BUT MARINE’S MISSING CASH IS JUST A DROP IN THE OCEAN
A Flying Sporran Inquiry
Pattaya, April 5 2012
A British Royal Marine was scammed out of £30,000 by foreign businessmen in Pattaya while serving his country in Iraq and Lebanon.
Toby Brockhurst, 28, from Bristol, was with 45 Commando, Royal Marines, based in Arbroath, Scotland, when he was talked into buying into a housing development in Pattaya
Then for five years he sent a cut of his salary to Richard Haughton, boss of Harlequin, Thailand and a company called Thai Property Media Exhibition Co. Ltd.
He was persuaded to put cash down on a home in a development called Chang Gardens by Haughton, the smooth talking ex-President of the Pattaya-Jomtien Rotary Club, who has often been seen handing out gifts to local charities.
Toby (right) in Northern Ireland
But now Brockhurst knows that Haughton’s favourite charity is himself.
This week Toby is in Thailand to track down Birmingham born Haughton (right) for fraud. He is the latest in a long list of foreigners who have been cheated by Haughton, whose accounts show payments to local officials.
Chang Gardens was never built. Brockhurst was then offered an alternative property in a nearby Phoenix Grove, which was also never built.
He was also offered a place in a project called ‘Emerald Palace’ which thankfully he never took up, because now, as has already been revealed in this site, Haughton took the cash from the buyers, but instead of giving them their property deeds, hawked them to the Kasikorn Bank for a 71 million baht loan.
One of the owners Londoner Lee Booty recalled how he called Haughton from his mobile from the site location and could see nothing had been built. ‘Haughton told me. ‘Its going well – the roof is going on next week. I asked him what exactly he intended to put the roof on top of, and he put down the phone.”
But the building was eventually ‘completed’ albeit 3 years late.
The circumstances around the Kasikorn Bank deal make for interesting reading. The chanotes were issued under the counter to Haughton’s Thai holding company before the project had been registered as a condo and signed off.
TPME accounts show personal payments to a named person in the Land Registry Office. Further the bank did not do due diligence, or rather felt it did not need to even bother, on who actually paid for the apartments.
One of the owners has complained that when he went to look at his apartment he found it occupied by the minor wife of one of the bank’s Presidents. The bank official later offered him 1 million baht for his 2.5 million baht (£50,600) apartment.
Above – Chang Gardens – ‘sold out’ but never built!
Three ex-employees of Haughton at Harlequin (Thailand) and TPME have come forward to offer evidence about Haughton’s illegal activities in Thailand. They have brought accounts showing how Haughton amassed millions on selling ‘off plan’ developments which came to nothing.
One of the ex-employees states: “Haughton was able by making payments to obtain chanotes for condominiums at his development at Lake Villas. I was there when the payments were made.
“In no way did these properties qualify for condominium chanotes. There was no reception, no lifts, no fire escapes, and no water sprinkler system. These were studio apartment rooms. They are now renting them out at (£81.13) 4,000 Thai baht a month to buyers who bought them as property investments!”
Another Haughton project – Compton Gardens Phase 2 – was sold off plan with buyers paying 50 per cent deposits paying a company in the U.K. “It sold out. They then just bankrupted the company and as far as I am aware moved the cash to Dubai”, said the former employee.
Meanwhile Toby Brockhurst, who served in the Straits of Homuz aboard HMS Bulwark, with 4 Assault Squadron Royal Marines (right), and is now an armourer based in Bordon, Hampshire, is fighting to get his money back.
“Haughton has told too many lies. One of the reasons he gave for failing to finish a property was the local government were demanding he build a heli-pad for them for free. He promised my money back. He never paid it.
“ I’ve called him. He say he has gone back to the U.K to visit his sick mother.”
Seems its not all bad news for Toby though. He split up with his Thai wife, Wanna, and divorced. Now they have both decided they made the wrong decision and are re-marrying again.
Toby and Wanna – Picture Andrew Chant
Meanwhile Haughton has refused to meet with people either demanding their money back or their property and he is now believed to be living now in a condo he bought for himself outside Bangkok…between U.K. trips that is.
Haughton’s projects were backed by another former Rotary Club President, Niels Martens Storm Colov.
Colov, chief of the Pattaya Police Volunteers, Knight of Rizal, and owner of Pattaya People Media, promoted Haughton’s projects and still does to this day, in his Pattaya People newspaper.
The convicted former Copenhagen gangster, who was jailed for 15 months for living off immoral earnings, violence and receiving stolen goods, before surfacing in Thailand as a vegetarian Buddhist, was awarded three units in Lake Villas for services provided, which included a promotional video, which was very short on truth.
Although he has never paid any service charges, his units seem luckily to have avoided a raid by Haughton’s henchmen earlier in the year when electricty and water meters were pulled out and supplies were cut.
An enquiry by the Pattaya Consumer Protection department into Haughton’s activities has so far achieved….nothing.
Picture Right: Gangster turned Foreign Volunteer Police Chief
Above – One of Colov’s units at Lake Villas – the price is inflated somewhat. Haughton boasted that he built them for about 150,000 a unit and could sell at almost ten times the price.
The Caldora Harlequin Investment Fund – see reader’s letter