‘THE THAI LEGAL SYSTEM IS GOOD. OTHER COUNTRIES ‘SHOULD TAKE A LEAF’ – RAGES PAUL HAYWARD ARCHITECT OF THE JACKSON COLE SCAM.
|Flying Sporran – I’m guessing Stickboy is more of an ‘a-go-go’ person than late clubber|
Paul Hayward, described as the King of Clubs in Thailand, has broken his silence, and presented himself as an honest hard working businessman in Bangkok. He has been a recluse, he says, because the customers come first rather than the media.
But the man who made his fortune in scamming people on the internet blagging his way to the top of the boiler room business in Asia is clearly troubled by allegations made on this site and he takes the offensive against an unnamed blogger.
Backing the Thai legal system which even most Thais want changed he does not name his dastardly enemy – but it is clearly the author of THIS site. So here’s another medal due to the Flying Sporran.
Hayward provided the interview with Bangkok blogger ‘Stickboy’ who covers the seamier side of expat life in Thailand – as well as doing sex club reviews – in an effort it appears to clear his name. But he seems to have botched it.
The interview came after a discussion about advertising on his site. I’m guessing Hayward will advertise.
Here below is the interview in which Stickboy comes to his aid – plus the questions he never asked and the answers he never gave from The Flying Sporran
Earlier this week I had the chance to sit down with the man behind Thailand’s largest entertainment and nightlife group that own countless bars, clubs and restaurants across Bangkok and beyond including the world famous Nana Plaza. Paul Hayward does not do interviews. Until now, when he agreed to sit down with Stickboy…
Paul, this is your first ever interview. I would like to first thank you for allowing Stickboy Bangkok this opportunity.
You’re very welcome
I’m going to dive right in. Why has it taken 17 years for you to do this?
I’m not one for drawing attention to myself in the media. I always believed in business the important people are your customers. I would rather spend my time shaking hands and getting to know people rather than being behind a keyboard or a microphone.
I agree he has not wanted to draw attention to himself but not for the reasons he gives. He does not like cameras near him. No picture with this storyon Stickboy I see.
Times have changed and social media is the most powerful source to communicate with your audience, so this old dinosaur needs to step up his game.
FLYING SPORRAN: Hmm. T-Rex?
STICKBOY: Recently a website stated you are the largest nightlife operator in Thailand by a country mile, is this true?
HAYWARD:I guess so. People should also understand this has taken Mickey Doherty and I almost 2 decades to build. We started with just a couple of bars and then built it up from there, adding 1-2 bars a year. It’s doesn’t sound much but over 20 years it adds up.
FLYING SPORRAN:That’s interesting and later you suggest you were operating before that in Hong Kong. Now how old exactly are you Paul?
STICKBOY:A lot of mystery and gossip surrounds the Eclipse Group. What do you have to say about that?
HAYWARD:Gossip and mystery is good for business. Nightlife is glamorous so over the years I’ve always felt any publicity is good publicity but in the last 8-9 months some people have taken it too far.
FLYING SPORRAN: Glamorous is not the word I would have chosen to describe Nana Plaza, Baccara, or the Eden Club. I think Paul has stepped over the line here.
STICKBOY:A well-known British blogger who fled Thailand in January has written some sensational stories about you. What do you have to say about this?
HAYWARD:This blogger fled Thailand because he had a warrant out for his arrest, no other reason. If he comes back to Thailand he will be arrested not because Thailand’s laws about freedom of speech are poor as he likes to say, Thailand takes a dim few on individuals who tell lies about others for commercial gain. If you can prove what you write Thailand is ok. If you can’t, they protect the victim.
FLYING SPORRAN: Does he mean me? There was no warrant for my arrest when I left Thailand. A warrant was issued later when I failed to turn up for the result of an appeal of a libel case brought by a Pattaya business man James Lumsden which I had won earlier. The warrant was withdrawn when the Supreme Court confirmed the not guilty judgment in my absence. There will be no arrest on my return – unless its for something new that I do not know about.
My website is not done for commercial gain. People advertising there now get there adverts free – but like many members of the public most have been great in supporting me over the years.
