MURDER IN CHIANG MAI
“Andrew Drummond will always try to get to the truth, will always try and do his best for you, is not afraid to expose lies and cover ups even if it means putting his own life in danger.”
Sue Jones - mother of Kirsty Jones - murdered and raped in Chiang Mai
SUE JONES had to go through the ordeal of discovering on television that her daughter Kirsty Jones, 23, had been brutally murdered and raped on holiday - specifically in the Aree Guest House in Chiang Mai in August 2000.
I followed the case for 15 years and was able to reveal how Thai police tried to frame a Karen tourist guide for the crimes.
This case was quite appalling and a British diplomat was quoted in an unguarded moment as describing the Thai police investigation as ‘shambolic’.
|Karen guide Narong|
Police finally settled on Narong, a Karen tour guide. Plain clothed officers kidnapped him, took him to a safe house for interrogation, and tried to get him to masturbate so they could get sperm samples, presumably to introduce to the scene of the crime.
After I reported on that escapade the Thai police arrested Andy Gill, the British guest house owner and his manager Surin.
With no-one else, and i can use this phrase without hesitation – to frame – the enquiry went dead, and was eventually passed over to the Department of Special Investigations.
The DSI could however take the botched case no further – though the family and most people who followed the case believe the police have been covering up for the killer who must be known.
“I first became aware of Andrew Drummond when my daughter Kirsty Jones was murdered in Thailand on the 10th August 2000.
He was one of the first British journalists to get to the scene at the Aree guest house in Chiang Mai. From day one, Andrew strove to get to the truth as to what happened to Kirsty.
There were many red herrings and I have no doubt that without Andrew’s influence and determination a perfectly innocent person would be languishing in a Thai prison today.
Kirstys murder was a very high profile case and many were afraid to venture into areas that would be dangerous to themselves or others,not Andrew he dug deeper than most and certainly got answers when others could not.
Sadly to date no one has been charged with her murder.Without Andrew Drummonds’ continual involvement into Kirstys murder the Thais would have brushed the case under the carpet years ago, as it is we are still trying to get justice.
Andrew Drummond will always try to get to the truth, will always try and do his best for you, is not afraid to expose lies and cover ups even if it means putting his own life in danger. Andrew Drummond will always try to get to the truth, will always try and do his best for you, is not afraid to expose lies and cover ups even if it means putting his own life in danger.”
MURDER BY THE RIVER KWAI
“Thank God for Andrew and his courageous willingness to search for the truth, in defiance of the Thai authorities and consequently at no small risk to himself.”
Graham Arscott, father of Vanessa murderd 'execution style' by a policeman in Thailand.
The policeman went on the run to Burma but was handed over to the Thai authorities - and then given bail.
This was a particularly brutal murder. Wisersingh first gunned down Adam then chased after Vanessa running her down with his car and shooting her execution style by the side of the road as she tried to raise her self by grabbing a pylon.
Everybody knew who did it but no witness would testify to the actual murder. Wisetsingh had been ‘Policeman of the Year’ in his region the same year.
He was convicted primarily on forensic evidence.
Media attention assured that the authorities could not ‘scapegoat’ these murders. British Embassy officials appeared to be uncomfortable with my presence.
After Wiesetsingh was jailed I checked regularly to see that he was still behind bars.
Adam and Vanessa had a ‘tremendous holiday’ in Thailand until meeting Somchai in the S & S restaurant in Kanchanaburi.
He denied even meeting Adam and Vanessa but pictures provided by Graham proved the lie.
Wisetsingh, who had a reputation for ‘hitting on’ young female tourists had made a play for Vanessa.
He had also shot a previous wife - not fatally. But as a police sergeant in Thailand he would have known he had a good chance of getting away with murder.
The Arscotts and Lloyds visited with Thai officials and through contacts in Kanchanaburi I was able to assist them in talking to the witnesses who were too scared to testify, but would tell the Arscotts what happened.
By the time case to trial they had not doubts as to what happened.
Their only doubts were whether a prison would keep Wisetsingh.
|Vanessa's father Graham and sister Alyssa lay a wreath by the River Kwai|
“I would like to write a few words of appreciation of Andrew Drummond who proved himself to be a real professional and friend at the time of my families greatest need.In 2004 my daughter Vanessa and her boyfriend Adam were murdered by a Thai policeman on the last evening of their extended holiday in Thailand.
It is fair comment to say that we had minimal support from our own Foreign and Commonwealth Office and also the British Embassy … it became obvious that they were adopting a diplomatic damage limitation approach rather than an assertive search for justice for two murdered British nationals.
Thank God for Andrew and his courageous willingness to search for the truth, in defiance of the Thai authorities and consequently at no small risk to himself.
Andrew’s investigative and facilitation skills (having many good local contacts) enabled us to “piece together” the sequence of events preceding our daughters death.
This in turn helped us to furnish our Thai lawyers with the evidence to present a compelling case for the successful conviction of my daughters murderer, when the trial came to court.
I had no illusions other than recognizing that Andrew was a commercial animal who needed to sell our story in order to make his living.
Equally however, Andrew is a compassionate man who always tried to ensure that we as a family were advised and comfortable with all that he wrote.
I can say that from my experience of journalists at that time my estimation of the profession is not very high. Andrew Drummond is the shining exception to that assessment demonstrating both professional integrity and and a true journalistic tenacity to discover the truth.”
"We will forever be in Andrew's debt. He has worked courageously in the search for truth for our family and many many others." -
From Alyssa Davies, sister of Vanessa
Andrew Drummond, helped myself and my father unearth the truth behind the murder of my sister in Thailand in 2004.
My father and I received very little investigative help from the British foreign and commonwealth office after my sister died, and without the help of Andrew Drummond it is very possible that her murderer would never have been brought to justice.
We were very lucky to make contact with Andrew. Throughout the investigation he worked tirelessly to the benefit of our family to discover the truth, despite both Thai and British authorities standing in our and his way.
It is almost solely due to the tenacity of Andrew that my sisters murderer was found after he went on the run, found guilty in court and sentenced to life in prison for the double murder of my sister and her boyfriend.
