Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017
David Ames the boss of Harlequin Property and associated companies, who has allegedly defrauded victims out of several hundred million pounds has been charged with three counts of fraud.

Ames, a former bankrupt double glazing salesman from Essex, UK, has been exposed multiple times on this site for his duff projects on the eastern seaboard, as has the man who took over his Thai operation Richard Haughton and also Niels Colov, who promoted his projects and got a house in lieu of promotional fees.

The charges are however believed to relate to Ames' projects in the Caribbean.

Colov 'the cop'.

The SFO has today charged David Ames, chairman of the Harlequin Group of companies, with three counts of Fraud by Abuse of Position, contrary to section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006. 
The alleged activity occurred between January 2010 and June 2015. 
David Ames, 65, from Wickford, Essex, has been requisitioned to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 22 March 2017. 
The SFO, together with Essex Police, announced it was investigating the Harlequin Group of companies on 5 March 2013. This investigation continues. 
Harlequin investors who invested via a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) following advice from an Independent Financial Advisor firm which is no longer trading, may be entitled to compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (“FSCS”). Further details can be found on FSCS’s website.

Ames also faces arrest in the Caribbean. A warrant has been issued after he failed to appear before magistrates on charges of tax evasion and theft. 

Ames was due to appear at Kingstown Magistrates Court in Saint Vincent last June to answer four charges of theft and four charges of tax evasion, but he failed to turn up at court when summoned.

The charges, brought by the government of Saint Vincent, where his company and its flagship hotel Buccament Bay are based – relate to approximately £2 million, or $7 million East Caribbean dollars. The theft charges relate to the equivalent of around £964,000. (source. The Claims Bureau).

The news this week is not entirely one for celebration. Ames and his cohorts have swindled Britons, many of them pensioners, out of at least £300 million, but that figure has been quoted as high as £600m.  Most of the cash has been spent.

The Serious Fraud Squad appears to be only investigating people defrauded between 2010 and 2015.

“The business activity of the Harlequin Group includes the marketing, sale and construction of luxury off-plan property developments in the Caribbean and other resort locations. 
The SFO would like to thank investors who completed a questionnaire. The online questionnaire is no longer available, however, investors who made investments during the period of January 2010 to June 2015 can register their details with the SFO at If you have any concerns about communicating via email, please write to the following address: 
The Witness / Victim Care Officer (HLM01), Serious Fraud Office, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London”
On this site we exposed the activities of Harlequin (Thailand) on Thailand’s eastern seaboard many times.

Richard Haughton
The company was taken over by Richard Haughton, of TMPE, a former President of The Rotary Club of Pattaya and Jomtien and promoted heavily by Niels Colov, a former Danish underworld figure, who rose to chief of Pattaya Foreign Police Volunteers, publisher of the Pattaya People Media Group, and who too was a past President of the Rotary Club Pattaya-Jomtien.

One of the projects was Emerald Palace in Pattaya. Haughton sold the properties twice, first to punters and then to the Kasikorn Bank for a 70-million-baht loan. Since we took up the case several buyers have won their cases in the civil courts. But they are still awaiting return of their investment.

The BBC pulled an investigation into Harlequin by a team on their flagship documentary affairs programme after a producer suggested to a security man working for Ames that he would be better off working for the BBC.  The BBC Board decided that that was an inducement.


Daily Express
Serious Fraud Office


Rockderk Van Toorbel said...

Where is David Ames?

Megalodon said...

So many of Ames' victims, whom he swindled out of millions, were Brit pensioners. There's no fool like an old fool, as they say.
Perhaps D. Farang can explain what "gift of the gab" these people - property swindlers and boiler room cheats- have which makes gullible fools hand over their hard-earned wealth?

leave Thailand to the Thais said...

Megalodon. In this day and age, some of the people who have worked hard all their lives and saved as much as they could just couldn't get enough to see out their days knowing when the kitty is set that will end up in one of these old folks thatleave them hungry, unkept and neglected. Believe it or not this happens and out caring Government can't keep them in heat or good as it's already been given to a project in Somalia to look for a Somalian Spice girl group.
Therefore pensioners with their little retirement best become targets for the greedy bunch. Now the other thing about pensioners is that they are not the bright alert person that were whilst sleeping in trenches or travelling to some way to fight for our freedom, even the freedom of the scum that will later on in life repay their kindness by robbing them.
To do this that will befriend them, spend lots of money proving that can help them get a bigger pension and a better life style by investing in their schemes which of course grown able men have fallen for.
To label them old fools is an obscene comment that makes you as bad as the scum perpetrating these seeds.
It's like the prisoner who murders people and screams about human rights.
There people are victims so don't treat them as the villains

The RatShit Kid said...