HAYWARD: A few countries could take a leaf out of Thailand’s book on this. How many lives do these bloggers ruin?
Regarding the accuracy of his stories? I would say that he has got a couple of things right like err my name and my partner’s name.
The rest is bordering on ridiculous. When you get into the nightlife business you have to become thick skinned.
You will be likened to a sinister figure, the bigger you get the more absurd the rumours will become. I remember being in the clubs back home and gossiping with the other patrons about the club owners. Now people do it me. It’s part of the business.
FLYING SPORRAN: He was in the clubs back home as well? He’d hardly be old enough to drink in one. Paul Hayward arrived here specifically to join a boiler room. He was born in March 1975 in Northampton.
I do not think anyone needs to take a leaf out of Thailand’s legal book. Despite that I still appear to remain on top of my adversaries. Some achievement in the present climate. You certainly need to be thick skinned to cheat old aged pensioners out of their life savings. And then charge them again by falsely promising to get them their cash back.
STICKBOY: Is it true you blocked his website in Thailand?
HAYWARD:Absolutely not. He has worked hard to achieve that all by himself. He has 60+ court cases against him.
A warrant out for his arrest and he has criticised this political regime, previous ones, the Army, the Police. Thailand has had enough of him.
FLYING SPORRAN: Some mistake here surely. Where are these 60 cases? Two people suing me have now been convicted and sentenced to terms of imprisonment – for real criminal offence and I am now counter suing. The principal characters are Drew Noyes – sentenced to two years for extortion and Brian Goudie, aka, Goldie, 3 years for posing as a lawyer and former officer in the Royal Marine to defraud. (It’s true I have criticised the Thaksin regime, the army and the police. That’s what journalists do. The government have given no reason to the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand for the blocking – I do not think the individual Ministers actually know. However being blocked is an honour – News today is that the government plans a massive firewall)
Is Hayward really going to be the third – and this time in a British court? I have not lost a case over anything I have written in Thailand about these two guys, and while employed as an investigative journalist in the UK zilch. But not for want of trying. In Thailand crooks were suing over photo-shopped pictures lampooning them sent in by a reader which I thought were very funny and still do. In one case they sued over a poster’s letter.
Incidentally I was backed in statements issue by the European Union and the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. Hayward must have been reading claims by Goudie who is now in Nong Plalai prison. (see earlier story on Monday)
STICKBOY: Why haven’t you answered his accusations before now?
FLYING SPORRAN: Wait a second. What accusations? You have not put any accusations to him Stickboy? He has just given you a blanket denial of everything blaming his misfortune on a ‘blogger’ who is doing it for cash.
HAYWARD:Because I wanted to do it in the court room. But he just won’t face me. His tells his readers that he has this and he has that. Then put up or shut up. He refuses to be served by my lawyers. He emails my lawyers asking if I want an address to serve the papers, when my lawyers respond “yes” he responds “you can’t have it”.
FLYING SPORRAN: Wow. He could have sued me for years in Bangkok, where he might have won at a price, but chose not to. I have not refused to be served with papers. I have merely told his lawyers from rural Ipswich that if they want to go into the libel business in the UK they should do, as is required by law now, due diligence on their clients. And it is up to them to ascertain my address.
I told their lawyer that I am not providing an address which will be made available to a man who has made his living off criminal enterprises. I never emailed to offer one but I won’t be hard to find. Of course I want to see him in a court room – It’s a question of two down and one to go. This everyone, not least Hayward, knows will never happen if things are simply left to Thai law enforcement and requests for assistance from the National Crime Agency.
But his country lawyers also threatened the boss of THE supporters club of Crawley Town FC’s website. This below is the reply the lawyers got. It shows the level of competence demonstrated. His lawyers also foolishly made an admission in a letter to me relating to his former ‘security personnel’.
HAYWARD: It’s important people understand what are the traits of a good blogger. You need to be a traffic whore. The more clicks you get the more advertising money you can make. The more sensational the story the higher the traffic. If you write a story that states someone is a good guy no one will want to read it. If you write someone is a bad guy people love it. A blogger gives his audience what they want. But a really good blogger knows that he needs to be able to avoid getting into the court room at any cost as he will never be able to back up his accusations as he had made them up.
