite Scotland Yard's seeming support of the Thai police enquiry into the murders on the Thai island of Koh Tao of Britons Hannah Witheridge and David Miller and its refusal to hand over material citing 'the chilling effects' on international police relationships and 'public security' the National Crime Agency staff in Bangkok are fully aware of the close relationships between boiler room bosses and high ranking police and army officials.  Under the current government only the names have changed.

Anyway there is now a breakdown on the net of Bangkok’s boiler room boys and their mention in the Panama Papers. You’ll find mates and relatives of Paul and quite a few Thai names – but not Paul himself.

It's the latest contribution courtesy of my friends over at the Confederation of Defrauded Victims, a group of international victims of boiler room frauds, which they say were carried out by ' the big club guy' and others.

You can read it here. It's also worth reading the other stories on their site. 


Horizons said...

Raul, the Spanish goal machine and name, is pronounced Raool in English. And Castro. So Raoul Havwad thinks what? People are gonna be less aware. The contingency plans of certain people appear all of thrown together when on an unfamiliar defensive, arrogant for a change, and out of touch with reality.

Horizons said...

Knockedout. ////////////////////////Pavel Haywad anytime anyhere, you'll get knocked out. Bring the best you got, all those cops and'll get knocked out.

Horizons said...

Anywhere, anytime, Raoul.

D. Farang said...

It's just too simple. You cultivate your "friends" - by concomitantly filling their "rice pots," and by getting them access to a bevy of "desirable" women if need be, thus becoming "hail fellow well met" and ingratiating oneself into the powers that be - in one fell swoop

You don't have to be a peace officer for seven years to conclude the painfully obvious. "You stroke me - I stroke you" is the name of the game for these "gentlemen," in more ways than one

the guest said...

It's just a game to Thailand, and it seems they are winning.

Megalodon said...

I've said it before & I'll keep saying it until I'm blue in the face. It doesn't take the brains of a rocket scientist, surely, to simply cut the line if one of these reptiles cold-calls you and starts his boiler room spiel.
Why do people listen to them? Why do they even give them the time of day?

leave Thailand to the Thais said...

Because only a sma % do this. the rest are genuine

D. Farang said...

I hear you. Problem is, it's evolved to the point where it's tough for someone new to the scene with money to invest - to trust any financial advisor by default because of the environment these "reptiles" have created (and they would think it's funny, a right good laugh over many beers) - unless you knew the advisor from before, and they worked for you or someone you trust, and they had a good track record, and still do.

Otherwise one almost assumes them all on the take by default - as soon as you hear the real or assumed British accent (how the hell would I know the difference? I'm a Canuck) - which is a pity for a percentage that do a decent job with client money over time

I still blame myself for getting ripped off - and so I agree with you in the sense that it is often the victim's "fault" - in terms of investing with scammers. Some will argue with you that it's not fair to blame the victim, as it facilitates the perpetrators to just keep on a goin' with impunity. But I will agree with you in general - to facilitate your needs

Those that fail to do proper in depth due diligence on advisors often get scammed, because doing proper due diligence is usually left to others..

These guys know there's a million more "suckers" out there - despite your commen sense approach

Bob Kneale said...

Some people listen because by definition they haven't heard it before, if they had they wouldn't listen. Not everyone is as familiar with boiler rooms as you obviously are so why waste your time denigrating those people? If they are reading your comment here then they won't be falling into your category of not having enough brains because they will clearly be aware of the dangers due to AD's campaign.

Loiner said...

You don't have to keep saying it to most readers of this website as they are probably not the preferred victim of boiler houses. I understand from a guy who actually had a go at calling, that their calls were all to Australian & Kiwi high net worth individuals. Contact details were provided by none other than their own credit card providers!!

Warnings do however need to repeated, until we are both blue in the face, to all expats in Thailand and Asia. The shysters posing as IFAs and pension release advisers are a much more insidious bunch. They are still here and cold calling, sometimes with a friendly female voice, or lurking around expat networking events and internet financial advice adverts. They won't take your life savings or pension but the handsome commissions on your investment in some dodgy glossy-brochure 'managed' fund. Not get-rich-quick just investment as safe as a bank.

When the fund turns to ratshit but the manager is still sitting pretty with your money, the net result is the same - you are penniless. And nobody cares - multiple overseas regulators and legal systems deny any responsibility and ignore your claims.
DON'T TRUST OVERSEAS ADVISORS. They are not regulated or even legal in Thailand.

Megalodon said...

Look, even tourists in Thailand, (who I suspect are not the "mugs" whom the boiler room brigade are targetting), are likely to be aware of these scams.
How in the name of all that is holy therefore, can the real targets (foreign residents in the country), not be familiar with what's going on?
Surely within 5 mins of ordering your first beer as a foreign resident, somebody will bring you up to speed with boiler room activities?
And many foreign residents are no strangers to the country, having spent goodness knows how long there as tourists before deciding to make the move there.
Are you trying to tell me that they didn't learn of boiler room scams whilst visiting as a tourist?
Pull the other one - you know what it has on it.
This comment is also in reply to all who have commented on my original post.

Megalodon said...

And a further comment in reply to D. Farang. "...doing proper due diligence is usually left to others..."
Rarely have I read such tosh in my life.
How on earth can you, or anyone, abrogate your responsibility to conduct due diligence with YOUR OWN money.
Read that again. Slowly.
It is YOUR money. The responsibility to conduct proper background checks, to conduct due diligence, with YOUR money is yours and yours alone.
Don't try and brush that responsibility off your own shoulders.

Steam Punk said...

people are inherently greedy and that can more than shape their behaviour when they hear a "too good to be true pitch" from a con man.

the guest said...

Of course Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul is on cloud cuckoo-land if she believes that to be true. Corruption is here to stay, there is no getting away from the fact that Thailand and corruption go hand-in-hand. As for the foreigner criminals .... this is their playground, and they are just subservient to their Masters, who are both controlling and profiting from people's greed. Do you really think anything will change in my lifetime or even yours?

leave Thailand to the Thais said...

The question that should be asked is why are Western governments sweeping it under the carpet

Luke Faith said...

I am looking for debt-collector in Thailand. One company owes me big amount of money. They did not want to pay. They even hired someone from the army to 'act as protector'. I have all proof of evidence. Can someone help me? Send me an email to