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Disabled Austrian swindled out of 10 million baht by “girlfriend”

Jack Burton

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Disabled Austrian swindled out of 10 million baht by “girlfriend” | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: Sanook
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Sanook reports that a 49 year old disabled Austrian man, who thought he had found his soulmate in Chiang Mai, has been swindled out of about 10 million baht by his sweet-talking lover. Love blossomed as they continued their relationship online, and marriage was in the air… or so he thought.

The pair were the same age and she would care for him and help him cope with his disability. He bought her a house, 2 expensive cars and financed a shop. Then a man turned up claiming to be her brother, but in reality was her ex-husband. Now she’s disappeared and it turns out the house was never bought at all.

Police and lawyers have demanded cash and now the man is staying at a retirement home in Hua Hin while he figures out what to do. He’s in need of money for an expensive surgery, and has offered a reward for anyone who can track down the supposed love of his life, who turned out to be a common fraudster.

2 years ago “G.P.” came on holiday to Thailand, and despite a spinal injury that left him with limited mobility, he travelled all over the kingdom before arriving in Chiang Mai.

There he met “Amy,” also 49, a taxi driver. They immediately hit it off and she took him under her wing and they travelled extensively together. A relationship blossomed. Then he went back to Austria. They kept in touch via social media and his feelings grew stronger.

He made the decision to move to Thailand and promised to improve Amy’s life. Then came the financial commitments. He bought her a 4.5 million baht house, a 2.9 million baht Mercedes Benz, a 1.1 million baht Honda HR-V, paid a million for decorations for the house and financed her dream of a silver shop.

They decided to marry, making it easier for him to reside in Thailand. Then her “brother” turned up. He was obliged to buy frequent expensive meals for them all, often at a cost of 5,000 – 6,000 baht. Later he discovered this was her ex-husband.

Then it emerged that the money supposedly paid for the house was not 4.5 million at all but just a 250,000 baht down payment. She kept the rest, and the silver shop never existed. Now she has completely disappeared and he’s discovered that she has changed her name 5 times.

“G.P.” contacted Chiang Mai police and a lawyer, but they both needed money to act on his behalf. He says he’ll be happy if he gets back just some of his money and won’t press charges if he can get a settlement.

SOURCES: thaivisa | Sanook

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Avatar

    ken jones

    June 6, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    The merry go round. This story happens since the beggining of Farangs banging Thai’s.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    June 6, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    It is what makes Western men so attractive to Thai women – our gullibility.
    I once bought four lady drinks for a dancer in a Go Go Bar, and at the end of the night, she said she could not go with me because she had to go home to feed her cat!

    • Avatar

      Andy T.

      June 6, 2020 at 11:57 pm

      >our
      Speak for yourself. Actually, you’re probably not even gullible. I bet you’re just so desperate you want to believe they’re telling the truth.

      >she said she could not go with me because she had to go home to feed her cat
      Yeah, that’s called a polite way to say no. Tends to happen when you’re ugly and/or cringe.

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        June 8, 2020 at 12:15 pm

        What she did not really love me!

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    June 6, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    It is what make Western men so attractive to Thai women – our gullibility.
    I once bought a dancer in a Go Go Bar four lady drinks and at the end of the night, she said she could not go with me because she had to go home to feed her cat!

    • Avatar

      Kemmy

      June 6, 2020 at 9:53 pm

      🙈🤭

  4. Avatar

    Frank Hansen

    June 6, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    Why do the police need money to investigate a crime??

    • Avatar

      John Conlin-Jones.

      June 7, 2020 at 10:53 am

      Because this is Thailand that’s why.

  5. Avatar

    rusty shackleford

    June 6, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    Post a picture of her if you want people to help find her, just the name Amy and 49 years old isnt going to help much

  6. Avatar

    Tobias Krantz

    June 6, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    I am a Black American man living in Thailand but the Thai women do not want me because they realize I am a little smarter than them. I watch the Farangs with these woman and I have to laugh, they think they are being loved while the Thai woman is showing absolutely no affection walking 3 meters behind who they suppose to love. It is amazing.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      June 8, 2020 at 12:14 pm

      Tobias Thai women do not want black men because in Thailand the darker skin you have the less status you have, hence motor cycle taxi drivers wearing long sleeves and gloves.
      Lack of Thais sunbathing . . .
      I am surprised with your intelligence you did not realise that.