FLYING SPORRAN: Hmm. Sounds like a mix between journalism and a site promoting Bangkok’s lurid night life. Actually my website is a noncommercial one. I have not taken money for over a year from advertising but in any case it did not pay for the work before, just helped a little. Of course I can back up my accusations. Its an unfortunate use of the word whore though knowing he is also not only in the the go-go bar but also brothel business.
HAYWARD:People should know the difference between journalism and blogging. Journalism is researched articles written based on facts, proof and credible sources. Any blogger who claims to be a journalist but doesn’t follow these simple rules is a disgrace because he or she is misleading people.
FLYING SPORAN:Well I have been a journalist for forty years plus with reputation completely intact. The website developed because there was so much crime in Thailand and people were getting hurt. Research? It is coming out of my ears – I can probably give him a better account of what he has been doing for the last 15 years than he can actually remember – flights hotels, transactions, victims, couriers, former employees.
STICKBOY: How do you feel about this blogger personally?
HAYWARD: I don’t really know the man. I’ve never met him.
We have spoken three times on the phone. One time he called me fishing for gossip. The second time we spoke about an investment in his new magazine concept, which I declined. The final time we spoke is when he asked me to do an airport check on a friend of his as a favour.
I only have issues with the lies he writes and that he is never man enough to stand by his accusations after an article is written.
FLYING SPORRAN: Not sure what he means. I have made the allegations and am obviously standing by them. The bit about the airport check is true though. I wanted to confirm how familiar he was with Thai Immigration Police as runaway boiler room men had had difficulty at Suvarnabhumi airport – and boiler room boys got visas easily enough. I told him I needed to get someone out of the country – How would I do it? He made two offers which he could arrange – ‘a walk through’ at Bangkok airport or a ‘drive through’ at the Malaysian border.”
HAYWARD: The other time his name came up is when I received an anonymous email asking for $20,000,000 to be paid into an offshore bank account or my life would be made difficult on Google. That email told me to contact the blogger to work out the finer details. Let’s leave that one for court, yeah?
FLYING SPORRAN: I record calls such as those involving people like Hayward. I never ever called Hayward fishing. People like Hayward always think everybody has his price. Now how would I get this guy’s mobile phone number? He, as you point out Stickboy, is not generally available. He used to change his number every few days. But I have had three numbers. Each was given before a conversation. Each was useless later. I was given the first by Jon Kealy of the Dubliner (and Brinton Group) fame. I had been annoying Hayward and he wanted to talk. That was the first real interview with Hayward. He talked all about his plans for Nana sex entertainment area. Wanted to get rid of the lady boys etc. Usual stuff; Why was I writing a blog when I could be making real money etc? He has forgotten about the last call when he asked if I could ring up the Bangkok Post to get them to do a story about the food vendors cluttering up Sukhumit Soi 11 where he had his main clubs. I told him that was not my métier.
As for the anonymous letter. Mmm. Why would someone write anonymously and then ask Hayward to contact me to discuss payment of US$20,000 to solve his Google problems. That’s hardly anonymous. If I was Hayward I would have called the ‘blogger’ (me) and recorded it. The only time money was mentioned was when Kealy called on behalf of ‘a third party’ who wanted to buy this site. ‘This is your get out of jail free card’. Shortly afterwards I was summonsed by one of the most bent policemen in the Crime Suppression Division to help with his enquiries. I’ve written about that already. I left not long after. The cop is now dead after falling from a high place at the time of the crackdown on the CSD. My departure made the international press. Kealy was generally Hayward’s go-between.
STICKBOY: Are the rumors true you worked as a telephone salesperson when you first came to Thailand?
HAYWARD:Absolutely not. Eclipse owned a chain of restaurants at the time it’s claimed I did that. What people don’t realise is Eclipse was trading in Hong Kong before expanding into Thailand in the summer of 1998.