We will forever be in Andrews debt. He has worked courageously in the search for truth for our family and many many others and I cannot highly enough recommend his character and motives for investigative journalism.
MURDER IN THE THAI HILLS
MURDER IN THE THAI HILLS
“One of the most exceptional journalists I have ever met. If it wasn’t for Andrew my son’s murder would have been swept under the carpet in the corrupted Thai justice system’
Ernie del Pinto, father of Leo del Pinto,, murdered by a Thai Policeman, Pai, Northern Thailand
It took Canadian Ernie del Pinto, from Calgary, a staggering five years to bring to justice the Thai policeman who shot his son dead in Thailand. There were strong attempts at a cover up and the policeman meanwhile was released on bail to kill again.
His son Leo Del Pinto was shot 3 times and killed by the policeman in the northern Thai village of Pai. His friend Carly Reisig, from Chilliwack B.C. was also shot but she survived.
The shooting happened late at night in January 2008 and Leo and Carly had come out of one of the music bars in pai in Mae Hong Sorn province. Carly had been having an argument with her Thai boyfriend, who had forgotten to feed her dog.
Thai Police Sergeant Uthai Dechachiwat pulled his pistol to intervene shooting first at Carly and then at Leo who had his hands out telling the policeman to stop.
|Leo del Pinto|
Pai police immediately put out a release that Sergeant Uthai shot in self-defence but that did not click with a statement made by Carly Reisig, also Canadian, recovering in hospital in Chiang Mai who spoke to a reporter Cindy Tilney whom I had commissioned.
Police threw in another red herring – ‘ the gun had a hair trigger’ and early on it was very clear that they were pulling in business owners of bars near the shooting telling them to testify that Uthai was acting in self defence.
No such business business in Pai can operate without the say of the local police.
A secondary hurdle was that a very well known writer for ‘Lonely Planet’ who lived in Pai was vociferous and claiming that the policeman was a good guy and Carly was a local trouble maker.
|THE AUTHOR WITH HUMAN RIGHT COMMISSION OFFICIAL (LEFT) AND DR.,PORNTIP (RIGHT)|
I suspected Carly was telling the truth and flew up to see her after getting in touch with Dr. Surasee Kosolnavin of the Thai National Human Rights Commission.
Dr. Kosol himself found other witnesses to the killing -Thais who did not live in Pai – who gave evidence before the commission in Bangkok. I covered the story for CBC TV and Radio in Canada and also for the Canadian print media.
|Dr, Surasee Kosolnavin interviewing witnesses|
Dr. Porntip Rojanasunan was also brought in to give evidence regarding the trajectory of the bullets. Uhtai claimed he shot up at del Pinto – the evidence showed he shot down.
I joined the TNHRC in Pai and Mae Hong Sorn, and was surprised to see Colonel Sombat Panya of Pai Police still trying to interfere with witnesses.
|Colonel Sombat Panya of Pai Police approaching Reisig\s|
As a result the TNHRC requested that the case be taken out of the hands of the Pai Police and handed over to the Department of Special Investigations.
Incredibly the local court gave Uthai bail and he went on to murder again.
The victim was his 18-year-old bride of two weeks whom he clubbed to death with a piece of wood.
It took five years to bring Uthai Dechachiwit to justice but finally he went down for a total of 62 year 6 months in jail- 37 years six months for the murder of Leo – to serve on top of the 25 years in jail he had got in the meantime for murdering his wife.
"Andrew Drummond , is one of the most exceptional journalists I’ve ever met. If it wasn’t for Andrew my family and I would not have gotten the complete information on my son Leo John’s murder case and what the Thai government judicial system was doing in regards to my son’s case.
Andrew was personal in helping me and my family he could empathize with us and the anguish my family and I were experiencing.
Andrew is a reporter that is on the ” BALL ” and was timely and complete with his reporting and researching his information about my son case. He knew what to do and were to go to get factual information.
Andrew knows how to communicate with other news companies eg cbc hearald news and corresponding in Thai with Thai officials eg human rights commission and the DSI.
Most important he passed on the truth and in a concise way and if it wasn’t for Andrew and the help that he gave me and my family before, during the case and after. my son’s case would have been swept under the corrupted Thai judicial system’s big carpet just like some others.
Andrew I commend you on the fantastic work that you did on my sons case and hope you continue to do great and fantastic journalism."
MURDER ON A FISH FARM
“Mr. Andrew Drummond, you are one person (the) world cannot do without. Thank you..”
Vanida Boongeon - wife of Jawad Rasheed Khan, murdered in Chaiyaphum, North East Thailand
Vanida Boongeon found brick walls everywhere when she asked for the murder of her Pakistani husband to be investigated.
An American citizen she had returned with her second husband Jawad Rasheed Khan to Thaialnd and they opened up a fish farm in her relatives hamlet just outside Chaiyaphum.
In 2013 he was gunned down at his fish farm by two gunman - or at least by the bullets from two weapons.
The prime suspects were arrested but mysteriously allowed to go after two days, even though one of them had not only his blood but the blood of Jawad on his clothes. Just after the murder and before police were called Vanida received SMS's announcing the murder - and telling her to pay up.
|Jawad and Vanida|
Police could not solve it. But they and the prosecutor could for 500,000 Thai baht (about US$14,000)
Death threats came not only from locals but local authorities.
The more investigating she did into her husband’s death the more dangerous it got. Even a lawyer appointed by Thailand’s National Human Right Commission quit saying it was too dangerous to continue. The THNCR could not find a lawyer to take his place.
It would appear to be a ‘pon proyote’ case where the the lack of a result was to the benefit of all, except of course Jawad’s widow.
The fact that Jawad is from Pakistan may also have been an influence in a quite racist society. The fish farm was one of the biggest fish farms in the province contracted to the CP multinational conglomerate. Case unsolved. No pressure from the Pakistani or US Embassies to solve it.
"We witnessed an ‘investigative’ journalist who helped us make sense of the maelstrom that we were a part of. To this day we have only gratitude for his clarity and his analysis.”
-Annie Hansen, mother of Jack Hansen-Bartel - victim of corruption in the Thai legal system
Its a case which has gone beyond the bounds of belief in Thailand’s police and criminal justice system and as I write continues to this day - because the mother will not give way to bullying.