  7. Avatar

    Tobias Krantz

    June 7, 2020 at 12:05 am

    What an idiot, no sympathy from me. Thai women do not want Black men because they know they cannot do that to us. I do not get my choice of hundreds like the Farangs but the ones willing to befriend me are genuine and sincere.

    • Avatar

      Lewis

      June 7, 2020 at 12:53 pm

      It’s not because you’re smart, it’s because you’re black. Thai people don’t like dark skin. This is why they have whitening agents in all their skin products. Yes it’s stupid but that’s the reality of it.

  8. Avatar

    Dean

    June 7, 2020 at 1:03 am

    Good luck with getting money back,got more chance of being abducted by aliens.

    • Avatar

      AdamRich

      June 7, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      Yeah I would have said that I got abducted by aliens and they stole all my money before I said I gave it away to some random chick. Why is it a crime to receive money that he freely gave away? And what does the surgery that he needs today have to do with the money he gave away yesterday? If you want to know how someone really feels about you, show up without money.

    • Avatar

      modi the great

      June 7, 2020 at 2:23 pm

      oh…dear
      u r good guy but unfortunately u took huge decision very quikly.Thai lady love 3..M very much money..mobile..makeup …They dsnt belive or west time in 4 words love …their world is different they never westing time in love..kids..family…they want to live their life in thier style ever

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      June 8, 2020 at 12:19 pm

      I’m an alien. I wish someone would abduct me out of the Far East. lol

  9. Avatar

    Alan Foos

    June 7, 2020 at 4:59 am

    Sounds very much like the woman my Thai wife befriended in 2007, the year before I met her in Chiang Mai. I new she was being swindled and got full proof of that, but the police and attorneys and courts are just as crooked so we bore up through five years of court cases while my lovely wife was torn to shreds by the dogs,threatening to put my well known wife in prison for perjury while shoving all the evidence under the rug. I believe she also took a farang for about 10 million baht. Yeah, she keeps changing her name and relocating.

  10. Avatar

    mark

    June 7, 2020 at 6:37 am

    NOT easy for guliiable muppet farlag!

  11. Avatar

    Clyde James

    June 7, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    This story as written is not even newsworthy, every day in just about every culture naive people are swindled out of their money by gold diggers, con artists, and unethical businesses. What is despicable about this story is it fans the flames of racial prejudice between Farangs and Thais, casting a stereotypical implication that genuine and sincere Farangs are gullible and being taken advantage of by Thais. Just read the comments and the racial prejudice jumps out.
    Thai men are occasionally swindled by Thai women, Auto mechanics overcharge naive car owners, doctors perform unnecessary surgeries, and investment schemes of every kind con people out of their money every day. When stories are written up as Americans or Farangs cheated by Thais to sensationalize the story and play off the inherent prejudices, this is particularly offensive and simply bad journalism.
    When stories are written to enlighten or warn people to beware of scams, issues, or hazards, they should not use the race or gender card to incite controversy or sensationalize the story. There is already enough friction and distrust among people it doesn’t need to be encouraged by irresponsible reporting. There are enough riots, beatings, and fires burning already, our societies need responsible journalists, not sensationalists.

  12. Avatar

    Clyde James

    June 7, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    This story as written is not even newsworthy, every day in just about every culture naive people are swindled out of their money by gold diggers, con artists, and unethical businesses. What is despicable about this story is it fans the flames of racial prejudice between Farangs and Thais, casting a stereotypical implication that genuine and sincere Farangs are gullible and being taken advantage of by Thais. Just read the comments and the racial prejudice jumps out.
    Thai men are occasionally swindled by Thai women, Auto mechanics overcharge naive car owners, doctors perform unnecessary surgeries, and investment schemes of every kind con people out of their money every day. When stories are written up as Austrian or Farangs cheated by Thais to sensationalize the story and play off the inherent prejudices, this is particularly offensive and simply bad journalism.
    When stories are written to enlighten or warn people to beware of scams, issues, or hazards, they should not use the race or gender card to incite controversy or sensationalize the story. There is already enough friction and distrust among people it doesn’t need to be encouraged by irresponsible reporting. There are enough riots, beatings, and fires burning already, our societies need responsible journalists, not sensationalists.