Although your response to Megalodon is difficult to read, I catch your drift.
But as he says, there is no fool like an old fool and it cannot be denied that many of these pensioners were downright greedy.
I am not in any way, shape or form condoning the behaviour of people like Ames & Haughton in fleecing people of their pensions for properties in places like Thailand & the Caribbean.
But the old adage about if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, rings true.

Marlo Stanfield said...

Steady on, Megalodon. They're not gullible fools; with a dodgy real estate scam, the alarm bells might not ring until much, much later on because, if you're buying off-plan (which so many do these days) construction could take months. Unless you actually fly out here to check if the builders have broken ground before sending your money, you just can't know for sure.

Glossy brochures, snazzy websites, convincing sales flannel plus the most important aspect of all - the buyer's own dreams and desires - conspire to create a very compelling picture indeed.

It's not like a boiler room fraud. Boiler rooms tend to be exposed online pretty quickly these days and those that aren't generally tend to have websites with content written by borderline illiterates so they're easy to spot and avoid.

Best to stick to developers with a track record of delivering both to specification and on schedule.

D. Farang said...

A lot of people are blissfully unaware at this precise moment - that they just avoided a dreaded, possibly life-changing "cold call."


"Hello Mate! - ow's things with your finances, EH?.."

Bob Kneale said...

"To label them old fools is an obscene comment that makes you as bad as the scum perpetrating these seeds. There people are victims so don't treat them as the villains".

The only part of your comment that was properly intelligible, unfortunately, but you were absolutely right. Once again Megalodon should hang his head in shame.

Bob Kneale said...

Hear, hear.

Bob Kneale said...

Without wishing to condone fraud in general and boiler rooms in particular, the record needs to be set straight in one particular area. Any half-decent investigations have shown that boiler rooms do not target pensioners, they are the last kind of victim that they want. As a rule, pensioners do not have access to the large amounts of cash that the BRs want and pension funds are not easily available to be spent, or sent, willy-nilly as the pensioner may want. The vast majority of those defrauded are not pensioners, they would be the middle-aged with unrestricted, speedy access to their money, preferably in large amounts that can be added to at later stages. Pensioners do not usually fall into this category although the media does, wrongly, highlight that type of victim as it is a particularly emotive area.

Megalodon said...

Bob Kneale - you as an unashamed supporter and unofficial spokesman for the corrupt-to-the-core Thai establishment, are the last person to be saying that I should hang my head in shame.

Megalodon said...

"A dreaded, possibly life-changing 'cold call'.."
What a load of tosh.
Just hang up. Just say no, not interested, good day.
But no, you couldn't do that, could you? You had to listen. You had to chomp.
Greed got the better of you, didn't it? Well I hope you learnt your lesson.

D. Farang said...

I lost 90% of my life savings-investments from 37 years of work (1.2 million dollars or so) because of personal ignorance and greed, and foolishly believing that potash-bearing test holes in Canada would be drilled, because management told me personally - and put in writing that they would be drilled, on a so-called reputable venue called the Toronto Stock Exchange web site.

Hope you feel better now. If not - I'll send you the other 10% gladly to sooth your complaints. Just send me your bank particulars..

Trollmeister General said...

I cannot, for the life of me D. Farang, understand why a scammer's cold call should be "dreaded."
Or even "life-changing."
If you receive such a call - simply hang up. You will probably have forgotten all about it by the next day.

D. Farang said...

Some utter losers and fools like me have an intrinsic need to try to please others, so I'll agree with you on general principle - 555

Good God - why didn't I think of hanging up? Where were you when I needed that astute advice 3-4 years ago?

Ever thought of being a psychologist? You'd do quite well IMHO.

Horizons said...

