UK mafia gangs investing in property purchase scams in Thailand

Published:  10 Nov at 6 PM
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For decades, tropical Thailand has been a retirement haven for UK expats for its cheap cost of living and year-round sunshine, but buying a condo has always been a risky business.

It’s not just the government rules on the purchase of property by foreigners which can ruin the dream, it’s the continuing off-plan property scams perpetrated by dishonest expat developers. The latest to emerge involves a condo block in Pattaya’s Jomtien district – or it would be in Jomtien if it had been built!

More than 100 would-be expats have bought into the cleverly designed artist’s impression of the finished project and its surrounding gardens, all of whom have put down sizeable deposits as well as making plans for their new lives in paradise. Sadly, the construction of the block, promised to start last December, hasn’t even started as the company it seems, don’t even own the land.

The Canadian developer, one Richard Silver, is well remembered in Pattaya for his Royal View Talay project, which also failed to materialise after a similar number of expats had paid out for a luxury condo. His company, CW Asset Co.Ltd, states it’s suing the landowner for her failure to come across with the plot, even although her side of the story indicates she hasn’t been paid.

Unfortunately, due to the unbelievable slowness of Thai court proceedings, the issue can and probably will drag on for years, with no guarantee that those who bought off-plan will ever get their money back. Worse still, Pattaya is scam central for this type of fraud, with another 50 online artists’ impressions touting property for sale in the town, all accompanied by similar promises that won’t be fulfilled.

These scams are so successful that even UK crime syndicates are investing in them. Local advice for those looking to buy a Pattaya condo is straightforward – don’t ever buy off-plan as there’s always a good choice of second-hand apartments offered by their expat owners, often at bargain prices.
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