FLYING SPORRAN: The bars of Bangkok will be resounding to guffaws at this answer. And what’s Hong Kong got to do with the price of potatoes. And which restaurant did he work in. Must have been difficult between flights to Manila, Taipei, Phnom Penh, KL. and Hong Kong from Bangkok. etc. His first venture into the ‘hospitality industry’ came much later when he started the Hospitality Venture Group – not Eclipse. Mum had 30 per cent remember. Stickboy should be asking where the cash came from etc. (SEE CDV at this link) and to which banks in Hong Kong and Taipei his cash went first.
STICKBOY: This will be a blow to the people who believe your empire was built on millions of dollars of cash needing to be invested.
FLYING SPORRAN: Ok we can all give up and go home now. Er, but I don’t think this interview is a blow to anyone yet…Wait there’s more.
HAYWARD:If you look at the balance sheets of my business you will see the share capital of my outlets. This includes the builds and the buys. If you look at the dividends stream of the Group you will see the dividends are greater than the share capital. That’s shows clearly we grew organically. The facts are there if people can be bothered to look. But that’s not an exciting story is it?
FLYING SPORRAN: Yes it is. Its a very good story and people do bother to look. In fact as you know we have your hand signed accounts for boiler room ops. Excepting Nana Plaza a lot of these places do not look as if they are making much money. The entertainment is possibly the easiest business in which to launder as in empty venues making profits. I don’t think the new army closing times can have helped his nightclubs.
And as many of these places were bought at well over than their market value, people were queuing up to sell. N’est ce pas? Organic growth certainly – unharmed by financial safeguards.
STICKBOY: How do you think you are perceived by those who don’t know you or never met you in person?
HAYWARD: Probably as a James Bond villain with sharks under a trapdoor in my elevator? People that know me and people that don’t will have a very broad range of ideas on what I’m like. But if you want to know me, come say hello, mines a Jack Coke.
FLYING SPORRAN: I’m not guessing. Many victims, including some ex-employees have a much dimmer view than that. But he has some of the toys a James Bond villain might have.
STICKBOY: Everybody wants to know about Nana Plaza. The rumour for years was that Nana Plaza was going to be demolished then out of nowhere came the news that you guys had taken it over. How did this come about?
HAYWARD: I heard a few years ago that Q bar was going to be knocked down so I approached the then owners at the time to find out what was happening. They told me the lease was up and they couldn’t get the landlords on the phone. I always wanted to be a part of Q-Bar so I made the owners a proposition. If I can get you a new lease and provide enough cash to remodel and upgrade the place will you let me in 50/50. They agreed. We brought our side to it and the partnership was in place.
FLYING SPORRAN:And then it went crashing downhill and what happened to the partners?
HAYWARD:At the meeting I picked the landlord’s brains about property investment in the area. Indians and Thais always hear about the good property plays before farangs (foreigners). Nana Plaza was mentioned in passing. Seven sisters had inherited the land from the old boy who had passed. They wanted nothing to do with a red light area. The rest is history.
FLYING SPORRAN: Seven sisters. Now there’s a good start to a fairy tale. I think you missed the involvement of the FICO Corporation hear and CIMB Bank here Paul.
STICKBOY:You have been criticised for hiking the rents. Is this criticism fair?
HAYWARD: Well it’s true. We did increase the rents to bring the prices in line with the rest of Sukhumvit. The rental on my own places are the same as Nana and some higher.
Some bars were paying 7,000 baht per month rent for the last 10 years based on old handshakes. I think they had a good run.
FLYING SPORRAN: I don’t understand this ‘my places’ expression Paul. Technically and certainly legally you do not have any! I understand most expats drink cheaply outside Nana – and just nip in for a quick oggle.
STICKBOY: Rumours are circulating that after the tenants’ 9 years are up Nana Plaza will be sold and developed into a large hotel and that no tenant can get a lease extension. Can you shed any light on this?
FLYING SPORRAN: zzzzzzzzzzz
HAYWARD:Nana Plaza will be around longer than anyone reading this article. It’s an institution. It’s going nowhere.
FLYING SPORRAN: But downhill
STICKBOY:There were rumours a couple of years back you and Micky were going your own separate ways.
HAYWARD:Again with the rumours. Micky and I have our differences and we argue like an old married couple. Then we sit down and discuss both sides and we both end up agreeing I’m right. I’m joking of course. We are a great team. Always pick your partners more carefully than you pick your wife. You can divorce a wife easily enough. Not so easy to move on a bad partner.