The ethical substance of Marlo Stanfield was tested and fell short a long time ago. One can only imagine he's here to use semi colons, so to speak. Bob Kneale, father of three daughters, Mr. 'hear, hear' to someone who with ulterior motive explains something blandly obvious. The corruption line is drawn at murder. And not only murder but how it can be perpetrated without justice, and worse, with a clearly contrived miscarriage of justice. This happens day in day out to Thais by amazingly criminal authorities. The most hated farangs in Thailand, by farmers (and florists), are the boiler room scum. They are hated because they dishonour life in the 21st century. Hated because they have nothing to contribute to the benefit of anything but have stolen enough money to have 'power'. Power in Thailand means you can jail torture kill anyone you have a grievance with because 'Thailand' has lost its soul. And so these cash-rich protected idiots and psychopath s ply away relatively unfazed, but what happens to their victims, is often slow murder. I knew a man from Tasmania, a great man who is dead now, who lost several hundred thousand to these scum, and his last years were those of a lost man. In my opinion he was murdered by a Bangkok boiler room. I draw the line at murder. If a Thai girl was raped and murdered on Brighton Beach...? This Ames smiler is just another life ruiner in a country where ruining people's lives is an industry.

leave Thailand to the Thais said...

Thanks Bob. What's wrong with the truthful parts

leave Thailand to the Thais said...


leave Thailand to the Thais said...

Also Bob .I am partially blind with very failing eyesight

Horizons said...

Hear hear, Marlo Stanfield who lost his ethical mouse a long time ago on these pages. Hear hear, as if groundbreaking, that someone stated the obvious (with ulterior motives) in prose which just has to have a semi colon in it (only when necessary I understand).

The line, the corruption line, is drawn at murder and I ask you how a Thai girl raped and overkilled on Brighton beach would be dealt with by the British authorities? How many foreigners in the last 10 years have been murdered in Pattaya? Try triple numbers. And look for the police to be complicit in almost every murder at some stage. And look for that scum Chao Pho lowlife machine with its Aston Martins and no class to be involved at some stage of everything bad that happens. Leonardo Di Caprio plays who? None of them have anything worthwhile to say about anything worthwhile. And 99 percent are ugly.

And I once knew a brilliant man from Tasmania, very intelligent, who somehow lost half an Oz mil to a Bangkok boiler room. He was never the same again and died too early. In my opinion not only was he murdered by those people, they also ruined what was left of his life.

If Ames defrauded me of everything I would find a way to exact the justice which he paid corrupt retards to protect him from. Ditto boiler room scum.
Animals rarely survive to their species' optimum longevity.For a list of reasons.

Horizons said...

As someone who probably knows, what is the average life expectancy of a fraud king? Or boiler room king? 50 seems a long way off for some.

Horizons said...

Places like Pattaya think they will walk or run away into the the sunset, their crimes no longer withstanding. Soi 9 itself is a Kleenex of the world's worst crimes. If you weren't aware, Soi 9's motto is Entrap Extort Export (to the streets with no money) They are employed by drug traffickers and boiler rooms. Soi 9 has to go. Torturing scum.

Megalodon said...

AD, has Horizons now taken over the running of your blog?

Dick Headley said...

Florists? I think I prefer the second has paragraphs.

Bob Kneale said...

I don't think that your referring to defrauded investors as "old fools" has anything to do with your incorrect assertion of my thoughts about what you refer to as "the Thai establishment".

Bob Kneale said...


Well, if you know someone who was once in the business you must be right. You might, though, want to ask him why he would have targeted people who, in that socio-economic group, generally don't have a lot of spare cash to invest though?

Bob Kneale said...

Is that green-eyed monster rearing it's head again?

Loiner said...

We need to differentiate between the cold callers, who should be easily dismissed, and the longer term locally based IFA conmen:

The Thailand boiler rooms targeted high net worth individuals OZ & NZ, usually company directors etc. Their contact details were often provided by credit card companies, as I was informed by an ex-acquaintance who tried the job.
Most pensioners in Asia lose their savings through bad advice of the unlicenced unregulated unscrupulous IFAs. Apparently here to help and guide the expat at networking functions, their glossy brochures, proper British Insurance companies & Trustee backing, all with a friendly spiel and don't offer anything to-good-to-be-true, just solid advice from an experienced organisation who are happy to help the pensioner invest his QROPS and SIPPS.

They're not as obvious as boiler room dodgy share sales, or off-plan property, but the result is the same when the funds go bust. Pensions and savings are gone in the conman's life style and the IFAs' commissions. Beware of the financial parasite IFAs and never invest through them.

Marcus Button said...

we seek him here we seek him everywhere. Justice will catch up on these scum bags Karma will knock hard.

Aimee Evans said...

Hiya, does anyone have an update on Ames and Haughton please?

Andrew Drummond said...

Ames is awaiting trial. Haughton is still doing business in Thailand of course.

Aimee Evans said...

Thank you Andrew. Has anyone had any money returned to them?

Andrew Drummond said...

well there have been court orders, but whether actually anybody got any cash back - that's another matter in Thailand. In the process