Annie Hansen, is the mother of Jack Hansen-Bartel who is battling a Chinese American millionaire through the courts in Koh Samui, Thailand, a formidable task in the wake of corruption.
Having completed his schooling at the New International School of Bangkok Jack went to celebrate with his brother and friends on the Thai island of Koh Samui in June 2014.
He met a young girl there, Tiffany Mariko Turner, half New Zealand, half Japanese, who had just graduated from the International School of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo.
CHANG (BACK LEFT) AND WANG (BACK RIGHT)
They couple got on well and walked hand in hand into the half police owned ‘Green Mango Club’ on Chawaeng Beach. But there they were accosted by two other private schoolboys American Chinese Raymond Tony Chang and Ryan Yunsheng Wang.
Chang then told Jack to back off as Tiffany was Wang’s girl. Jack then asked Tiffany if this was the case. She replied yes. And Jack quietly beat a retreat and went off to join his friends.
This was call captured on CCTV. Within a couple of hours Jack was on the floor of the dance stage. He had viciously been attacked with a solid object.
His face was caved in and would require some US$70,000 in surgery and corrective surgery. Jack’s buddies got hold of the CCTV and tracked down the witnesses and Chang and Wang were duly arrested.
They admitted the offence but said they were going to the aid of a damsel in distress who was being harassed. The CCTV showed no such harassment. In fact it showed Tiffany clearly enjoying Jack’s company.
It was a straightforward case until in flew Jack’s father Raymond Nobu Chang and breezed into court. He was a multi millionaire and graduate of the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Suddenly now Jack was being charged with ‘common assault’ – the penalty for which is usually about US$20 and settled in a local police station
Koh Samui police even flew an officer from the island to Bangkok to interview him. Jack’s mum Annie Hansen,called in the National Council for Peace and Order.
The NCPO promised to ensure transparency. Far from being transparent the Koh Samui officials, the same ones prosecuting the Burmese Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin for the murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on Koh Tao, piled more charges on Jack.
And then the Koh Samui court ruled that Jack, a scholarship pupil, would have to fly from Australia to attend his trial while the two Chinese Americans did not- and they were on much moe serious charges. Meanwhile the father of Tiffany Mariko Turner says his daughter will not attend.
For her son being attacked on Koh Samui Annie Hansen has so far had to pay out massive amounts in court costs, flights and medical fees. Jack’s story has been published.
“Our family were longtime residents of Thailand. Of course we knew of Andrew Drummond’s site and would access it at those times when important cases, usually tragic, would appear in the news.
It was a reliable and direct source of information about cases that many others seemed hesitant to write about at any depth. When tragedy struck our family in Thailand we reached out to many journalists.
Two journalists went the extra mile for us in a way that seemed to come naturally. Our story has been covered in a variety of ways. Andrew came to our home to review evidence and information that we had available. We witnessed an ‘investigative’ journalist who helped us make sense of the maelstrom that we were a part of.
Understandably we had been truly blind as to the pitfalls that could befall a normal family after a random violent attack. This was no quick story for Andrew as it was to most journalists. He has continued to layer and analyse information and has helped us make connections where we were unable to see through our immediate personal grief and despair. To this day we have only gratitude for his clarity and his analysis.” – Annie Hansen
HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND TRACKING DOWN GARY GLITTER AND CHILD ABUSERS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA
“Andrew Drummond has an excellent reputation both for his honesty and bravery in tackling subjects in south east Asia not adequately covered in the mainstream media.”
– Sudarat Sereewat, Secretary General of the Foundation to Fight Against Child Exploitation.
Sudarat Sereewat and I have been long term friends and colleagues. I assisted in her work tracking down child sexual abusers who had moved into South East Asia and we collaborated on several projects not only monitoring the offenders but also the courts and police.
I was also able to alert her to distress calls which reached me from the Karenni National Liberation Front about a group of Padaung (long necked Karenni) families to have been tricked across the Burmese border into Thailand where they had been put in a human zoo.
I pursued that story for the ‘Times’ in London who ran a series as we confronted a coalition between ‘business’ and local police and civil authorities in Northern Thailand.
The camp was closed. The families were rescued. But nothing happened to the abductors and jailers – and now there are more ‘Human Zoos’ than ever. The Thai authorities claim all are ‘legit’.
|Author with Padaung long necked children rescured from the \'human zoo' in Thaton, North Thailand|
I also collaborated with Sudarat on the Gary Glitter (Paul Gadd) saga. I tracked him down with photographer Andy Chant in Vung Tau, Vietnam.
He was subsequently arrested and jailed for three years.
I was at his trial and on the plane with him after his sentence was up and working with FACE enabled authorities to keep track of him and thwart his attempts to avoid returning to the UK.
With her help and the Foundation for Women I was able to also notify police of the murder of a young woman in Buri Ram, give them the witnesses, and through the Foundation for Women’s lawyer insist they bring charges – which they did.
The murderer was convicted – The murder, like many, had been covered up for cash.
“It is in his role as a journalist tracking down foreign child sex offenders in Asia that I met him professionally. He was for instance the journalist who tracked down Paul Gadd (Gary Glitter) in Vietnam and later when Gadd had completed his jail sentence there Drummond provided the information which prevented Gadd entering the Kingdom of Thailand.
As a result of an investigation by Andrew Drummond and the involvement of FACE the Thai government closed down a camp or ‘human zoo’ of long necked Padaung from Burma in Thaton, Northern Thailand.
It is unfortunate that Andrew Drummond had to leave Thailand for the safety of his family while investigating foreign fraud operations in Bangkok. I was aware of the threats and attended meetings with him and the Department of Special Operations in Bangkok.
The DSI could not guarantee his family’s safety.’ - Sudarat Sereewat
'THE EVIL MAN OF KRABI'
“Andrew advised me how to communicate with my government and how Thai Law works. He provided me with important documents and information about the case. All this information I used for a music video clip that we produced . The music clip described what happened to my daughter and was a cry for justice. – CK father of model viciously raped in Krabi, Thailand.”
