LOSING EVERYTHING FOR LOVE IN THAILAND – I was directed to meebal.com through a link that one member posted on the ThaiVisa forum and liked its open and honest approach towards reporting the news and the opinions given.
I thought now would be a good time to tell my story and hopefully anyone reading this will learn the terrible truth about Thailand and more importantly Thai women.
I am embarrassed as I’m not by nature a gullible person but I have learned that being lonely and desperately wanting companionship can lead to tragic consequence. My story is not about garnering sympathy; there is little of that in this world; it is merely a way to make others aware of the perils faced when falling in love with a Thai girl.
It was Spring of 2010, I ran a successful business, I had my own home and I was for all intents and purposes financial comfortable. At the age of 43 I had engaged in a number of relationships, some lasting weeks whilst others lasted years; but none were successful.
I realized I was edging to the senior years and whilst my success had bought material things and I was comfortable I wanted someone to share my fortunes with someone and create a peaceful and happy life.
I’ve never been one for clubbing or drinking at the local pubs so my chances of meeting a soul-mate were limited. It was then that I discovered the ability to possibly meet someone online via a Dating website.
I browsed through a number dating websites without signing up and then I came across a popular Thai dating website; which I won’t mention as I don’t want others being lured in.
I was immediately taken with a number of Thai ladies; their sheer beauty and gentle eyes certainly had me enthralled and I duly signed up.
I was astounded at how many very young women started to contact me. Despite my age I was regularly getting 18 to 21 year old girls contacting me saying they were interested in getting to know me better.
At 43 I’m fairly fit with average looks but I certainly wasn’t interested in very young girls; I wanted someone I could communicate with and I certainly didn’t want to become someone’s babysitter or sugar daddy.
I made it clear in my profile that I was looking for someone with excellent English skills; as I didn’t speak Thai and had no interest in doing so and that they should be aged 30 to 45.
I didn’t understand at the time why so many young girls would ask to get to know me; it quickly became apparent that these girls couldn’t speak English and therefore simply clicked the ‘like button’ on anyone they found attractive; or that’s what I thought in my naïve state.
After nearly 2 months online and speaking to several ladies one stood out from the crowd. Her name was Pla, 32 years of age, no children and she was, as she told me, a business woman.
We spoke online through Skype on a daily basis and it appeared that we had both found what we were looking for. It was time to show some commitment and meet with her in person.
I left the UK with both trepidation and excitement and after finally landing in Bangkok and meeting Pla for the first time I felt I had made the right decision.
We spent the next month doing what couples would do and enjoyed each other’s company immensely. Pla was a fairly independent woman and insisted she pay her way for the entertainment we had together. Pla appeared to be the perfect woman; smart, beautiful and successful.
We talked about her profession and mine and she told me she had left University at the age of 23 with a Masters Degree in Marketing and soon after opened her own Marketing Agency. From the way she dressed to the way she carried herself it was obvious she was a well-heeled and successful person and therefore I didn’t have to worry about being a sugar daddy.
The month passed all too quickly and on the last day Pla ended up in tears. I thought it was because I was leaving but it turned out that her mother had got into debt from a loan shark and she was having trouble raising the 1 million Thai Baht required to pay them back.
Pla told me that the debt had to be paid before the week was out or her mother would get hurt and yet her bank would only allow her to withdraw 20,000 Baht a day.
1 million Thai Baht was approximately £21,000 and whilst affordable it wasn’t a small amount of money. For the next two hours she pleaded with me and gave her word that it would be paid back.
Reluctantly I agreed to send the money on my return. She telephoned the loan shark and explained the situation and that it might take another couple of weeks but the money was assured.
On returning to the UK I sorted out the bank transfer and spoke to Pla on Skype; and she thanked me and promised she would sort out her bank account and get the money to me.
Part of me didn’t trust her but there again what’s the point of having a relationship with someone you don’t trust. I had to put aside my worries and see how this worked out.
A month went by and each day we spoke via Skype and each day Pla assured me her intentions were good and that the money would be repaid.
Time rolled on and 6 weeks later she informed me that she had sent the money to my bank account in the UK. I was relieved, not because of just getting my money back, but now I knew I could trust her. As true to her word the funds arrived in full to my bank account.
Our relationship flourished after that and I flew out once every 3 months to see her. As our relationship developed I knew it was time to take it to the level and therefore decided, after a year and a half of dating, to propose.
Pla accepted my proposal and we married on the island of Koh Samui. Once we were married I took a trip to the British Embassy to get the paperwork sorted so that Pla and I could return to the UK. It was a nightmare and it was going to take months.
That evening Pla asked me if I had thought about living in Thailand; she wasn’t keen on going to England and leaving her family behind. I thought long and hard about it and came to the conclusion that this could be the perfect opportunity to retire; sell the business, rent out my house and live a more relaxed lifestyle.
The seed was planted in my brain and on returning to England alone I put in motion a plan that was to result in the sale my business and moving to Thailand.
I was fortunate in that it only took a few months to sell the business and I had found someone who wanted to rent my home. I was set and with the paperwork sorted out I returned to Thailand.
Pla as usual was ecstatic to see me and over the next couple of weeks we sorted out a more permanent visa; which entailed a trip to Singapore for a couple of days.
Once my visa was all sorted we then started to discuss where we would like to settle down. The rent on the villa was almost equal to the rent I was receiving in the UK from my tenant and whilst I had sufficient funds in the bank from the sale of my business I didn’t want to start dipping into that too soon.
