The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

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The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by StevePIraq » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:28 am

Shocking but likely not so rare a story. BBC News

The sparkling seas and warm beaches of Phuket are a magnet for sun-seeking holiday-makers and, increasingly, for foreigners seeking a comfortable and cost-efficient retirement. More than 100,000 foreigners have settled on the island - though some now bitterly regret it.

British expat Ian Rance and Irishman Colin Vard are now living almost penniless with their children on the outskirts of Bangkok as they struggle against overwhelming odds to recover properties they bought on Phuket. Both men lost all their investments through frauds that neither of them imagined were possible.

"I'd made my money in England and had enough to retire I thought. I was looking for a place that was warm, a place that had some rule of law, where I could live in safety and peace," says Rance, a chartered surveyor and professional arbitrator from Hertfordshire, who arrived in Phuket in 2000.

"When I came to Thailand on a trip to Australia it sort of seemed to fit the bill."

In 2001 Ian met and married a Thai woman called Suda and went on to have three children with her. The prime minister at the time, Thaksin Shinawatra, had started a programme called "Thailand Elite", through which he hoped to attract wealthy foreigners to settle by allowing them to own small amounts of land, something not normally permitted under Thai law.

Encouraged by this, Rance began investing in property, buying two houses, and eventually a restaurant and two pieces of land. But the Thailand Elite scheme never took off, so in the end he did what thousands of other foreigners did - he put the properties either in the name of the company he had already formed to run his consultancy business, or in the name of his wife.

Read the rest of the article, truly amazing
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Re: The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by migrant » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:30 am

StevePIraq wrote:Shocking but likely not so rare a story. BBC News

The sparkling seas and warm beaches of Phuket are a magnet for sun-seeking holiday-makers and, increasingly, for foreigners seeking a comfortable and cost-efficient retirement. More than 100,000 foreigners have settled on the island - though some now bitterly regret it.

British expat Ian Rance and Irishman Colin Vard are now living almost penniless with their children on the outskirts of Bangkok as they struggle against overwhelming odds to recover properties they bought on Phuket. Both men lost all their investments through frauds that neither of them imagined were possible.

Read the rest of the article, truly amazing
Steve do you have the article site? :cheers:
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Re: The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by StevePIraq » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:37 am

Duh I thought I included the link, here tis

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Re: The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by Name Taken » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:44 am

So he was planning to flip the houses and land for a profit?

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Re: The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by JamesWest » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:26 am

"Defrauded by my wife and criminals in Thailand' - BBC special report
says it all...

"I asked him what he would say to those considering retiring and buying property in Phuket.
"Don't. Don't come here. The system of law is nowhere near as strong as you think it is going to be, there is no protection for you, and there are gangs of people victimising you. The lawyers have very little in the way of ethics or professionalism."

watch the video, it is shocking what ALL the Thais did to this man. Not just his wife. The whole network of criminals.

could very easily be Hua Hin or anywhere in Thailand.

Ian is a very nice guy, the type that gets eaten alive in thailand...

When will Farangs ever learn that you can't own property in Thailand?
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Re: The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by Homer » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:44 am

None of the articles of advice to potential expats that I've seen included never give a local more money than you can afford to lose. It's unfortunate some learn it the hard way.

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Re: The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by StevePIraq » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:29 am

With the article being so prominent on the BBC site this must be doing incredible harm to Thailand's image. You really would think someone in government would put some pressure on departments to sort it out. Or am I in La La land again
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Re: The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by JamesWest » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:15 pm

StevePIraq wrote:With the article being so prominent on the BBC site this must be doing incredible harm to Thailand's image. You really would think someone in government would put some pressure on departments to sort it out. Or am I in La La land again
they will arrest Ian soon on false charges. he is already being sued by the very people who ripped him off.
they say he knew all along that he did not own the properties and he is the one trying to steal them.
I talked to him on the big evil conehead forum.

he will confess and there will be Thais pointing at him in a photo of the reenactment.
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Re: The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by redzonerocker » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:41 pm

Homer wrote:None of the articles of advice to potential expats that I've seen included never give a local more money than you can afford to lose. It's unfortunate some learn it the hard way.
:agree:

What I find amazing is that despite that it's been happening on a fairly large scale for many years, there is still a steady flow of 'victims' turning up on a regular basis.
You would have thought with all the information available online through forum, news etc, they'd be a little more knowledgeable.

