Irish Father Told to Stay In Hiding For Another Year In Phuket House Scam Enquiry

Sunday October 9 2011
An Irish father and his two young children have been told to stay in hiding for least another year in Thailand as investigations continue into corruption allegations involving police on the holiday island of Phuket.

Colin Vard, 57, cousin of the famous Irish singing trio The Vard Sisters, and himself a former well known businessman in Dublin and children’s author, who said he was robbed of €1 million worth of properties on the island, has been told by police in Surat Thani, that he will have to remain in hiding off island, until the case was tied up.

Vard, founding president of the All Ireland Leo Club, was allegedly robbed by a group of lawyers, criminals, and police, who used his Thai maid, to get the documentation which enabled them to steal six properties he had bought in the Chalong area of Phuket.  At least one house ended up in the hands of a relative of a senior policeman, it is claimed.
Exclusive video: Family on the run in Thailand
The same policeman has been linked to a recent scam in which a South African was milked of 700,000 baht – €17,000 after being falsely  accused of passing forged American dollars at a money exchange in Phuket.

In fact the dollars turned out to be real, but the South African, Gabriel Sequeira, was detained while his family and friends flew home. Police demands for cash, he said, meant the family had to repeatedly draw cash from their credit cards and send it to Thailand.

(left) Gabriel Sequeira finally arrives back in South Africa in a media storm)
Police in Phuket have denied any charges of wrong-doing and say that if any money was taken it must have been taken by Sequeira’s lawyers,Phuketwan reports.

In cases being brought in relation to Colin Vard there was a stand-off last May on Phuket when local police in Chalong turned back investigators and later held back files from police from the Regional Headquarters in Surat Thani who arrived to investigate the property frauds involving seven different houses.

The matter has since been resolved and now a team led by Police Colonel  Cherdprong Chewpreecha a radically new style officer in the Thai Police, who hates corruption, is handling the investigation from Police Headquarters, Region 8 in Surat Thani.

In the latter stages of the swindling of Colin Vard,  and while he was away in Bangkok, his housekeeper Nittaya Sukumpa, 37,  with whom he had had a brief relationship, allegedly padlocked both his children Jessie,12 and  Daire,9, in a well  for two nights with the help of a Thai ladyboy.

In Bangkok Police Major General Prawut Thavornsiri  national spokesperson for the Royal Thai Police, said: ‘Those guilty must be brought to justice, whoever they are, even if they are police and lawyers.’
Meanwhile Police Colonel Cherdprong (left) advises foreigners to be cautious about whom they form relationships with in Thailand.
Police Stand-Off on Holiday Isle
Children padlocked in a well

9 thoughts on “Irish Father Told to Stay In Hiding For Another Year In Phuket House Scam Enquiry

  1. The officer in the picture is Chewpreecha a really good and methodical police officer who understands high-tech, and fraud, and is at the stage where he really is helpful and determined to put things right. It was a pleasure to meet him I have to say

  2. Dear Khun Andrew
    Thank you for the update on this serious issue.
    As a matter of fact, I did ask Phuket Gazette why this issue never made it into their local news. They never replied. A comment to their forum has been censored as well. Hmmm…. There must be a reason right?
    Regarding Police Colonel Cherdprong Chewpreecha, it is good to hear that we do have some ethical and professional police man in our country who value the ‘right thing’ and ‘law’ more than other things….. I hope the system will also reward him for doing the ‘right thing’

  3. Why does he not return home to Ireland, rather than be on the run here, it does not make sense or am missing something?

  4. I wish colin all the best, but he's going to have a long fight ahead.

    I have had the pleasure couple of thai policeman like colnel Cherdprong, and they do give you hope that thailand could change for the better. The problem is they are as rare as hens teeth, who are swamped by colleges who view the police force as a 'mac dolanlds' who's business model is to sell permits to commit crime. How they maintain their morale in this isolation is beyond me.

    Sam, if you watch the thai news its relatively easy for someone of dubious morals to hire a hit man for less than a 50k Baht a little risk to themselves. I think you will find the say out of dodge advice is very much in Collin's interests.

  5. Dear David…dont think you get what I mean, but never mind…it could be all the MacDolands chemicals at work….What I meant was that perhaps he is being told to stay away so 'they' can hide and disperse of what they need to hide and or disperse of…tidy up so to speak without him sticking his nose in…

  6. Couple of answers here for Sam and John. Colin sold his businesses in Ireland. His kids are brought up bilingually. He lives here legally so why go back?

    And why go back when he has everything to lose?

    A year or two is a reasonable time or even quite a short time knowing the pace of the Thai justice system. At the moment those who have profited would benefit from his demise. If I were Colin I would not come out before I was advised it was safe to do so and even then might keep on the move

  7. Please keep the AD TV coming. Great work from the two Andrews – a real glimpse of 'Forward with Thailand' in the multimedia age. Not a moment too soon!

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