Gangland Britain In Thailand – Hua Hin

Link to Sheffield Star story based on copy supplied by this author: Man on the run in shooting
From  Andrew Drummond, Bangkok
January 29 2009

The wife of a Briton wanted in Sheffield for drugs dealing has been arrested in Thailand for ordering a ‘hit’ on one of her husband’s clients in Thailand.

And police have also issued a warrant of arrest for Darren Oxley,  41,a former Sheffield night club bouncer, over the shooting of an American on an estate he managed in the Thai resort of Hua Hin, 140 miles south of Bangkok.
Janpen Oxley, 31, his Thai wife, was seized today as she tried to cross Thai Cambodian border at Aranyaprathet, 200 miles east of Bangkok.

Police said they are still looking for Oxley, who fled bail while awaiting drugs charges at Sheffield Crown Court to become a builder property developer and property manager in Thailand.  But they believe he may have successfully crossed the border.

Janpen Oxley, had allegedly commissioned the shooting of American Donald Whiting, who had accused Oxley of sending him extortionate water bills on a private estate in the Thai resort of Hua Hin.

Whiting’s water was cut off when he complained and Oxley had been summonsed to appear in court in Prachuap Khiri Khan, the provincial capital 200 miles south of Bangkok, the day after the shooting.

Whiting, 65, was gunned down outside his retirement home last October.  He remains paralysed from the waist down. He is being cared for by his wife Dolly, a University lecturer. Prior to the shooting, he claimed, his car had been firebombed.

Also prior to the shooting the Whitings and Oxley had been involved in a public slagging match on the ‘Monsters and Critics’  website forum.  The site administrators had to close the forum because of the insults traded.  The Whitings were warned they were ‘in for a slapping’ Oxley is believed to have been furious at the damage done to his business.
A former doorman at the Republic Club in Sheffield, Oxley, 38, was arrested in a sting operation carried out by police on May 19th 2001 and subsequently charged with dealing in a Class A drug.

His rise from petty criminal to club bouncer and violent drugs dealer has been compared to that of Carlton Leach, the subject of the 2007 film ‘Rise of the Footsoldier’.  Carlton Leach was a football hooligan, who went on to become a club bouncer and major drugs dealer.  His gang beat up their rivals and nailed enemies to the floor.

Nine colleagues of Oxley, who were arrested at the same time,  were sentenced to a total of sixty years in jail. At  their trial at Sheffield Crown Court it was claimed Oxley was the ringleader of the operation and his crew had ‘lived in fear’ of him. He was described as ‘violent’ and ‘not a man you mess with’ who had made considerable amounts of money.

Oxley jumped bail and fled to Thailand where he bought a Lamborghini and Bentley and Range Rover and went into the property trade, and married the ex-wife of a Thai police officer. 

Scores of expatriates have complained they have been the subject of rip-offs in Hua Hin – where Thailand’s King Bhumipol  Adulyadej has a summer palace, -and Oxley is alleged to have even employed local police to carry out threats against troublemakers on his behalf.

Two other Britons with convictions of fraud and breaches of the Trades Description Act in Britain are also involved in the property business there.

One of them Keith ‘Mitch’ Malone, owner of First Choice Homes, used to run a fraudulent holiday company in Britain – Lifestyle Travel. He swindled over £1.8 million out of customers and then fled.

The Department of Trade and Industry moved in to freeze the company’s assets and Mitch Malone fled inititally to Pattaya while on bail. His partner Martin Holland was jailed.

A local expatriate, who asked not to be quoted by name said: ‘Many people have been ripped off here. But they are scared to complain even though they may have lost their life savings. They developers can get nasty, and people believe they have the police in their pocket.’
Currently another foreign property developer is supplying offices free in Hua Hin to Immigration police, and Land Office officials, and also runs a  local newspaper.  All complaints against this developer have been dealt with amicably, said Tuck Dechapanya, the brother of the Mayor of Hua Hin. Funds, he said, it had been agreed would be returned to Whiting who had first bought a house from him which was never completed.

Dechapanya  has set up the Hua Hin Foreign  Service Link Centre, to deal with complaints from scammed home-buyers, most of who are foreigners who had planned to retire in Hua Hin.

He said: ‘There is a big problem at the moment with foreign property developers. People are asking who are they? What are they doing here? There are some complaints that they are taking money but not building.’

Many of the scams involve projects which are nothing more than artists’ impressions.  Eighteen months ago  British footballer and English international Joe Cole was used to promote the proposed ‘luxurious’ Hua Hin Country Club. The club still does not exist and the site office has closed down.

It is illegal for foreigners to buy land in Thailand. It is believed several foreigners have bought land in Hua Hin, and at Oxley’s suggestion put it in his wife’s name.

Last week Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva ordered local police, who benefit from handouts by property developers, to stop dragging their feet on the shooting of Donald Whiting.

Earlier this week Thai police arrested three suspects who actually carried out the shooting. They claim they carried out the shooting for 200,000 Thai baht ( £4000).

Immigration Police Colonel Benjapol Lortsawat said: ‘An arrest warrant has been issued for Darren Oxley (UK Passport No 703118196) but his whereabouts are unknown.’ Edited 30/01/09