CK is the father of a young Dutch model who was raped in Krabi, Southern Thailand. CK a musician produced the video ‘Evil Man of Krabi’ which went viral when it was published on YouTube.
His daughter’s attacker went on the run and then got bail despite being jailed as a juvenile for murder. I cannot use CK’s real name as it would identify a rape victim.
Thai police tried to discredit the young woman’s story suggesting she was ‘up for it’. They produced their own video statement which was primitive and appalling not least childish.
CK removed the video from YouTube as he promised the Thai Ambassador to the Netherlands after the culprit was finally sent down. The video however was copied and remains on the net.
“I know Andrew through an announcement I did in 2012 on the travel site Thorn Tree of lonely Planet.I wrote about the fact that my daughter was raped and attacked in Thailand. An Australian woman senT me a pm in which she described Andrew as a very dedicated journalist, who could help me in finding justice.
"Andrew advised me how to communicate with my government and how Thai Law works. He provided me with important documents and information about the case. All this information I used for a music video clip that we produced . The music clip described what happened to my daughter and was a cry for justice.
"Due to the articles and the determination of Andrew, the clip became viral in Thailand and reached almost 1 million hits.
We became partners in crime and worked very close together. As he was during this period my first contact, many international news agencies were using and publishing his articles.
Thanks to the cooperation with Andrew we succeeded to get the perpetrator behind bars for 20 years. Something that is till today very exceptional in Thai jurisdiction.” – CK
BATTLING INSTITUTIONALISED CORRUPTION
“Your departure is a great loss to Thailand, and I really can’t imagine who will step up to fill your shoes.” – Dr. Wyn Ellis victim of institutionalised corruption in Thailand’s National Innovation Agency
Wyn Ellis was an agriculturalist working for Thailand National Innovation Agency when he was shocked to find that the State agency’s director general Supachai Lorlowhakarn had copied his thesis on organic farming in Thailand to gain a PhD.
He complained and American journalist Erica Fry who was then working on the Bangkok Post took up the story and the Post ran with it.
That however was the end of the newspaper’s bravery. What followed was an incredible vendetta and a story of corruption at government level at its worst - as a Thai official, caught with perhaps not just his fingertips but his whole arms in the proverbial till, sought vengeance for his loss of face.
Supachai Lorlowhakarn threatened to sue the Bangkok Post. The Post withdrew their story from the net – and to cut the story short Erica Fry had to flee Thailand. She later wrote a full account of her experience for the Columbia Journalist Review.
However the onslaught against Wyn Ellis was only just beginning. Lorlowhakarn brought some nine cases against him despite the fact that the plagiarism was blatant. Rocks were thrown through Dr. Ellis’ car, death threats were numerous.
Lorlowhakarn was eventually defeated, charged and found guilty of criminal forgery and stripped of his degree. But to say justice was done in Thailand would not be true. Wyn Ellis was the subject of the most debilitating malicious court actions which never should have been accepted but he had the amazing stamina to fight it out and withstand Thai multi-agency bullying at its worst. He really is quite an amazing man and I merely recorded what was happening to him and hopefully did not miss any of the tricks.
“Thank you Andrew for your courage and commitment throughout. I want to add my voice to those of other readers who have commented.
We are all indebted to you for your unflinching readiness to expose crimes affecting foreigners, even as the mainstream English language broadsheets systematically ignore them.
Your excellent reportage of the escalating harassment, violence and death threats my family and I have faced over the past few years gave the issue global media exposure as well as much-needed moral support.
Your departure is a great loss to Thailand, and I really can’t imagine who will step up to fill your shoes. I hope therefore you will continue your work from a safer location, and maintain your interest in Thailand.I wish you every success.” – Dr. Wyn Ellis
BOILER ROOM WHISTLE-BLOWERS
For more than twenty years Bangkok's boiler rooms have been a curse on the western world. Initially working from large offices - as in the Hollywood films, 'Boiler Room' starring Ben Affleck and Vin Diesel and 'Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo di Caprio - they set up defrauding people all over Europe and Australian by posing as genuine share brokerage companies. Since 2000 when several boiler rooms were raided in Bangkok to no avail (The bosses were merely fined for offering shared without registering with the Securities Exchange Commission) I have been investigating the people behind them and putting up notices when I know a new 'share issue' is going to announced. This led to a number of employees of these boiler rooms contacting me.
THRILLER IN MANILA
“Andrew, your personal involvement in my hellish dealings within the countries of Thailand and the Philippines, played a very key and instrumental role in myself, making it through a living Hell on Earth, and back out again alive.” Stephen Sharpe ‘whistleblower’ on Bangkok’s boiler room fraudsters
Stephen Sharpe, was a Canadian national who fled from one of the Bangkok boiler rooms in September 2009. It was his information which led to the raid of a boiler room operation out of Thonglor Soi 25. run by Briton Paul Hayward and American Mark Hutcherson.
|Sharpe today and below right - in jail in Manila|
The raid was unsuccessful in so far as the police merely arrested as usual the run of the mill call centre scammers. Hayward was released it is believed after a substantial payment.
He was not present at the time of arrest. Sharpe became a marked man.
He came to me for help and I provided what assistance I could but against all advice he fled to the Phillipines and accepted another job with another scam operation which turned out to be Sparta Matrix in Manila.
The next I heard he had been banged up in the Philippines for the rape of a minor and drugs possession. He had been spotted in the LA Cafe in Ermita, a favourite haunt of boiler room boys based in Manila.
The charges were blatantly concocted. Manila of course was another boiler room central where Hayward had several operations. The drugs charge was dropped and so was the rape charge.
The girl was not a minor but 25 years old who confessed she had been paid to make the allegations. After an investigation by the Philippines Human Rights Commssion Stephen now released was put into a ‘safe house’ and plans were made to prosecute the police themselves.
During this period I was in contact with a local Filipino journalist, the Commission for Human Rights, the RCMP, the Serious Organised Crime Squad (the latter two organisations showed little interest) and Stephen’s sister back in Canada. I also liaised with the Confederation of Defrauded Victims who were able to help with Stephen’s expenses.
