BRITON PAUL HAYWARD DENIES HE WAS EVER BANGKOK’S BOILER ROOM KING
‘THE THAI LEGAL SYSTEM IS GOOD. OTHER COUNTRIES ‘SHOULD TAKE A LEAF’ – SAYS BRITON PAUL HAYWARD
(The original of this piece was first published in 2015. It is being republished as Michael Mackay the author of the piece below is pontificating with fake news about Rahaf the Saudi woman whom the Thai government were going to return home against her will before a public outcry)
(Thailand’s legal system is indeed unique. Libel, causing someone to lose face is a criminal offence, not civil. Journalists are not allowed to take notes, and when they have been taken they have been at complete variance with the judges’ summing up. A judge’s decision cannot be criticised on pain of imprisonment. No verbatim record of proceedings is taken, and the system is notorious for being ‘interfered with’. It can drain the resources of defendants as, due to a number of factors, very often acquittals are not given until the cases reach the Supreme Court. Since Hayward’s declaration numerous people have been charged under the country’s libel and Lese Majeste, making it almost impossible to speak the truth on certain issues in Thailand. The guys below of course are strangers to the truth.)
|Flying Sporran – I’m guessing Stickboy (Mike Mackay) 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.(Andrew Drummond)
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. If you look at the advertisments on the Stickboy site Hayward is by far the biggest advertiser.
Here below is the interview in which Stickboy comes to his aid – plus the questions he never asked and the answers he never gave (My comments indicated by ‘AD;)
Published on 23rd September 2015 by Stickboy BKK –
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?
AD: That’s a bad start, The interviewer is leading people to believe that Hayward has been in the bar business for 17 years.
HAYWARD: 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.
AD: 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 exclusive story on 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.
AD:And counter some very negative stories.
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.
AD:That’s interesting and later you suggest you were operating before that in Hong Kong. Now how old exactly are you Paul? You seem to have forgotten your time with International Asset Management among many others and how you obtained the cash to buy pubs etc. It certainly wasn’t from running pubs.
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.
AD: Glamorous is not the word I would have chosen to describe Nana Plaza, Baccara, or the Eden Club. I think Hayward is confusing sex with romance. The Eclipse Group has now become the Panthera Group btw (2018).
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.
AD: Does he mean me? There was no warrant for my arrest when I left Thailand quite legally. Can he produce a warrant or show proof of warrant? Why not name the journalist. Actually a warrant was issued 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. It in no way coincided with my departure from Thailand.
But the warrant was cancelled within a month when the Supreme Court confirmed the not guilty judgement 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. It’s there to warn people.
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.
AD: Paul Hayward arrived here specifically to join a boiler room. He was born in March 1975 in Northampton. He first joined International Asset Management where he learned the trade and was stopped at the airport on the way out after the boiler room raids in 2001. At the airport he handed over US$100,000 with two others as a ‘gift to Thailand’ to be allowed to leave the country and this was reported locally. He returned to resume his boiler room career which is documented on this site and independently on ‘Boiler room boys of Thailand’
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? Three people were actually suing me. Two of them have now been convicted and sentenced to terms of imprisonment for real criminal offences – Who were they? The principal characters were American Drew Noyes – sentenced to two years for extortion and Scot Brian Goudie, aka, Goldie, 3 years for posing as a lawyer and former officer in the Royal Marine to defraud a 78-year-old pensioner out of US$300,000. The third went back to Australia.
STICKBOY: Why haven’t you answered his accusations before now?
AD: 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, which he clearly is not. What are the allegations?
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”.
AD: When has he ever preferred the courts Stickboy? Ask him? He could have sued me for years in Bangkok, where he might have won at a price because that is known to dictate court verdicts, but chose not to. I have challenged him to sue me in the U.K. I have not refused to be served with papers. I have merely told his lawyers in rural Ipswich that if they want to go into the libel business in the UK they should firstly do, as is required by law now, due diligence on their clients. And it is up to them to ascertain my address. Some of his ex-employees are gagging to testify. Check out boiler rooms and Stephen Sharpe, or John McCleary.
I am not providing an address which will be made available to a man who has made his living off criminal enterprises and whose former employees make claims of ‘fit ups’ and even ‘murder’ connected with his operations. I won’t be hard to find in the UK you have to register for everything. Of course, I want to see him in a court room.
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.