FLYING SPORRAN: I like a bit of humour. In that relationship Mickey didn’t like being the wife. (2)In that case why are his places in the names of wives, lawyers, cops etc and ThaiVisa’s advice lawyer. After the row the Eclipse website went down.
STICKBOY:What are the Eclipse group’s plans for the future
HAYWARD: There has been no Eclipse Group for quite some time now. We were very close to floating on the stock exchange so it made sense for a while to pool all companies under one umbrella. We abandoned that idea a few years ago so we broke the Group up into multiple corporations for tax reasons. But our plans for the future are what they always have been. To ensure we have the best product available for patrons, whether it be food, cocktails, light or sound. We will always strive to be the market leader.
FLYING SPORRAN: Tax evasion and to obscure the real ownerships. In that case you should remove Eclipse from the business registry. Your companies morph all the time. You never paid ‘official’ tax on the boiler rooms according to the Confederation of Defrauded Victims who have published notes written in your office just days before the tax man was due.
STICKBOY: What are the plans for Paul personally?
HAYWARD: Be healthy and be happy.
FLYING SPORRAN: And pray for world peace?
STICKBOY: Any advice to new expats coming to Thailand?
HAYWARD:Yes. Stay away from drugs and motorcycles. The amount of funerals I have been to that involves either one of those two!!!!
FLYING SCOTSMAN:Indeed his colleagues Glen Bullard died in Pai and Mark Hutcherson died in the US. Both liked motorbikes and Glen was President of the Bandidos MC (Thailand) and a coke-head
Then of course there are those who died under vehicles driven by boiler room operators on drugs such as Canadian Frank Giannini.
STICKBOY: Can you give my readers another couple of nuggets? Many are coming to Thailand and want to open businesses.
FLYING SPORRAn I don’t think Sickboy (Mike Mckay from Glasgow according to Who Is) is going to go into Jeremy Paxman mode here.
HAYWARD:OK. I will give you two more. Firstly, if you are going to be a minority shareholder in a partnership never take less that 26 percent. This must be your minimum level of entry. Thai law only really protects people at 26% as they also have to offer you a directorship at this level.
FLYINGSPORRAN: So why don’t you even have 1 per cent in any of your companies and no directorships?
HAYWARD: Secondly, your directors are important not just a formality. A Thai director with no equity in your business can transfer all of your shares out of your name without your signature at companies’ house. So think before you consider yourself clever giving the maid or your driver a few thousand to sign a bit of paper.
FLYING SPORRAN: Ever thought of practicing what you preach……
STICKBOY: Anything else?
FLYING SPORRAN:That I can fish from your fountain of wisdom oh great one?
HAYWARD: Yes. Never ever put any assets in your Thai girlfriend or wife’s name. I do not understand why expats keep doing this. Love and business are not the same thing. That’s chapter one in my up and coming book.
FLYING SPORRAN: Well here’s a Thai wife and a managing director of one of your companies!
STICKBOY: Eh? You’re going to write a book?
HAYWARD:Yes. I want to write a couple actually. The first one is going to be called “An Idiots Guide to Owning a Bar in Thailand”. I want to write a very simple book for people to read before they open a bar. I am still baffled that people open a bar thinking it’s easy and do it with zero experience. 7/10 bars fail in Thailand. It’s a risky business even with experience. But the horror stories I hear about people losing their asses are endless. So I’m writing a book for them.
FLYING SPORRAN: Well that won’t be going out on Penguin. Nor will The Idiots Guide to Hide Your Stash. Is he going to write a book on behalf of the victims of Jackson Cole, Smith Fairchild etc. and their poor asses?
STICKBOY: What’s the second book?
HAYWARD: An autobiography.
HAYWARD: You’re kidding? That would be an interesting read. Can Stickboy have the exclusive?
FLYING SPORRAN: Yes he is kidding Stickboy
HAYWARD: Let’s see. It will cost ya.
FLYING SPORRAN: Everything does doesn’t it Paul?
STICKBOY: I’ll wrap things up for now by