"Dear Mr. Drummond,
As you know, I have been back in my home country for more than a full year now and continue to make positive strides forward concerning my physical and psychological recovery process.
The doctors have not given me a green light as yet and a most recent medical discovery, has confirmed that my recovery process will continue, at a minimum, for the next 9 – 18 months.
Like our mutual and trusted friend, and just a very few other persons, Andrew, your personal involvement in my hellish dealings with-in the countries of Thailand and the Philippines, played a very key and instrumental role in myself, making it through a Living Hell on Earth, and back out again, Alive.Please trust and believe, at the very core of your soul Mr. Drummond, you HELPED SAVE MY LIFE !
Despite the one and only time that I may have upset your apple cart in Pattaya, Thailand., both myself and all of my closest family members, have always been and will always remain, extremely grateful for everything that you did for me, and that you continue to do for us.
Thank you Mr. Drummond, thank you, so very much.I visit your website on a very regular basis and as always, continue to witness some, truly Amazing and Excellent, Investigative Journalism.
"Mr.Drummond was a great friend to me in a scary time in my life I will always be in his debt and he will always have my loyalty."
Phillip Bean, whistleblower on 'Giannini' boiler room
In 2014 I helped this young Texan out of a boiler room in Bangkok. He had applied believing, he says, it was a normal sales job. There was a lot of drugs use in the house where he was kept a virtual captive.
His passport was locked up in the safe and he was not allowed to leave the village alone. He wanted to get out and as he did have use of the net he contacted me via my website.
I notified the DEA to whom he had agreed to talk and picked him up in the early hours of the morning at a pre-arranged location after his escape. At the request of the DEA I took him to the Crime Suppression Division, though I questioned their choice.
The CSD made a pretense of an investigation. They raided the house in Lat Krabang, Bangkok, took away the boiler room boss Canadian Frank Giannini and one other and charged them both with heroin offences. Drugs had of course found but so had US$100,000 plus.
Strangely Mr. Bean then started receiving threats himself from the CSD, namely Police Colonel Akkharawut Limrat who threatened to charge him with drugs abuse on the evidence of the new captives.
Frank Giannini, who had already killed two Thais in a road accident, and his colleague were sent to court on drugs charges but we then discovered they were released from prison a few days and just after I managed to help Phillip out of Thailand.
Bean was shaken down on his way out. The Thai authorities took his last cash and told him not to come back. I published one of the stories under the headline ‘Mr.Bean’s Holiday’.
|From the Bangkok Post|
When the military carried out a purge on the CSD later the same year Police Colonel Akkharawut died after ‘falling from a height’.
Akkharawat had summonsed me for interview with the message he wanted to close down Bangkok’s boiler rooms – an unlikely statement.
“My name is Phillip Bean I am a US citizen who in July of 2014 was was hired by a brokerage firm based in Bangkok, Thailand. The company called Venture Jones Group flew me from the Philippines to Thailand but soon after arriving I found out it was not a legit firm but a boiler room and was run by a Brit named Alex and some Pakistani brothers who had total absence of any morals or honor , like wise the brokers in the office were mostly drug addicted losers who were too high and stupid to realize they where getting a tiny portion of the hundreds of millions of dollars they helped steal every year.
In an effort to get out I quit that office and took at job at what I was told was a legit firm but it also was a scam designed for one thing to steal from unsuspecting Europeans. It was run out of an upscale house in a residential neighborhood in Bangkok it was also the home in which I lived with a heroin junky and a meth head. Drugs were in and out of the house and when my passport was locked in a safe after I expressed my desire to leave I decided I needed to get out before I was caught up in something I couldn’t get out of.
I found Mr.Drummond via his website and asked his advice and despite great personal danger to himself and family he got me out of the house and took me into his home and helped me start the process of doing what needed to be done in order for me leave Thailand.
After the Thai government lied to me cheated me and threatened me and Mr.Drummond dug into his own pocket to get me back home. Mr.Drummond was a great friend to me in a scary time in my life I will always be in his debt and he will always have my loyalty.”
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS - NEW YORK
‘Andrew Drummond is renowned for shining uncomfortable light into some of Thailand’s darkest places’
This statement came at a time when I was being sued by two convicted criminals (convicted of theft, extortion, embezzlement) under Thailand’s criminal libel laws and Computer Crime Act.
These were SLAPP cases (Strategic Law Suit Against Public Participation) lawsuits intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.
My adversaries two fake lawyers (Brian Goudie, Scottish, and Drew Noyes, American) fled while on bail having been sentenced to terms of jail.
“CPJ has long condemned the use of criminal libel and defamation laws to stifle media criticism in Thailand. These laws, including the associated Computer Crime Act, outrageously allow for imprisonment for mere news reporting and have engendered a climate of fear and self-censorship across Thailand’s media.
We stand beside reporter Andrew Drummond, whose investigative journalism is renowned for shining uncomfortable light in some of Thailand’s darkest places. We strongly support his right to report without fear of reprisal and categorically condemn the threat of imprisonment he now faces."
“Andrew Drummond has acted in the finest traditions of journalism and deserves the support of all journalists for his courageous reporting.
"Andrew is standing up for the finest ideals of journalism. He has suffered serious financial problems as a result of fines, legal fees, incidental legal costs and loss of earnings. He and his family have also suffered a lot of anguish, not knowing whether he might be jailed or deported."
- Steve Turner, President of the British Association of Journalists, while I was fighting libel cases in Thailand.
The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Thailand. This was, like the statement from the Committee to Protect Journalists, issued while I was being pursued by foreign crooks in Thailand.
Bangkok, 14 November 2014
The EU is committed to promoting and protecting the freedom of opinion and expression worldwide.
The EU Delegation wishes to express its concern over the increasing misuse of criminal defamation laws in Thailand. The EU believes that defamation laws should not be misused to censor criticism and debate concerning public issues as this constitutes a serious threat to Freedom of Expression.
Recent cases brought against Human Rights Defender Andy Hall, journalists Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian from the“Phuketwan” newspaper, and the freelance journalist Andrew Drummond,have served to demonstrate how criminal defamation laws are vexatiously used to silence freedom of expression and investigative journalism in the country.
The EU would like to appeal to State authorities to fully abide by their international obligations.
