The Thai Military Government has blocked this site, the website of British journalist Andrew Drummond in Thailand, for reasons yet to be made clear, apart from the fact it is viewed by somebody as damaging to Thailand.
The block was imposed last Friday and relates only to viewership in Thailand. The site can be seen in the rest of the world and from within Thailand easily enough by using a VPN either paid for or free such as Tor or Hola, or HideMe.
Normally the Thai government only blocks sites which are in breach of lese majeste regulations, internet porn, or sites which are deemed to contain political subversion.
This site however in the main is dedicated to exposing fraudsters and foreign criminals in Thailand.
No strong line for or against the current government has been adopted although government officers have been connected on this site to international fraud operations run by foreigners; and rake-offs from government commissions.
A request has been to the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand to establish the reason for the ban.
Andrew Drummond has been an accredited foreign correspondent in Thailand for 25 years, for the London Evening Standard for the last five years, and for the London Times the preceding ten years. His accreditation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not been withdrawn and remains valid until mid November 2015.
He arrived in Thailand some 25 years ago initially as a foreign correspondent for the ‘Observer’ newspaper, and was joint founder and was joint founder of the Observer Film Company, which the newspaper launched with the film ‘Lord of the Golden Triangle’ an investigation by Drummond filmed mainly in the camp of drug lord Khun Sa, aka Chan Shi Fu, in the Shan States of Burma.
|Early days in Asia – filing in the Shan States
He also tracked down Gary Glitter (Paul Francis Gadd) in Vietnam which lead to the former rocker’s arrest on child abuse charges.
The site has been repeatedly under threat since its formation. Those threats have mainly come from foreign criminals whom have repeatedly been exposed on the site.
These include fake lawyers Drew Noyes, an American based in the Thai resort of Pattaya, who was exposed before he arrived in Thailand by the Morning Star (now the Star) in Wilmington, North Carolina, who is appealing a two year jail sentence in Thailand for extortion and Brian Goudie, 48, from Falkirk, Scotland, who was jailed in Australia for six years under the name Gildie for theft,
before arriving in Thailand claiming to be a barrister and former officer in the Royal Marines.
Andrew Drummond has been embroiled in a series of Computer Crime cases brought by both. Brian Goudie is currently on trial in Thailand for cheating an American woman aged 76, out of US$250,000, in legal fees to defend her son, child sexual abuse charges.
He is currently in the UK with his three children after receiving threats from ‘boiler room’ fraud operators targeting Britain from Thailand. He had claimed a military general had been offering these groups protection.
He said: “Obviously I will ask the relevant authorities to state the reason as this makes the authorities a lot less benevolent than they make themselves out to be. Without knowing why the military government made their decision i will not make a specific comment.
Suffice to say it feels creepy and of course it will not change anything except for perhaps deprive temporarily people from being given an alternative view of what is actually happening in Thailand – a view which they will not read in the mainstream English language media.
“But if anybody wants to reach the site from Thailand they can easily do so.”
“One of the site’s main aims is to warn people of the foreigners who are exploiting the country as well as other foreigners and to provide news available in English which is not served up by the traditional media.
“I rather think Drew Noyes is an unlikely reason for the ban, though he has attempted to influence the Thai government before. Only two weeks ago a member of the Public Relations Department of Thailand gave evidence on my behalf in a case I was bringing against him for falsely claiming in his now defunct ‘Pattaya Times’ that my press card had been withdrawn.
“Noyes and Goudie are not people the Thai government should put any credence in. I would however be most concerned if this decision was actually prompted by Thai media organization.”
This site has consistently exposed ne’er do wells in Thailand from drugs clinic bosses on drugs, revealing murders that were covered up, exposing foreign criminals who have re-invented themselves as pillars of society, fake lawyers, drugs traffickers, and of course boiler room operators.
|Latter days – confronting boiler room operators along the Petchaburi Road, Bangkok
Its has also exposed scammers in the media industry and of course was instrumental in the demise of the Pattaya Times.