THAI GIRLFRIENDS SWINDLING FOREIGNERS OF THEIR PROPERTY – Som nam na; roughly translated into English this Thai phrase means ‘serves you right’ and appears to be a widely used response on Thai comment boards frequented by foreign expats living in Thailand when another foreigner is stripped bare of their assets.
It’s difficult for an outsider to really appreciate what the mindset is of such people who leave these kinds of comments so we approached a few of our internal sources for an insight.
“If you want to meet the dregs of western society then visit Thailand. These are often referred to as the ‘bar room barristers’ who dispense their judgment on others without ever considering the facts. Of course most are never sober long enough, if ever, to even consider the facts.”
Now that’s a pretty damning statement and casts dispersion on pretty much every western foreigner living in Thailand, so meebal.com dug a little further for such a comment surely couldn’t be accurate.
“It appears that many expats relish news of another expat falling on hard times and when it involved being ripped off by a Thai girl all the better.
It’s not as bad as many make out and thankfully these individuals are few and far between, but there will always be those who obtain pleasure from another person’s misfortune.”
Now that seems more like a balanced response but after taking a look around some of the Thai forums for the expat community it does appear that there are some awfully cruel individuals and one can only hope that such a fate never falls upon them; for it is unlikely they would receive any sympathy.
The latest story of a foreign expat to be fleeced is that of a Greek national, Mr Konstantinos Vardas.
Mr. Varda caused more than a little disruption to the local traffic in Thalang, Phuket as he set up a one man sit in protest in the middle of a busy road.
It wasn’t long before the police arrived on the scene along with local rescue workers. The police noticed that Mr. Varda was in a state of distress and decided to discuss his problems.
Mr. Varda stated that he simply wanted his property and money back that his Thai girlfriend has stolen from him whilst away on a trip to the U.S.
Mr. Varda explained that on returning to Thailand he discovered that his girlfriend, 50 year old Kanwee Wanwijit, had changed the property titled deeds and helped herself to 2 million Thai Baht (approx US$60,000) from his bank account. The theft, M. Varda says, has not only left him homeless but also penniless.
Mr. Varda is obviously in a state of distress and it’s unlikely anyone going through such an ordeal would cope any better.
What is disturbing here however is that apparent lack of compassion from a number of expats on forums where this news has been published.
Som nam na appears to be a typical response but the question is why?
It is not uncommon to hear of stories where foreigners have fallen in love with Thai bar girls; and this is where the lack of compassion appears to stem.
According to a number of inside sources bar girls have a reputation for duping foreigners; often resulting in the foreigner ending up much the poorer from the encounter.
This in turn leaves a number of expats to take the ‘moral high ground’ and admonish those falling foul – whether the lady happens to be a bar girl or not – as merely being fools; and therefore deserving of any fate that awaits you.
Another one of our sources recanted:
“Those expats who assume it’s always a bar girl that is responsible for fleecing a foreigner are completely delusional.
My ex-wife was a nurse, yes a nurse, and I suspect some expat moron will dispute this – that’s because they spend all their time in a bar and never realise that Thai girls do have other occupations other than selling their bodies.
It appeared we had a very good relationship and yet it turned out that she was gambling. Her gambling habit cost me my 15 million Baht home (approx US$500,000).
It’s a myth that it’s just bar girls that ripped off foreigners and in fact most Thai girls only truly care about one thing – money; which appears to be a national trait.
I personally feel very sorry for this guy for it can happen to anyone who doesn’t understand the pitfalls in Thailand.
I would suggest your readers take a look at ‘Why Foreigners Should Never Buy Property in Thailand’ to fully understand the pitfalls.”
Just a few days ago meebal.com published an article on the disturbing trend of Thai spouses murdering their foreign husbands in order to get their hands on their assets.
Whilst this trait is not typical to Thailand it is a stark reminder why foreigner should be careful when entering into a relationship and why they are much better renting property instead of buying.
“The phrase ‘som nam na’ is a particularly disturbing one, however there are always cases were the foreigner does bring many of the problems upon themselves.
For instance some like to ‘flash the cash’ and this in itself will draw the attention of those greedy individuals.
Many expats, especially those hanging out in the bars like to display their wealth; often achieved by ‘ringing the bell’ which is a sign that you intend to buy a round of drinks for every schmuck in the bar.
This act alone indicates you’re a sucker and an easy mark and it doesn’t take long before the bees are buzzing around the honey pot.
I am lucky in that I am well off but I’m known as a ‘cheap Charlie’ because I refuse to buy the girls a drink but it also clearly indicates that either I have no money or that I’m not a sucker.”
There are those who feel the solution could be achieved by a simple change in the law that allows foreigners to own the land that their houses sit on. This would then prevent the need of placing the land title deeds in the name of the Thai spouse.
That is of course one solution but Thai law is unlikely to change due to foreigner pressure and therefore the only sensible option is to rent.
“Over the last 15 years I’ve had a total of seven girlfriends. I’ve learned that when things go sour with a Thai it is generally hostile with demands of money.
It is one of the reasons why I have never married a Thai or brought a home. Of the seven girlfriends four I have had to leave the property; simply because they refused to do so. Having rented each one it didn’t matter; I simply walked away without renewing the rental agreement and therefore end up losing nothing more than the deposit.”
There have been many costly mistakes but the question here is ‘how did Mr. Varda’s girlfriend get access to his bank account?’
Again this appears to come down to trust that is built up during a relationship. Whilst there are no confirmed reports on how she gained access it could quite well turn out that Mr. Varda gave her his ATM card and pin number in order so that she could feed herself whilst he was away.
I see no issue with this as many couples have joint bank accounts or even access to one another’s accounts.
At meebal.com we sincerely hope that Mr. Varda is able to sort out his predicament but if the property was in his wife’s name then it is likely the only charge that could be brought is that of thief from his bank account; although this may also be contended by his girlfriend that he allowed her access to the funds.
Speculation of course but as for the comments of ‘som nam na’ those using such a term should be thoroughly and utterly ashamed of themselves.
So what are the solutions? What are the best ways, if you are going to reside in Thailand, to avoid a fate similar to Mr. Varda?
This article simply states the obvious but would be far more useful if those living in Thailand could pass on balanced ideas to help others from falling foul.