Victims Of Property Scams Fail To Agree


February 27 2012

This is yet another warning to home-buyers in Thailand who have been swindled out of their dream retirement homes.
Do not believe anything you are told here which is not put in writing? 
Do not be persuaded by barrack room lawyers in your midst who think they know best. You will lose everything.

At my office in Bangkok I am getting more and more complaints about T.P.M.E, Thai Property and Media Exhibition Company Ltd.

Richard Haughton in blue at the Rotary
Readers will remember this is the company run by Richard Haughton, from Birmingham, former Tupperware salesman, and President of the Pattaya-Jomtien Rotary Club, until last year.
He sold off most of the units in the Emerald Palace condominium in Pattaya to punters from the UK, Finland, Canada, and Russian, and then mortgaged THEIR deeds to the Kasikorn Bank.

Its fraud. Its theft on a grand scale.

The calls I have been getting recently have been from Britons who have bought in earlier projects sold off plan by Haughton called Phoenix Grove and Forest View which were never built and will not be.  They are coming to me with Richard Haughton I.O.Us.  Haughton is sitting pretty. He believes the Thai authorities will do nothing – and so far he is right.
He has left it to his lieutenants Paul Salisbury and Nicholas Pearce to sort out his mess.

Haughton has secured a 71 million baht loan from the Kasikorn Bank.  Do the victims think the bank is going to give up its rights to the property just like that?  In a Thai court do the foreign victims think they will win just by producing a few receipts?

Above: Typical complaint from Phoenix Grove buyer who wants his money back. Buyers were shifted from one ‘off plan’ development to the next.
Pattaya Consumer Protection department promised buyers they would get their money back. They are still promising. Its not going to happen unless they put Haughton on the rack. They even stated to me months ago that Haughton would be arrested within four weeks.  Where is that arrest and what for?

At the moment the most serious charge appears to be ‘not registering a condominium’.

So why cannot Haughton be charged with international fraud? Well there have to be a set number of complainants, and the figure has to be large, before the DSI involves itself.

The Brits involved, who paid in the UK, should perhaps pursue Haughton in the UK.

Part of the problem, a deliberate part of course, is that the buyers in the Emerald Palace have paid to all sorts of different people, agents in the UK, Thailand, other Haughton companies etc. 
They have not been able to get their acts together and provide the right documentation or indeed fees, to get any action taken. It looks like they are going to lose everything. 
Likewise owners at another Haughton development Lake Villas appear to have been running around like headless chickens but at least most have their properties, even if they cannot live in them.

Meanwhile if the Pattaya Consumer Protection Department gets the money back for those at Emerald Palace and puts anyone behind bars I will eat my socks; the big highland woolly ones.

Meanwhile foreign victims cannot turn to the local press in Pattaya for help. With one exception Pattaya Today there has been resounding disinterest.  Perhaps Haughton’s advertising money is worth more.