I listened to some stories personally last time out and witnessed some pretty sad scenarios, some just defy belief. :shock:
It seems the infatuation and fantasy of what is on offer overides the common sense side of their brains (which is usually located dangling lower down in the anatomy :wink: ).
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Re: The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by Khundon1975 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:47 pm

^ I saw this story a couple of months ago and again the other night on the Beeb. He seems to be a nice guy, if a bit naive. Seems, when it all kicked off, he and his kids were threatened
by local hoods and had to move from place to place every 2 days, then left Thailand for the UK.
This story has been running for a long time and he has only now got the attention of the Deputy Governor in Phuket!

Quite how she is getting away with this fraud, when she forged his signature and got it notarised by a "lawyer" is beyond me. I thought that both parties had to be present when the sale documents were signed. Iv'e probably missed something, as I was not really paying full attention to the programme. :(

I very much doubt he will get much back if anything, as the properties have been sold on again and he will have a real fight on his hands going through the the Thai courts. Endless litigation, endless delays and court adjournments, endless payments to lawyers.

It goes against my instincts but my advice would be to walk away and get on with his life.
I think he has now got another partner and child. If it was me, I would learn the lesson and put it behind me, as it is a lose, lose situation. Only the lawyers will come out on top. :banghead:
In another post on another thread, I said use GOOGLE, it is your best friend, when thinking of doing anything in Thailand.

I wish the guy good luck but I think that ran out, the day he met her.

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Re: The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by hhfarang » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:41 pm

"could very easily be Hua Hin or anywhere in Thailand."

Similar (or worse) has happened many times over in Hua HIn.
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Re: The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by GLCQuantum » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:17 pm

hhfarang wrote:"could very easily be Hua Hin or anywhere in Thailand."

Similar (or worse) has happened many times over in Hua HIn.
By 'worse' I assume you mean being chopped up by your Thai wife's family (because the gun didn't work) then pieces of your body put on Kaeng Krachan nature reserve for the tigers to eat.

Over the top?

A friend (not close - but a friend all the same) was given that as his 'send off'.

Where is his murderer?

On last reports, I believe she still runs a bar down Bintha-butt.

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Re: The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by Khundon1975 » Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:34 am

Yes, I knew him as well and drank in his bar many times. He even talked to me on the problems he had been having with her, in March 2004.

He knew she had been gambling and he had paid off her huge debts and set her up in another business but insisted on keeping their son with him.

She, however, knew that while she was still married to him, she would be first in line for his £millions, so her and other Thai relatives murdered him in a horrible way but were caught and put in prison for a few years.
He thought he had got rid of her, how wrong he was. He and his son and family in the UK, paid dearly for that evil woman's actions.

A very sad case, which should be a warning to those who find themselves in a similar situation.
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Re: The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by Takiap » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:18 am

Khundon1975 wrote:Yes, I knew him as well and drank in his bar many times. He even talked to me on the problems he had been having with her, in March 2004.

He knew she had been gambling and he had paid off her huge debts and set her up in another business but insisted on keeping their son with him.

She, however, knew that while she was still married to him, she would be first in line for his £millions, so her and other Thai relatives murdered him in a horrible way but were caught and put in prison for a few years.
He thought he had got rid of her, how wrong he was. He and his son and family in the UK, paid dearly for that evil woman's actions.

A very sad case, which should be a warning to those who find themselves in a similar situation.

Yes, very sad, and also very similar to what just recently happened to my life long friend in Hat Yai. Fortunately for my mate, the gun did work so he was spared the steel pole treatment. Now his wife who paid for the hit is accusing him of sexual abuse and child abuse, so I won't be surprised if she is out of prison after 5 or 6 years. After all, dead people can't defend themselves.
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Re: The Phuket property nightmare (Could be anywhere)

Post by buksida » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:32 am

This property scam is quite common, I know someone personally that it happened to. The woman is usually approached by a 'recruiter', a well dressed handsome Thai man that begins to reel her in with stories of riches and a better life away from the old farang she married. She re-mortgages or transfers the properties without his knowledge and runs with the money, totally illegal without the husbands signature but it happens, he's only a mere farang after all. The recruiter advises her exactly how to pull it off - someone at the bank is in on it as is the land office, the lawyers also end up with a tidy cut, it is well orchestrated and the only loser is Joe farang.

Greed and corruption is not uncommon here, but what amazes me is their total disregard for their children, a harsh thing to say but many Thais just consider kids to be a commodity.

Caveat emptor.
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