Connect with us

Opinion

COMMENT: The fall of the Emerald Development Group

Tim Newton

Published

 on 

Today is Mai Sawit Ketroj’s birthday. He’ll be spending it behind bars after being questioned by police about alleged fraud involving the Emerald Development Group.

In a packed media conference yesterday Tourist Police Deputy Commander Maj Gen Surachet Hakpan outlined the unravelling of the prominent Phuket property development company.

“The suspect admitted that he has a lack of financial resources and that the construction can’t commence. There are many other projects that might be in the same situation. There are more than 300 victims, most of them are foreigners. Embassies have been informed to warn their citizens about the situation. The cost of damages from this case is now estimated at a billion baht.”

Having known Khun Mai for four years I was aware he was a bit of a property ‘cowboy’, leaning on deposits as collateral to establish other properties and fund the growth of his Emerald Development Group. A prominent Phuket lawyer has described the scheme as a property ponzi scheme.

“Ponzi Scheme. A fraudulent investment operation where the operator provides fabricated reports and generates returns for older investors through revenue paid by new investors, rather than from legitimate business activities or profit of financial trading.”

I was more naive figuring he probably had things ‘under control’. Anyway, property is not my expertise and he wasn’t advertising with my company.

COMMENT: The fall of the Emerald Development Group | News by Thaiger

Whether or not this case unravels as a ponzi scheme, calculated fraud or simply poor business is a matter for the Thai courts. In the meantime people are waking up today to the news that they may have lost their deposits and milestone payments for property developments that were never started.

One of the litigants contacted The Thaiger yesterday with this message…

“I told you and everyone that this was a billion baht fraud case. Fortunately persistence got this piece of s**t arrested. But I have no faith in Thailand doing the right thing.”

In other allegations from potential litigants….

“I have spoken to dozens of people, some even Thais living in Phuket, who have lost money, and are too poor or stupid to pursue this guy.”

“I gave Sawit Ketroj, Phuket Future Group, a subsidiary of Emerald, 20 million Thai baht. He said the purpose of that money was to purchase land and build my Jade D villa.”

“Land was never legally transferred to my wife, nor was anything built, causing multiple breaches of contract.”

“Sawit Ketroj borrowed 450 million Thai baht from a publicly traded Thai bank called **** to purchase the land he had already sold me.”

As of today, litigants have filed civil and criminal charges against Sawit Ketroj. Contractors have also filed criminal charges against him for default on payments. And now the Thai Government have filed fraud charges against him with the police investigation ongoing.

Under an increasingly regulated market the fall of the Emerald Development Group, and it’s smiling CEO Mai Sawit Ketroj, is a bitter pill to swallow. The vast majority of local property developers are good, honest people who are building some great new properties for the island.

For Khun Mai it won’t be much of a birthday and 300 (we predict many more) litigants won’t be sending birthday cards.

COMMENT: The fall of the Emerald Development Group | News by Thaiger

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 41 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented over 10,000 radio news bulletins, 3,900 in Thailand alone, hosted 650 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. As founder of The Thaiger, Tim now acts as the Content Manager and head-writer, whilst supervising the growth of the YouTube channel. He's 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.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism23 mins ago

Alcohol ban predicted to damage Thailand’s reopening, reputation

Crime2 hours ago

Woman who cut safety rope of workers offers feeble excuse

Video2 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Dirty gloves probe, Bocelli & Lisa, ASEAN fallout | October 27

Sponsored10 hours ago

Top 5 dental clinics by Dental Corporations PLC in Thailand

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Police seize Covid-19 antiviral drugs allegedly stolen by hospital manager

Thailand2 hours ago

Student dies after receiving second Covid-19 vaccine shot

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Foreign Ministry denies blocking Poland’s donation of vaccines

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand3 hours ago

Travellers now exempt from quarantine advised to directly contact AQ hotels for refund

Crime4 hours ago

Legal proceedings expected this week for “Joe Ferrari” death in custody case

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 8,452 new cases; provincial totals

Bangkok4 hours ago

Police bust Bangkok pub serving alcohol, 61 arrested

Bangkok5 hours ago

Russell Crowe bids Bangkok goodbye after much-praised tweets

Thailand5 hours ago

Thai government forms panel to probe the export of used medical gloves

ASEAN5 hours ago

Myanmar no-show a focus as ASEAN summit gets underway

Drugs6 hours ago

Police arrest 3 vans in Korat with 1.82 tonnes of marijuana

Thailand6 hours ago

Sedatives and painkillers, Thai new year – 3 million USD on 2 people | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 47

Thailand1 month ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism8 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending