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The Laverty’s Little Lie – how NOT to scam your insurance company




When we first saw this story, not provided by one of our reporters but from a UK provincial rag, we were suspicious. We contacted the local police. Nothing. We asked other reporters around the island. Nothing. We re-published the article with the caveat that we were trying to verify the facts with local police. We weren’t the only local news outlet to be duped by the article.

“50 year old Brit’s dream holiday turns into a nightmare”
“Brit Army veteran, 50, viciously attacked at gunpoint in Phuket”

We spoke to Mr. Laverty’s wife, Denise, who was ‘distraught’ and said they were ‘shit-scared’ and didn’t want to report the matter to police (alarm bells ringing at this stage).

The Laverty's Little Lie - how NOT to scam your insurance company | News by Thaiger

At this stage there had been a crowd-funding campaign set up to raise money to get the Laverty’s back home. They were indeed in Phuket. But, for reasons unknown at this stage, Mr. Laverty, captured on CCTV, walked along the corridors of the first floor at the Thara Patong Beach Hotel, checking doors as he went, and then jumped over the railing.

Why? We don’t know and the police never got a chance to question him because, by the time they’d received the CCTV footage, the Laverty’s were half way to Dubai on they way home (presumably).

Mr. Laverty did indeed break his leg. He wasn’t attacked by three Thai men. His watch wasn’t stolen Ion fact Police say it was lying next to him when he was found on the ground after jumping over the balcony).

If it was an elaborate insurance scam it was 1) a very painful one and 2) not a very successful one.

One thing Denise Laverty declared to us was that she was ‘shit-scared’. She probably had good reason to be. Not because of any violence from Thai men but from fronting up to her family when they eventually get back home.

The CrowdFunder campaign to raise money to ‘Get the Lavertys Home’ has been removed.

The Laverty's Little Lie - how NOT to scam your insurance company | News by Thaiger


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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

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