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Fraud Fugitive Brit Arrested In Phuket


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Fraud fugitive Brit nabbed in Phuket

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Paul Ridden in detention in Phuket.

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 Chalong Police attempting to bring him in for questioning yesterday over a complaint by a fellow expat 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 skipped 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, Chalong Police Deputy Superintendent Col Boonlert Onklang noticed that the Eastbourne native had overstayed his visa.

Mr Ridden will spend tonight in detention at Chalong Police 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 Mr Ridden.

All the complaints related to Mr Ridden allegedly deceiving them or cheating them out of money.

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

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

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

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

Yet Mr Ridden claimed that he 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 what’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.

Source: http://www.phuketgazette.net/news/detail.asp?id=10936

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-- Phuket Gazette 2011-09-07

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Stealing money , overstaying his visa , illegally renting out rented cars/bikes , running a business without a work permit , trying to "buy" a work permit ,

[derogatory comments removed] ...... i think (hope) we're not gonna see him around for a while .

Edited by metisdead
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Can nobody see the hypocrisy in a man being arrested for immigration offences by a man acting in a capacity with no work permit himself?

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

excellent !!! i see no reason why the "volunteer "was involved!!!

If i was Ridden i would sue him for this

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Stealing money , overstaying his visa , illegally renting out rented cars/bikes , running a business without a work permit , trying to "buy" a work permit ,

telling more lies than the average Thai bargirl ...... i think (hope) we're not gonna see him around for a while .

also: is there actually anything wrong with sub-letting a bike or car? is it actually a crime?

- i'm not saying that all his other offences are ok... i'm just curious why the article makes the sub-letting of bikes/cars such a big thing.

- about the visa for the guy... (75,000 cash in the bank).. is this enough money to gain a visa? (i was told you need keep about 500,000 in the bank for 1 or 3 months).

is 75,000 adequate? or not?

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[quote

Because he needs to rip people off to get money in order to survive, unfortunately he chose the one of the worst places on the planet to do this as the competition is stiff in Phuket for ripping off people. He may have been good at it in the UK where peole are generally trusting, unfortunately he was at the bottom of the food chain here in Phuket.

It seems he was doing quite well prior to another nation getting involved. It seems the native law enforcement had not raised a finger prior to this incident of capture. Yes, the article suggests the locals knew about it, yet this man still had not been caught.

It makes me ponder the possibilities of foreign involvement in the other issues we have read, regarding beatings, scams, rip-offs, etc. down on this small island community.

At the end of the day, it is another foreign (alleged) crook that is apprehended at the behest of another country's demands, and the natives remain free to do ply their trades and illegal activities. Sounds like it must have been a nuisance to the Thai locals to even bother to round this man up.

I wonder if the money will be returned to the other man?

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Stealing money , overstaying his visa , illegally renting out rented cars/bikes , running a business without a work permit , trying to "buy" a work permit ,

telling more lies than the average Thai bargirl ...... i think (hope) we're not gonna see him around for a while .

also: is there actually anything wrong with sub-letting a bike or car? is it actually a crime?

- i'm not saying that all his other offences are ok... i'm just curious why the article makes the sub-letting of bikes/cars such a big thing.

- about the visa for the guy... (75,000 cash in the bank).. is this enough money to gain a visa? (i was told you need keep about 500,000 in the bank for 1 or 3 months).

is 75,000 adequate? or not?

I don't think it is a specific crime in Thailand to sub let, I would imagine it could be a civil matter based on the contract agreed in the first place, if it says no subletting then it is a breach of contract. Don't forget contracts can also be verbal.

The people asking about the 'scabs', i think it is common knowledge that police volunteers need a work permit to perform this task, so to be apprehended by one of these people for immigration offences reeks of hypocrisy. I guess in any other country with an accountable system wrongful arrest would be an issue and therefore any evidence garnered from that arrest would be inadmissible, lawyers in the civilized world would have a field day with this. Unless of course Thailand has a 'citizens arrest' so to speak, and then they were acting as civillians rather in their capacity as volunteers, that said the fact they are volunteers means they are performing this task without a work permit.

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<snip> i think it is common knowledge that police volunteers need a work permit to perform this task, so to be apprehended by one of these people for immigration offences reeks of hypocrisy.

Is this common knowledge ? I would think that police volunteers would be exempted from the WP requirement, but that's only my opinion.

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Flame post removed, unfortunately the 2 innocent replies to it as well.

Please hold your horses and stop flaming or you risk a suspension

/Admin

I am unsure how you define flaming as to me it seems Suparik is flaming big time as he does not present anything to back up his statement of scabs & a..holes. I personally know one of the volunteer police who also happens to volunteer a lot of his time doing charity work & IMO is a very upright person & certainly not deserving of those slanderous comments.

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<snip> i think it is common knowledge that police volunteers need a work permit to perform this task, so to be apprehended by one of these people for immigration offences reeks of hypocrisy.

Is this common knowledge ? I would think that police volunteers would be exempted from the WP requirement, but that's only my opinion.

It was discussed in another thread recently, where one poster was asked to become a volunteer and the local police head told him that he would sort it out for him, he needs a permit for this work however corruption being what it is here it is sort of forgotten about. This is my memory from that thread, forgive me if i am wrong.

Edited by LivinginKata
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Flame post removed, unfortunately the 2 innocent replies to it as well.

Please hold your horses and stop flaming or you risk a suspension

/Admin

I am unsure how you define flaming as to me it seems Suparik is flaming big time as he does not present anything to back up his statement of scabs & a..holes. I personally know one of the volunteer police who also happens to volunteer a lot of his time doing charity work & IMO is a very upright person & certainly not deserving of those slanderous comments.

And those comments were also removed.

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Stealing money , overstaying his visa , illegally renting out rented cars/bikes , running a business without a work permit , trying to "buy" a work permit ,

telling more lies than the average Thai bargirl ...... i think (hope) we're not gonna see him around for a while .

also: is there actually anything wrong with sub-letting a bike or car? is it actually a crime?

- i'm not saying that all his other offences are ok... i'm just curious why the article makes the sub-letting of bikes/cars such a big thing.

- about the visa for the guy... (75,000 cash in the bank).. is this enough money to gain a visa? (i was told you need keep about 500,000 in the bank for 1 or 3 months).

is 75,000 adequate? or not?

ask yourself if he rented out a car or bike that he in turn had rented out and then the driver of that

" sub let vehicle " accidentally ran over someone and killed them, do you think it is likely he would have have organised and paid for the proper insurance ? somehow I have a sneaky feeling the answer is no :whistling:

Edited by midas
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Always lovely to see fellow farangs trying to make some sense and think of their fellow farang before starting to kick and scream and moan. Another example of the low quality of farangs in this country..

Edited by alexth
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Stealing money , overstaying his visa , illegally renting out rented cars/bikes , running a business without a work permit , trying to "buy" a work permit ,

telling more lies than the average Thai bargirl ...... i think (hope) we're not gonna see him around for a while .

I am so Happy one crook goes down and time to find another one. Hope this guy stays in jail for a long long time..my take and opinion.

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Excuse me however many farangs do a vast amount of volunteer work in Thailand, everything from helping to care for the aged to working to support orphans. This remark is therefore highly offensive.

Thai Visa members need to recognize that many Farangs are doing volunteer and helping out around the World not just Thailand..but, we seldom hear about them and their kindness...my opinion...

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