  13. Avatar

    sam thompson

    June 7, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    A sad tale, told way too often and repeated with alarming regularity. Any male with a decent amount of funds will be a target and subsequently every potential target should proceed with extreme caution. Never fall into the trap of funding a house as that is just like signing a cheque. If you must go for a proeprty then buy a condo because you can own that 100% and as for a buying expensive cars, just ridiculous. Cases like this aleays remind me of the poor guy down in Hua Hin who ended up on a BBQ [Google it] but more importantly should be a reminder of the potential, callous evil that often lies behind the smiles.

  14. Avatar

    martin

    June 7, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    It’s only fair I would say.. You all think Thai don’t know why you are all in love with them all of sudden.. Cheap and fun retirement set up that’s all it is about.. You see, that lady who he claims robbed him too has retirement plans, Only difference is her plan was better than his.

  15. Avatar

    Leopold Bloom

    June 8, 2020 at 8:09 am

    Happens three times a day after meals in Thailand.

  16. Avatar

    kman

    June 9, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    I might Bar Fine are Instant Message for an hour or two .. maybe even a whole night .. at the extreme I could spring for a 300 baht dress or pair of shoes .. but when it comes to my retirement income I know where to draw the lines .. spread the wealth around in bits and pieces

    • Avatar

      7.62mm of darwin

      June 10, 2020 at 1:02 pm

      Right on spread it around and always remember in Thailand you are buying it. My motto is NO HONEY NO MONEY…..works for me

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Crime

50 dogs rescued from alleged Chiang Mai puppy farm

Jack Burton

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50 dogs rescued from alleged Chiang Mai puppy farm | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: Sanook

A raid on an alleged puppy farm owned by an American man in Chiang Mai has resulted in the rescue of some 50 Thai Ridgeback dogs. Non-profit organisation Watchdog Thailand says most of the dogs were found in terrible condition and many more had died from illness and starvation.

The owner claimed the dogs were kept as pets and he was not breeding them for sale, but evidence indicated otherwise. Tiny cages were stacked on top of each other. The animals had no space to play or exercise. Their waste was everywhere, and some were still left where they had died.

Watchdog Thailand representatives went to the Sarapee Police Station in Chiang Mai to file animal cruelty charges against the 73 year old American man, who they claim has been breeding Thai Ridgebacks to sell and export to buyers abroad. The owner himself contacted Watchdog asking for help, claiming that he’s become ill and can no longer take care of his “pets” – more than 50 dogs. Watchdog went the location and discovered the dogs living in extremely unhygienic conditions. Most had scabies and were starving. They immediately contacted the police and the Chiang Mai Department of Livestock Development.

Representatives rescued the dogs and moved them to the Save Elephant Foundation in Mae Rim district. The man would not give up 5 dogs that were still healthy. The foundation disagreed as, by his own admission, the man lacks the ability to care for them. Watchdog realised that they needed police involvement to help save the remaining 5 dogs.

Animal lovers abroad report that the man has a history of animal cruelty. He has allegedly been breeding and selling the dogs at very high prices without a license. Watchdog Thailand wants to bring all the dogs into their care, and the the Chaing Mai DLD agrees that the man can no longer take responsibility for them. He has filed a police report claiming that Watchdog stole his dogs.

50 dogs rescued from alleged Chiang Mai puppy farm | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: Thai Residents | Sanook | Watchdog Thailand

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Thailand

Thailand growing more expensive for expats

Jack Burton

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Thailand growing more expensive for expats | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Business Traveller

According to Employment Conditions Abroad, Bangkok and Chiang Mai are among the 30 most expensive cities for expats in Asia. The capital of Turkmenistan might not spring to mind when with considering the priciest cities, but according to ECA International it ranks first on both the global and Asian tables, a 5 point rise up the rankings due to an ongoing economic crisis, food shortages and the resulting hyperinflation.