As part of wider reform in Thailand, we urge the National Reform Council to address this issue, so that criminal defamation laws cannot in the future be used as a means of silencing legitimate analysis or debate.
‘Andrew Drummond just won’t let go’
– Colin Vard victim of systematic fraud involving police and lawyers
Colin Vard was the subject of a fraud so deep and entrenched in the psyche of Thailand that it was painful to watch.
Formerly a wealthy Irish businessman and President of the Leo Club in Dublin, and cousin to the Vard Sisters, (a well known singing group in Ireland), as well as being a children’s author he was taken down for millions of Euros as seven properties he had bought were taken from under him by a consortium of thieves which included lawyers, moneylenders, police, and a national bank.
Through his daughter Jessie, he set up a ‘Justice for Jessie’ Facebook page and staged a sit in outside the Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok. Thailand’s Police Chief announced that his officers would solve the problem within three months. Nothing happened.
Although I did not let go in his case, this conspiracy along with a conspiracy against British businessman Ian Rance who lost everything the same way, was still continuing when I left Thailand.
Jonathan Head the BBC’s South East Asian correspondent took up the cudgels..and received a writ for CRIMINAL libel under Thailand’s Computer Crime Act, a common way of attempting to silence journalists. The case was later dismissed.
“Andrew Drummond is a journalist who when he gets a grip on a story just won’t let go. Many he has targeted and exposed will attest to this fact all be it unwillingly.
In some ways he is a great loss to those of us who have been bullied, bashed and abused by the Thai judicial system but in others his freedom from afar allows him to go places he would not have dared to have gone when he lived here and I’m not talking about the broom cupboards of Royal Thai Police Force and their bed buddies the lawyers.”
TOURIST JAILED WITHOUT SEEING A JUDGE
“Real attention and recognition is deserved is to the kind men who went out of their way to get a son and a father out of that unjust, unfair and truly inhumane place that is known as Pattaya Remand Centre.” – Sinita Sudra, daughter of Jaysukh (Jason) Sudra
Jason Sudra - Pattaya Remand Centre
Jaysukh (Jason Sudra) a Briton in retail management in the UK, was arrested in Pattaya on trumped up charges of reporting a robbery to fake an insurance claim and banged up in Nong Plalai prison for over a month without even going before a judge.
Local expat Ian Tracey brought Jason to my attention and he was released after lawyer Kosol was contacted – and all charges were dropped. The lawyer and Ian Tracey did most of the work, I just raised the cases profile.
He was mugged on the beach road in Pattaya, quite a common occurrence, but only lost a cheap watch and mobile phone. He did not bother to report it but when he went back to his hotel he saw a policeman remonstrating with a foreigner and ‘ladyboy’ .
|Jason with Ian Tracey, who was not shy at showing his|
feelings towards local police
His suggestion that perhaps police should deal with real crime was taken the wrong way. He was taken to the police station where he refused to pay a charge to take his statement.
Police then held a press conference to say he had made a false claim that he had been mugged of a Tag Heuer and other cash and valuables worth over 100,000 That baht (US$3000).
It was fiction. Hotel staff came forward to say no such items were found in the hotel by police. Police made further demands for cash. He was taken to the court where a paper was put in front of him to sign – ‘then you can go’. He signed and was carted off to jail for a month.
Jason did not even have insurance covering theft or robbery – just a health package.
"From everyone back home and Jason, we are truly grateful for the effort made by yourself, Kosol and Ian.
What happened to Jason is appalling yet happens to people everyday. What is more shocking is how mistreated they are behind those prison walls.
It is inhumane and disgusting. What happened to our human rights. As you can imagine for any family and for one particular person to go through this injustice over this period of time, words really are not enough.
How does anyone put into words the pure and utter shock of receiving a text that their father has been sentenced to 12 months in a thai jail? Then starting an emotional rollercoaster of the unknown, all I can feel is how fortunate we are where so many families around the world are living with the unknown of there loved ones.
Where I believe the real attention and recognition is deserved is to the kind men who went out of theor way to get a son and a father out of that unjust, unfair and truly inhumane place that is known as Pattaya Remand Centre.
You should be recognized for the hard work you have all put in to save not only Jason but so many others who have been the victims of this corrupt system.We wish you all the success with the people you continue to support.” – Sinita Sudra, daughter of Jaysukh (Jason Sudra)
FACING JAIL IN THE PHILIPPINES
“Andrew Drummond is always willing to go that extra bit just to help someone in need.”
David Scott, 35, from Swindon with his partner Cynthia Delfino,29, were charged with adultery under Philippine law where divorce is illegal because Cynthia is married to a Filipino man.
David had romanced Filipina Cynthia Villamor on the net. She had been married but the marriage had been over for three years and she lived and worked in the Gulf states.
They agreed to meet in Manila and their relationship blossomed. He rushed back for the birth of their baby daughter Janina – and then their nightmare began.
They were immediately faced with demands for cash by the ‘ex-husband’ for loss of face – But he was not an ex husband as there is no divorce in the Philippines and Cynthia has not yet obtained an anulment.
Both were banged up in jail for adultery the penalty for which is seven years.
|safe in Bangok|
I flew out to the Philippines with photographer Andrew Chant.and the Mail on Sunday newspaper took up their case – which was later to feature on the television series ‘Banged up Abroad’.
The first problem was to get them legally registered as the parents of their daughter Janina, as under Filipina law Cynthia’s ex-husband was the father, the second was to get them out of the Philippines, and the third was to get them back to the UK.
Costly arrangements were made for the birth registration and for them to get out of the Phillipines, and I greeted them at Bangkok airport and put them up in my home while the British authorities had to be convinced that David should be allowed into the UK with his partner and baby.
They are now married with two children in Wiltshire Cythia having obtained that ‘anulment’ to her marriage.
"Andrew Drummond is probably one of the most honorable man I’ve ever met in my life always willing to go that extra bit just to help someone in need. Without his help I believe me and my family would never have got out of the Philippines.
He even let me and my family stay at his home when we had nowhere to go. He helped us with correspondence with the Brtish Embassy and Home Office and much much more.