Pla suggested it would be a good idea to buy a home. The property market she told me was buoyant in many of the tourist areas such as Koh Samui, Karbi and Phuket. As we had already been to Koh Samui and liked it so we decided to go hunting for a home there.
We found a simply stunning villa with a pool. The views were simply breathtaking and it was all anyone could possibly dream of. The price was 55 million Thai Baht (approx £1.2 m). It was affordable but would only leave me with a couple of hundred thousand in the bank back home.
We discussed it at length and finally I was convinced that this would be the home that Pla and I would grow old in.
The property laws in Thailand, as I was to discover, didn’t allow me as a foreigner to own the land. It was a complicated process and with it all written in Thai, that my Thai lawyer and wife assured me was all above board and therefore we decided the only option was to place the property in my wife’s name.
We discussed the possibility of a Thai Nominee Company which both Pla and the lawyer said was possible. Unfortunately I was told that whilst this was standard practice as a way for a foreigner to get around the property laws it was in fact technically illegal and that if the authorities ever bothered to probe ownership I would almost certainly end up losing it.
I thought long and hard for a few days and it was Pla who asked if I didn’t trust her. She pointed out that she did repay the 1 million and that she would never cheat me out of what was rightfully mine.
She was right; she did pay back the money and we were now legally married. What could possibly go wrong?
One month later we finalized the purchase and set about buying furniture for the villa. We had a wonderful time together buying all the bits and pieces that was to become our home; Pla even used a fair amount of her own cash for the household items. Any fears I had about being dupe quickly faded away.
Six months passed by and life was bliss it was then that I got a phone call from my property manager who said that the tenants had done a ‘moonlight’ flit and left my home in a bit of a state. I had no choice but to go back and sort it out.
Pla was sad to see me go but waved me a fond farewell at the airport. On my return to the UK I was mortified at the damage the tenants had done and it was estimated that the repair costs would exceed £25,000.
I spoke to Pla and told her of the issues and said that I would have to stay in the UK until the house was sorted out. I estimated about a month.
The builders did a great job of putting everything right which had taken the best part of a month. I told Pla that if everything finished on time I should be back within 2 weeks.
Tragedy then struck as my mother of 62 passed away from an unsuspected heart attack. As the only child I had to sort out all the funeral arrangements, deal with the lawyers and above all come to terms with my grief.
Each night Pla looked painfully sympathetic to my situation and I was longing to get back to Thailand. With lawyers having to sort out my mother’s will and the home I inherited it took another 6 weeks before I was finally ready to go.
In the week leading up to my departure things took another turn for the worse. Pla wasn’t the same lovable woman I knew; in fact she was openly hostile towards me and the idea of me coming back. She suggested that I stay in the UK and that she sell the villa and send me the proceeds from the sale.
I didn’t want to sell the villa, I was extremely happy there and I just thought that Pla was feeling the strain of me being away.
I returned to Thailand but Pla wasn’t waiting for me. I took a taxi from Koh Samui Airport to my home and on arrival noticed two new vehicles in the driveway; they certainly were not mine.
I walked up to the front door and rang the bell. I did bother taking my keys with me. As the door opened I was greeted by a well dressed Thai man who asked me what I wanted.
I explained, as best I could, that I didn’t want anything other than to enter my own home, take a shower and rest. I thought initially that this man was one of Pla’s relations; maybe an uncle.
I was abruptly told however that the villa belonged to him and that he had purchased it for 22 million Thai Baht.
I went to the lawyers’ office but that was closed down and so the only option was to report the matter to the police.
Dealing with the Thai Police is a nightmare. They simply weren’t even remotely interested in my ordeal unless I was willing to pay them for their services under the table. I had little choice considering the amount of money that was at stake.
The result to the entire saga and according to the police investigation was:
Pla never existed, her ID was false and our Marriage Certificate was therefore null and void
Her bank account, which had been closed, was set up with a false ID.
It was probable that to gain my trust she used the ruse of family problems. By returning the original money she basically succeeded.
It was likely that the lawyer could have been her boyfriend or indeed her husband and both have absconded with the money.
As for the guy who brought my villa he was an important local official and therefore no action was going to be taken against him. He, in all good faith; if you believe that, purchased the villa and has all the proper documentation for ownership.
It took nearly a month living in a hotel and 500,000 Thai Baht under the table to the police to come to that conclusion.
I tried to get the British Embassy involved but they avoided me like the plague. I returned to England and now live in my mother’s old house and continue to rent out my existing home. I have also started up another business and financially I am sound but the experience has left a bitter taste in my mouth and it’s unlikely I’ll ever trust a woman again.
After the experience I did a fair amount of research on Thailand; something I should have done before I ever initially traveled there.
Thailand is corrupt right from the top to the bottom. My situation is not unique; there are thousands of foreigners who have been ripped off by Thais. This of course is just another example but I hope that others will learn from my mistake.
I actually consider myself fairly fortunate in that I wasn’t left destitute for I have read many very sad examples of foreigner being left completely penniless for their excursions in the Land of Scams.
Editor’s Note: We’ve included a video in this article; it does not relate directly to the person in this article but does offer a stark reminder that foreign men are targeted by Thai women for their money.
Do you think we should all exercise more caution when dating a Thai? Please leave your comments below. If you have a story please contact the editor.