AD: Hmm. Sounds like a mix between journalism and a site promoting Bangkok’s lurid night life. But as I don’t tout for advertising that rules me out. I do it for free. I do not think he understands that concept. Actually I am a journalist and have been one all my life from local newspapers to BBC Radio, news agencies, Mail, NoW. I was a foreign correspondent for the Observer, before co-founding its television company and covered Thailand for the last 25 years for the Observer, London Evening Standard and the Times. Have been the recipient of several awards (though I have never entered for any) including the Maurice Ludmer Award for Investigations into Journalism and Fascism, and have initiated and produced several major documentaries in Asia, South America and Europe. for the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, World Monitor etc.
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.
AD: (‘Which is why I am giving this interview to Stickboy and not a journalist because I don’t talk to journalists, if they have done their research they’ll have me for breakfast’). But I have provided facts, names of phoney companies, phoney products, bank accounts, who his bankers were and his couriers. What monies went from which scam to which account etc.
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.
AD: Gossip? I cannot call Hayward. He changes his number or did, every week or so. He has called me. On one occasion I was given a number which he answered. But I’m sure it was not his normal number. Not sure what he means by not standing by my allegations. I have made the allegations and am obviously standing by them. If this is not clear then I will repeat them now. Paul John Hayward earned his millions from boiler room fraud. There you go. The bit about the airport check is true though. He once said. ‘How can I help you?’ I wanted to confirm how familiar he was with Thai Immigration Police as – ‘runaways’ – people running from boiler room employment – had had difficulty at Suvarnabhumi airport – and boiler room boys got visas easily enough. To a man all our witnesses said that Immigration Police were paid off. 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?
AD: Wow. We need to see this email. If it’s anonymous – how are you going to pay the $20,000,000. I think he must mean the CDV (Group of Defrauded Victims) who he cheated out of US$20 million, or so they claim. Now Stickboy ask him why the CDV were asking for the return of US$20 million.
The only time I personally know when money was mentioned was when Kealy called on behalf of ‘a third party’ (Hayward) who wanted to buy this site (to close it down) saying ‘This is your get out of jail free card’. No figure was given. But I would not have sold. 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 rumours 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.
AD: Paul Hayard absolutely did. But I think telephone sales person is a flattering description. I’ve spoken to the people who sat next to him. He first owned a chain of restaurants when he came to Thailand? Really? The bars of Bangkok will be resounding to guffaws at this answer. Must have been difficult between flights to Manila, Taipei, Phnom Penh, KL. and Hong Kong from Bangkok, etc. Was he collecting culinary delicacies or recipes for his restaurant? 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 Paul? 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. Of course, in his boiler room days he was known as Paul Hilton.
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: I don’t think its going to be a a blow to anyone. His own ’employees’ will even be laughing.
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?
AD: Yes it is. Its a very good story and people do bother to look. Is he opening them to you? The dividends are so big because dollars were blowing out of your behind and you needed to clean the money. In fact as you know we have your hand signed accounts for boiler room ops. The entertainment is the easiest business in which to launder.
And as many of these places were bought at well over 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.
AD: Nah, viewed just as a rather sleazy Brit wide-boy scammer I’m afraid who married a bar girl. 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 bought with pension from money from the ‘suckers’.
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.
AD: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.
AD: 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.
AD: I don’t understand this ‘my places’ expression. Stickboy have you checked to find Paul Hayward’s name on the master lease of Nana Plaza? Or in the Thai business registry?
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?
HAYWARD: Nana Plaza will be around longer than anyone reading this article. It’s an institution. It’s going nowhere.
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.
AD: How cute. I like a bit of humour. Hayward’s former partners Mark Hutcherson and Glendon Bullard are now dead (neither from natural circumstances), as is his former accountant. His own security boys James and John McCleary were jailed for 18 years for kidnap! Now try for that divorce.
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.
AD: Tax evasion and to obscure the real owner-ships. 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. Go on ask him Stickboy, which company do you Paul Hayward actually have shares in?
STICKBOY: What are the plans for Paul personally?
HAYWARD: Be healthy and be happy.
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!!!!
AD: And stay away from Hells Angels?
STICKBOY: Can you give my readers another couple of nuggets? Many are coming to Thailand and want to open businesses.
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.
AD: What nuggets? 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.
AD: Oh god, this is dragging on forever. Is this is a real interview? Lets hear about his life-style, how he actually built up his empire from nothing. How did he get the cash to buy his first pub. What does HE SAY, was his first job in Bangkok. This guy would not last a minute in front of a QC.
STICKBOY: Anything else?
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.
AD: 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.
AD: Well that won’t be going out on Penguin. Nor will The Idiots Guide to Hiding Your Stash. Is he going to write a book of horror stories of the cash he took from 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.
AD: Everything does doesn’t it Paul?
STICKBOY: I’ll wrap things up for now by