Two months ago, Thai Police announced a crackdown on foreign criminals in Thailand. 

Deputy Tourist Police commissioner Surachet Hakpan told the ‘Bangkok Post’ that these foreign criminals usually overstay their visas after entering the country, “disguising themselves as language teachers or football players”. 

The truth is that the problem is not so much with foreign criminals, but with the Thai police. Because any foreign criminal worth his salt, strikes a deal with the Thai police rapidly. They certainly get tooled up with the right visas, even on occupations banned to foreigners in Thailand.

And some have told me frequently that they even arrange ‘walk throughs’ at Suvarnabhumi airport.

One old lag, who I have written about, said recently: ‘You’re more of a problem to them than the police are.”

Thai police would be better of hunting down foreign criminals posing as criminals, and failing that try estate agents, Rotary Club chairmen, foreign police volunteers, and international advisers to city mayors.

So, readers are advised to be cautious when dealing with the Smart Choice Building Company along the Thepprasit Road, in Pattaya Jomtien.  Its run by an Essex Brit called Shaun Tracey.

He was the partner of fellow Essex lad Alex Milbourn and both were caught say Thai police, robbing ATM’s along Thailand’s eastern seaboard.

After a press conference which made the Bangkok Post and most of the Pattaya newspapers both disappeared from the system, and of course did not go to court. 

The Pattaya Daily News labelled them ‘dumb and dumber’ thieves, as they were pulling ATMs off their foundations using rope and a pick-up truck, belonging to Alex Milbourn’s father, and were tracked down after the shop owner who sold them the rope (see picture) told police.  Milbourn’s father used to run with British underworld figure Eddie ‘King Cone’.

Both lads cottoned on to the fact that they did not need to rob ATMs in Thailand to make good money. They could simply defraud their fellow foreigners. Milbourn followed the easiest fraud of all.

He sold houses twice first to the punters and then secondly to Thai money lenders. It was basically  an adaption of a well tested plan used to deprive Irishman Colin Vard and Briton Ian Rance of their homes in Phuket – using fake powers of attorney to grab the chanotes or land deeds and control the property.

The Thai Police promised to put an end to these scams but the idea has caught on and now property dealers are widely enacting the scams with punters buying from abroad, who come over, move into the properties they have prepaid, and then find when they have their chanotes checked, that massive loans have to be paid off on the properrty (up to the value of the property) .

Facing private court action Millbourn fled back to Leigh-on-Sea where at 164 Leigh Road, he is a director of Burpaha Estate, estate agents. Perhaps he has taken that name from Burapha Villas which were on his books in Pattaya or perhaps the Burapha racing circuit. Then again perhaps he can’t spell.  In any case it won’t mean much to people in Leigh-on-Sea.

Anyway this is a warning. I am not accusing Tracey of breaking the law. He will of course have taken the usual steps with crooked Thai officials to ensure he is within the law. But he is keeping his head down as in the pictures here.

But if you are buying a house from either of these two characters and something goes wrong. The one still in Thailand will not be prosecuted. Thai police will be chasing footballers and school-teachers.

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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