The survey is performed in March and September every year, based on a basket of items such as rents and utility fees. Car prices and school fees are not included.

In Asia, Bangkok ranks 28th, just above Chiang Mai, according to the latest ECA International survey on the cost of living for expatriates. But it dropped out of the top 50 global rankings from the report released in December 2019. In global rankings, Bangkok is now at 60 and Chiang Mai at 142. Bangkok has lost a good deal of its former appeal for budget-conscious travellers and expatriates, rising 64 places over the past 5 years, according to the survey.

ECA says a rapidly expanding economy and increased foreign investment, at least, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, made Thailand more expensive, fuelled by the strengthening baht.

“The baht has strengthened considerably, making the country more expensive for expatriates and tourists. However, this trend has slowed over the past year, partly in response to government attempts to weaken the baht in order to keep the country competitive.”

Hong Kong is the second most expensive city in Asia after Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), but ahead of Tokyo and Singapore. Singapore is rated the most expensive place for expats in Southeast Asia and has led that ranking for many years.

Hong Kong remains sixth in the global standings, 1 place ahead of the Japanese capital. Singapore was fourteenth in Asia, dropping 2 notches from the previous survey.

Ashgabat’s sudden rise to the top of the is largely attributable to the economic dilemmas of Turkmenistan’s government, according to ECA. The energy-rich Central Asian nation faces severe inflation, and a black market for foreign currencies has caused the cost of imports to rise. Both factors have sparked a large increase in the costs visitors pay.

The ECA says Chinese cities fell across the board due to signs of a weakening economy and poorly performing currency, even before Covid-19 began taking its toll.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai International Airport sees more traffic

Jack Burton

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Chiang Mai International Airport sees more traffic | The Thaiger
PHOTO: mychiangmaitravel.com

Northern Thailand’s gateway airport is recovering some of its flight and passenger traffic. With the easing of travel restrictions enforced to fight the spread of Covid-19, the director of Chiang Mai’s international airport says traffic is picking up, and more flights and passengers are expected this month. On average, the airport received 40 flights and about 4,000-5,000 passengers per day last month. The number of flights is expected to rise to an average of 68 a day, and passenger figures are predicted to jump 50% this month.

Currently, flights operate only on domestic routes including those between Chiang Mai and other hub airports: U-Tapao, Hat Yai, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon Thani. International flights are likely to return slowly after the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand announced the lifting of the ban on international flights, under a set of restriction, effective on June 29.

Analysts agree inbound flights will not quickly return to pre-Covid levels, as air travel to and from the main markets remains suspended.

The CAAT’s announcement coincided with the release of the International Air Transport Association’s figures for passenger demand in May, which dropped 91.3% compared to the same time last year. This was a mild improvement from the 94% annual decline recorded in April.

The IATA’s director-general and CEO, says there’s tremendous uncertainty about what impact a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in key markets could have.

“May was not quite as terrible as April. That’s about the best thing that can be said.”

International passenger demand fell 98.3% year on year in May, virtually unchanged from the 98.4% recorded in April. Capacity plummeted 95.3%, and load factor sank 51.9 percentage points to 28.6%, meaning just over a quarter of seats, on average, were filled.

Financially struggling Thai Airways said yesterday, that its passenger numbers fell by 4.5 million to 3.5 million in the first 5 months of the year. The airline’s cabin factor, the percentage of available seating capacity actually filled by passengers, tumbled to 69%, down from 78% in the same period last year.

The figures were calculated before the national flag carrier suspended all flights in early May due to the pandemic, although the airline had already been in the red long before that. With a debt burden of 244.9 billion baht, the airline is awaiting the Central Bankruptcy Court’s decision on whether to admit its petition for debt rehabilitation on Aug 18. If the court accepts the case for a hearing, a rehab plan will be drawn up – subject to approval from creditors.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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