And thanks to Andrew Drummond me and my family are living happily in England. Thank you Andrew Drummond I wish you all the best in life.” – David Scott
“For all that has happened I thank Andrew Drummond for his tenacity, single mindedness in his attempts for justice and constant digging to get to the truth. Drummond was so concerned about the injustice in my case that he put his life on the line.” – Kevin Quill
The case of Kevin Quill was particularly nasty because it involved setting up an innocent man on drugs charges and then systematically depriving him of his wealth while in prison.
Quill, a rich businessmen in Leeds who fancied the Thai life-style had been persuaded by two very dubious Scotsmen with a past to invest in businesses in ‘Boyz Town’ in the gay area of Pattaya.
It was a 50/50 deal, but he was the only person to put cash in and very shortly he began asking when the Scotsmen would stump up themselves. In fact he was being set up for a fall and it is amazing that he is free today to tell the story.
In short he was set up by his partners with drugs and cigarettes as he was travelling back to the UK. He knew about the cigarettes, bought from Immigration Police – he thought it would pay the cost of his trips. He did not know about the drugs inserted in one packet’. He was stopped by pre-arrangement shortly after leading his hotel. In one packet or 200 cartons of Benson and Hedges police found some 90 methamphetamine tablets. Quill had lost everything.
(Above British Embassy Letter containing the Thai Police admission - but no Embassy official would testify)
Kevin Quill, who made his money in the night club business had been rrested in Thailand October 12 2000 and charged with smuggling contraband cigarettes and 100 amphetamines.
But an Embassy official tipped me off suggesting I visit Quill as it was a pretty clear case of a ‘frame up’.
I was able to establish that on the day he was arrested Quill was removed from the board of his own company illegally, and from that moment on May and Lumsden began stripping him off his property, car etc. There was a celebratory party for police in their then venue “Boyz Boyz Boyz’ etc. etc.
I reported what I discovered to the British Consul Deryck Fisher and a subsequent investigation by General Noppodol Somboonsub Assistant Commissioner of the Thai Police also found that Quill was framed.
I published the story in the UK and the Bangkok Post commissioned a follow up.
Amazingly Quill was found guilty at his trial. Lumsden and May paid monthly amounts of cash to operate their businesses.
The British Consul declined to testify, which was the subject of some mirth in the court, when a letter from him stating police had admitted Quill was framed was produced.
Lumsden sued Quill for libel while Quill was on bail appealing – and Lumsden lost both at the lower court and appeal.
Meanwhile Lumsden took two criminal libel cases against me in Thailand, not the UK.
I was confident of winning, but as in the case of Erika Fry and Dr. Wyn Ellis, the Bangkok Post did a deal with plaintiffs, and published an apology without informing me.
I was subsequently found guilty in both cases ,fined and given suspended sentences.
I appealed and was acquitted of both cases on appeal.
Then Lumsden appealed.
Finally after ten years at the end of 2014 and the beginning of this 2015 I was found guilty of the lesser charge and not guilty of the major charge with the judges agreeing with the Appeal Court that I was a journalist doing my duty.
In all the legal processes took over 12 years.
Thankfully I was backed by all major newspaper groups in the United Kingdom and the British Association of Journalists.
Lumsden and May had a previous investor Iain Macdonald, 28, the son of a former provost of Inverness who had inherited his 250,000 inheritence in Bouz Boyz Boyz’.
He died in a fire in the premises of the Ambiance Hotel.
A month before he had signed a will leaving all his property in Thailand to May’s Thai boyfriend. He in effect owned 50 per cent of May and Lumsden’s businesses.
The Thai boyfriend got nothing – and in effect Quill was paying for a business which had been paid for already.
The will was illegal. It was signed by the beneficiary.
"Drummond is simply irreplaceable. If he is forced to leave Thailand, the crooks will be free to continue their shakedowns and rip-offs, without scrutiny. "
"Drummond is simply irreplaceable. If he is forced to leave Thailand, the crooks will be free to continue their shakedowns and rip-offs, without scrutiny. "
Alan Morison, former senior editor at 'The Age' and founder of Phuketwan
Alan Morison and his partner Chutima Sidasathian who ran the online news site Phuketwan have always been great supporters of this website.
They are of course the journalists who exposed the trafficking, exploitation and murder of Burma’s Rohingya in southern Thailand in which the Thai military and police took a significant part.
And they successfully defended themselves against a Computer Crime case brought by the Royal Thai Navy.
Even though they won in the end - the whole prosecution was vindictive and debilitating and forced them to close down and return to Australia.
Ironically Reuters news agency got the Pulitzer Award which was mainly down to their research.
Did the Navy expect to win the case? Well in a Thai court they could have but their case attracted so much international scrutiny to Thailand that a win for the Navy would have been a public relations disaster.
The Thai Navy had long since shot itself in the foot by handing out videos of their own actions pushing the Rohingya out to sea and being forced to like naked in the sun on an uninhabited island.
As you can see some of the comments below were made after I took my children across the Cambodian border, through to Saigon (HCMC) and back home to Britain via Moscow.
Monday, April 7, 2014
British journalist Andrew Drummond has exposed killers, pedophiles and rip-off merchants of all kinds in a decades-long career as a foreign correspondent in Asia.
Notorious pop star Gary Glitter, with his liking for underage girls, is among the characters he has chased out of South-East Asia.
Drummond’s near-daily reports on the unsavory characters of Pattaya attract thousands of regular readers to andrew-drummond.com.
Only with the Royal Thai Navy’s landmark prosecution of Phuketwan have international NGOs spoken out and Thai authorities begun to realise just how the country’s criminal defamation laws and its Computer Crimes Act can be misused.
”It’s a crooks charter for foreigners, and Thai authorities have been slow to realise it,” Drummond said.
Foreign fraudsters find it easy to set themselves up in Thailand then use the influence of their local chums to ward off problems.
Drummond, though, has been dogged in pursuit of a handful of characters. Once, he would have been rewarded by seeing these people arrested and deported.
Instead, by using the law to work in their favor, a group of disreputable Pattaya-based businesspeople has tied up Drummond’s time, energy and especially money with a string of unjust law suits.
Reports on Drummond’s site of his clashes with this array of B-grade ne’er-do-wells from America, Europe and Australia entertain readers but have so far failed to awaken authorities to the damage being done to Thailand’s reputation.
”These people shouldn’t be in Thailand,” Drummond said today. ”God knows how they get work permits.
”Their companies are all phoney. Thailand is a welcoming place for criminals, to be honest.”
Thanks to Drummond, the names of the villains are becoming well-known. But until Thai authorities react, they and others will continue to tarnish Thailand’s reputation.
And once a good organisation like the Royal Thai Navy begins to use bad laws to restrict legitimate reporting, it’s time for the country’s lawmakers to wake up.
”It’s all a bit ridiculous,” said Drummond, who fights on thanks to the financial support coming directly from his readers.
Crowd sourcing is likely to be essential to the future of investigative journalism.
Drummond isn’t giving up without a fight but at 62 and with three young children who need a good education, he’s looking longingly towards Britain.
Drummond is simply irreplaceable. If he is forced to leave Thailand, the crooks will be free to continue their shakedowns and rip-offs, without scrutiny.
Alan Morison - Publisher Phuketwan
Time is running out for the authorities to save the country’s reputation. Repealing the bad laws would be a good start.
Comments which followed this story
‘Andrew Drummond is in my eyes one of they bravest men in Thailand, keep up the good work Andrew.’ Robert, Phuketwan April 7 2014
“Andrew Drummond… a great man and worth to be supported!
Every ethical business man in Thailand (Foreigners and Thai)should support this person with a few hundred Baht as he fights lonely against people who give this country (and all ethical business people) a bad reputation.
Who knows… maybe one day he will support one of us who got cheated here in Thailand by bad people.”
“Having the pleasure to Khun Mr. Andrew Drummond personally I feel very sad. He has done more for Thailand than any other journalist.
He did investigate cases no other media in Thailand dared to touch! A real shock is that Thai authorities do not to care too much about foreign criminals destroying Thailand’s reputation. A great man, a real man, a brave man!” Phuketwan Mr. K April 7 2017/Jan 17 2015
Journalists like Andrew and Alan are in the same category as Charlie Hebdo, they are modest, albeit imperfect people, light years ahead of their adversaries, in terms of a moral compass.
Farang 88 on Phuketwan
The world is a much better place with the likes of Andrew Drummond, who is as brave as any soldier. He knows the best (his Thai wife and kids, the food, most of the people, etc..) and the worst of Thailand, an utter dichotomy that would be beyond comprehension for many, but for journalists like Andrew, and Phuketwan Editor Alan Morison, who also fits the category of brave warrior, although these folks would deny it, such is their modest mentality.
But when the lowest common denominator of foreign scum pays off corrupt Thai police, and other assorted thugs, for any number of nefarious activities, where morals and ethics are found at the end of a gun barrel, or at the tip of a machete…whether we are reading about no good Goudie on Andrew Drummond.com, or the marginalized Rohingya on Phuketwan.com.
According to the thugs, Mr. Drummond’s best-buy date was up years ago, yet he remains relatively fresh, quite undaunted, however cognizant that he has a family that has to come first.
He’s smart enough to know that he’d be little use to his cherished family, if the thugs (farang and Thai) got their way.
Whether Islam extremists, corrupt Thai police, or expat criminals languishing in Pattaya, all those with the conscience of a plastic flower, with the morals and ethics of a cornered rat, need to be put under the spotlight, or else the rats will continue their depravities, their scams, their murders unabated…in murky shadows, where they prefer to be of course.
Virtually every one of them are cowards, when isolated. Consequently, folks of this ilk stick together, like sh– on a blanket.
Journalists like Andrew and Alan are in the same category as Charlie Hebdo, they are modest, albeit imperfect people, light years ahead of their adversaries, in terms of a moral compass.
Now it’s up to readers of conscience, to help them, to emulate them in some small way, like sharing information that could save lives. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.Farang 88 - Jan 17 2015
Good fortune to you and your family Andrew. I have enjoyed your honest and to the point reporting. May you be able to write more freely from the bonny land and be able to release much more in depth information, than you can do here. Those evil malefactors will get their karma, sooner rather than later.
Robin S January 17 2015
Fare thee well Andrew. You are right to take your family far from the vipers’ nest…vipers you have often exposed fearlessly and for all the right reasons.
We expat parents all wish this was the Thailand we would wish for our children, but sadly the opposite is the case as the country proceeds into the realms of Hollywood crime fiction, an open sewer run by vile fakes and evil, cowardly thieves.
Not a place for children or for anyone who has the option to go elsewhere. Difficult to see how it might change for the better and I am relieved you and the family will be safe, long since fearful that the reptiles might strike. Imperative you be safe, you a beacon of the righteous in an ever-darkening landscape. Haste ye back in less troubled times.Mekong Jan 2015
And something more historical -
“The articles were investigative and undertaken with great personal courage. He got right into the heart of many of the most violent and active neo-nazi groups during his research. As a result of this he has been marked down by active Nazis as a special target for their hate.” – Searchlight Awards Panel
in the early 80s for a series of newspaper articles I went undercover for 18 months joining the English ‘League of St George’ an umbrella fascist group which had among its members of Column 88, The National Socialist Party of the UK, the UDA, National Front and British Movement, and in turn links with European fascist groups, such as the Italian MSI, French Cedade, and Turkish Grey Wolves.
This was at a time of the rise of right wing extremism and it took me to several meetings with fascists and neo-nazis in Europe, some attended by die hard former SS officers – even in a beer hall draped with Nazi flags.
At one time I even ran a weekend military training camp for neo-nazis on land owned by a wealthy fascist in North Wales.
Later for Fox TV, The Reporters, I was field producer to Peter Herdrich on ‘A Right Turn’ about the rise of neo-fascism after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Ironically it was the News of the World not the Guardian or Observer which carried the series of articles for which I received the Maurice Ludmer Award.
“Andrew Drummond richly deserves this award, in itself a contribution against racism in Britain. Andrew’s articles reflected considerable courage and determination, perhaps the two qualities most needed in any assignments others might have discouraged.”