Connect with us


Brit fraud fugitive nabbed in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: A British expat arrested in Phuket today was on a list of fugitives wanted by an international division of the UK’s Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA), the Phuket Gazette has learned.

Paul Ridden, 58, was arrested today after being fooled into meeting a friend in front of Chalong Police Station.

When he drove into the police station car park, his exit was blocked by other vehicles behind him.

“When he pulled up, Tourist Police volunteer Gary Halpin reached in and removed the key from the ignition,” said fellow volunteer Jum Ali Khan.

The move to lure Mr Ridden to capture today follows a Chalong Police attempt to bring him in for questioning yesterday after a fellow expat complained of being cheated out of 75,000 baht.

Sussex Police in the UK appealed to the public for help in finding Mr Ridden in June after he jumped police bail in April.

The appeal, which said Mr Ridden was wanted for “numerous fraud offenses”, was carried nationwide, including on the BBC website.

The appeal was issued by Detective Constable Rick Kent, Senior Officer, Operations, of SOCA’s Middle East and Asia division.

Speaking to the Phuket Gazette tonight, Mr Ridden confirmed that he had been contacted by the British Embassy in Bangkok, but he declined to answer any questions related to why he was wanted by the UK authorities.

After taking Mr Ridden into custody, Police Col Boonlert Onklang noticed that the Eastbourne native had overstayed his visa.

Mr Ridden will spend tonight in detention at the station, and will be presented in court tomorrow to face a fine for his immigration infraction.

However, that may not be the end of his problems in Phuket.

At least six people were lining up at Chalong Police Station tonight to file complaints against him.

All the complaints related to Mr Ridden having allegedly deceived or cheated the plaintiffs out of money.

One woman told the Gazette that he borrowed her motorbike and then rented it out to tourists.

Mr Ridden also hired cars from local rental operators, then rented them out to tourists, “like subletting,” one man said.

“There are eight cars in total,” he added.

Another person ready to file a complaint said he rented a car from Mr Ridden and was still waiting for his deposit to be returned. “That was two weeks ago,” he said.

Yet Mr Ridden claimed that he himself was a victim of deceit.

“I was just trying to run a business in Thailand. What happened was that the guy I came to work with said he would get me a work permit, so I gave him 65,000 baht. That was three months ago,” he said.

Mr Ridden said that he was working with a local firm that installs CCTV systems.

“I was like a sub-agent. I was getting the job and they were fitting it. Their manager told me that he could get a work permit for me if I worked for them for a year, so I gave him the money. But the boss never knew about it,” he said.

“The paperwork that was signed – which I still have – was all forged by the manager. And they know about it. That’s how it all started,” he said.

Mr Ridden said that the 75,000 baht involved in the original Phuket complaint was saved in a bank account.

“The money was for getting the man a visa, but he found a cheaper way and decided to do it himself. But to get the visa [the man wanted], he needed to have money in a bank account, and that’s where it is. I will give it all back,” he said.

He also said that he had been in touch with several people – and in front of the Gazette he specifically asked for certain people to come and see him – so he could give the car registration books back.

Mr Ridden also asked that the Thai man he had hired to help him to run his business not be involved, especially since the Thai man’s wife was one month pregnant.

— A Khamlo / C Yongcharoenchai


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


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

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Expert says Delta Plus could be up to 15% more transmissible than Delta Covid variant

Thailand14 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Dirty medical gloves, Thailand defends spending 100m on New year celebrations | Oct. 26

Thailand14 hours ago

Digital platforms to be subject to new regulations following draft decree

Sponsored16 hours ago

Don’t wait!! Book your berth or booth at the Thailand International Boat Show

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!

Bangkok15 hours ago

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport prepares for November reopening

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 7,706 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand16 hours ago

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha addresses Southeast Asia leaders at 38th ASEAN summit

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand19 hours ago

November reopening concerns majority of Thais, Department of Health survey shows

Thailand19 hours ago

British divers say they risked arrest for giving boys ketamine during cave rescue

World19 hours ago

US President Biden to join ASEAN summit as leaders poised to discuss key regional issues

Thailand21 hours ago

Prayut orders investigation into used medical gloves exported to the US

Coronavirus (Covid-19)21 hours ago

Health officials play down concerns over Thailand’s first case of Delta Plus variant

Bangkok22 hours ago

Chulalongkorn students drop royal parade on grounds it promotes “authoritarianism”

Thailand22 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | TAT explains entry for travellers outside quarantine exemption list | October 26

Phuket22 hours ago

Thai PM defends plan to spend 100 million baht on New Year’s Eve celebrities

Tourism23 hours ago

Government’s domestic tour package subsidy receives lukewarm response

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

Thailand9 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