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Libel Me At Your Peril – Warns Pattaya People Boss

A FLYING SPORRAN OVERVIEW

(This replaces a story originally publish a week ago which developed a glitch)

Updated December 18 2011

There’s an interesting buzz going on down in Pattaya. Niels Colov, that all round good guy has gone to press with a warning about what can happen to people who libel him and he cites cases he has won in Denmark in Thailand

Well fair enough. If newspapers get their facts wrong to somebody’s detriment they can expect to end up in court. There’s nothing new in that. And when dealing with foreigners Thai editors often cast fortune to the wind.

But Colov, publisher of the Pattaya People, owner of Pattaya People Television, former President of two Rotary Clubs, and chief of the local police volunteers, seems to be taking his gloves off.

He has won some money, which is good, because he may need it in a libel case currently under way in Pattaya and being brought against him by an Australian developer.

I loved in particular the groveling apology from a Thai newspaper editor who says Mr. Colov has a Thai heart.  With one foul cut Colov has slain the ‘dragone’ (sic)

The apology is accompanied by a free promo for some cross-dressing Rotarians at Thepprasit night market in Jomtien.

Mr.Pakda Noppaket states that Mr.Colov has been working in Thailand 30 years with honesty and diligence.

Colov seems an unlikely defender of the common man, but a reader has sent me in a link to a campaigning piece of journalism his Pattaya People undertook a few years ago.

Well congratulations to the Pattaya People But who is this businessman who has been selling Thai government housing for the underprivileged?  Yes indeed. Stand up Drew Noyes – whose office is located at Thepprasit Night Market, Jomtien – publisher of the Pattaya Times – circulation possibly 500.

Now I should point out that no charges were finally brought against Mr.Noyes. As a condition of handing the money back he forced one woman to sign a document saying something like he was ‘the most friendly, honest, reliable, reassuring, foreign professional ever to have made Thailand his home.’

Messrs. Colov and Noyes had an unhappy spat.  But they made up after which Drew Noyes, a very familiar face in columns on this site, sent me the following email.

“Yes, it is true Niels and I have come to terms with all outstanding issues. Our newspapers serve very different markets and we have no advertisers in common, so there is no newspaper war between Pattaya Times and Pattaya People.

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‘Sign the cheque dadddy!’ Laid back family man Drew Noyes (right) ponders fatherhood. He has nine, or ten, children by four different mothers.

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“It is important to note that Niels is significantly more relaxed and laid back than before and I am, also. Pattaya is changing.  Fewer Anglo-Saxons, less money. Niels and I have children with whom we spend our free time.  Business is secondary to family.

As Expat leaders, foreign business owners, long-time Pattaya residents and family men with Thai wives and 50/50 kids Niels and I have more in common than most.

Over my last 13 years here in Pattaya Niels and I formed and have been leaders of the same Expat Club, served in the same Rotary Club, served in the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association (PBTA) and other associations and have been the only foreign advisors and organizers for many events sponsored by Pattaya City and Chonburi governments to attract more Expat participation in cultural and sporting events. We did this even when we did not like each other. We worked together.  We did it to help make a difference to improve the quality of life for Expats in Pattaya.

As far as Lance Shaw goes, our research shows no conclusive proof that Niels was involved with Lance Shaw except as stated above.

It is better to all get along and forget about the past. Supporting each other rather than fighting with each other is good for morale of the rest of the foreigners you, he and I serve”.

 And did any Pattaya People readers send in their comments and has the ‘Pattaya People’ been exposing rotten cheating people ever since? Well not many that I can find.

For quite some time Colov has been promoting housing projects by Richard Haughton (right), boss of TPME Co. Ltd. (Thailand Property Media and Exhibition Co.)  Even today on the front page of the Pattaya People he is advertising the company and the ‘Emerald Palace’ complex. This is where Haughton took cash off the buyers and then mortgaged the whole lot to the Kasikorn Bank!  So nobody should buy until this is resolved.

The only English paper in Pattaya to cover this event was the Pattaya Today newspaper.

But Mr. Colov has two properties at Lake Villas, another of Haughton’s projects.  The Pattaya People also remained silent when Haughton recently had thugs go in and remove the electricity meters and cut the water pipes, on a claim that tenant/owners were not paying their maintenance fees.

I am not surprised. No maintenance was being done. Take a look at the picture below of the projects swimming pool.

I can sort of understand why Mr. Colov has been remaining silent on this issue. Records obtained by The Flying Sporran show in fact that Messrs.’ Colov and Haughton were in fact the biggest maintenance fee debtors of all.  But were their metres ripped out? Below is the summary from Ramesh Lal, Chairman of the Lake Villas owners association.

(I cannot publish the full files as I do not wish to name ALL the owners). But of course these figures will not surprise readers of this site.

Anyway the Flying Sporran has been warned about these libel threats. He does however insist that he has not come out with any ridiculous stories that Colov has been involved in drugs trafficking, pyramid selling,  Cambodia land dealing, or mistreating hamburger boys. He merely states that during his case against the Jyllands Posten in Denmark, counsel for Mr. Colov admitted that his client had convictions for pimping, violence etc., in Copenhagen, before he blessed Thailand with his arrival.  Those convictions are now spent and thus Mr. Colov is fully redeemed.

People of course may be wondering how Messrs.’ Colov and Haughton managed to both be elected as President of the Jomtien-Pattaya Rotary Club, and in Colov’s case also of the Pattaya Rotary Club.

I am afraid that the Flying Sporran does not have answers to this.

All the Flying Sporran wants to know is whether the redeemed Mr. Colov will return the 3.8 million baht handed over by Briton Malcolm Leggett to his wife Laddawan, which has now disappeared.

Has the sugar cane entered the elephant’s mouth?

Mr. Leggett wants to come out of the paddy fields now.  Please!

As a gesture of goodwill the Flying Sporran is more than happy to recommend investors place their cash in this project involving five identifiable red light districts in South East Asia. Investing large amounts of money could bring in a small fortune.

 

About the Author

Andrew Drummond

Andrew Drummond is a British independent journalist and occasional television documentary maker. He is a former Fleet Street, London, journalist having worked at the Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, News of the World, Observer and The Times.

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