The outgoing President of a Pattaya Rotary Club reacted with vengeance today after allegations that he scammed scores of foreigners out of their homes, and cheated them on rents.
63-yr-old Richard Haughton ordered water and electricity to be cut off from residents from his Lake Villas project in Pattaya and also the removal of water and electric meters.
The residents had refused to pay maintenance and other fees for Haughton’s company, Thailand Property and Media Co.Ltd., – TPME. They claim little maintenance has been carried out and they had a meeting planned for December 3rd to vote him out of the project – and out of their lives.
Haughton, they said, had demanded that they pay all of next year’s maintenance fees up front.
The Chairman of the Lake Villas Owners Associaton Ramesh Lal said from the UK: ‘This is obviously an act of desperation on Haughton’s behalf.’
Not all the residents are involved. Police attended the scene early today and left after saying there was nothing they could do.
Ironically one of those affected was the administrator of Haughton’s Thailand and Property Media Exhibition Co. Ltd website, who commented earlier on this site.
Residents say that there are several children among the families affected, who were renting the properties through Pattaya Realty Co. Ltd.
Les Bonner, the Pattaya representative of the LVOA said: ‘We are looking at the legal aspects of what he has done. ‘
Cutting off water and electricty is a common ploy used by dodgy foreign developers in Thailand, who after they sell the properties try and retain control over the projects through the management committees and often charge extra high fees for water and electricity, which they control through their own metres.
A master at this trade was Dingeman Hendriske a Dutch developer. You can read about him here at ‘Gangland Britain in Thailand’.
The Pattaya Consumer Protection Office has asked Haughton to report to them or a warrant will be issued for his arrest.
Meanwhile Richard Haughton is also demanding a 25,000 reconnection fee. Not a bad profit for his thugs who would bel lucky to have earned 1,000 each. In this case the residents say they had bought the metres themselves. If that is the case Haughton is on the wrong side of the law.
Resident of Lake Villas and Representative of Lake Villa Owners Association to Richard Haughton:
Having checked all of my paperwork this morning I have a receipt from you showing that I purchased meters from you.
They are my own personal property and they have been stolen by your staff on your instructions.
This is making a very difficult situation considerably worse and could,in fact,spell the end of Lake Villa.
I am speaking entirely for myself here and I would ask you to reconsider before this business escalates out of control.
Richard Haughton Lake Villas Owners Association:
The time has run out for dialogue, your LVOA has not made any effort to encourage it members to respond to the payment of outstanding fees. The reconnection charge will be 25,000 Baht plus the full 2011/2012 maintenance fee in advance. You may take what ever action you want but the fact remains you owe these sums and with the advent of recent communications via your association you have further undermined your own position.
Comment:Mr.Haughton plays the role of an English gentleman. The letters above however seem to suggest otherwise.
Original letter sent by Ramesh Lal: