Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Pattaya, 19th August 2015
Hanks - calling for an investigation. 

An expat business man in Thailand has lashed out at what has been described as 'rampant corruption' in Thailand's Department of Special Investigations (DSI).

David Hanks, 67, formerly of Girvan in Ayrshire, was this week acquitted of charges of illegal money lending after Pattaya Provincial Court found there was 'no reliable evidence' against Hanks.

Following being exonerated, Hanks this week has called for an investigation into why he was even charged with the offences, alleging corrupt police officers had asked for payments of up to THB 3 million  (USD 100,000) at his arrest to 'make it go away'.

At Hanks' trial,  in a case that was investigated by Thailand' s Department of Special Investigations, it was revealed that Russian witnesses had been told by DSI officers to sign statements in Thai language that the 'translator' could not read.

The only evidence against Hanks was one Russian witness, Pavel Bulgakovic, who has told anti-corruption investigators  that he had been ordered to sign a statement eleven months after Hanks was arrested that had a photo of Hanks attached to it.

Bulgakovich later said that he had been threatened by DSI officers and signed the statement under duress, but did not know what it said as neither he nor his 'translator' could read Thai language.

A Pattaya police officer admitted at trial that he had obtained an arrest warrant for a third man, known only as 'David' who had a different physical description to Hanks and lived at a different address - and was at least 20 years younger than Hanks.

Sources at the Pattaya Prosecutors Office allegedly told Hanks they had previously  decided not to pursue the case as there was no evidence against Hanks - then DSI investigators miraculously provided the photo identification eleven months later that implicated Hanks.

Six other witnesses had told the Court at a pre-trial hearing that they had never seen or heard of Hanks, but had borrowed money from another Russian national Ayrat Khabiryanov.

Andrew Drummond - DSI informant
Hanks, who also has an ongoing legal action with convicted criminal and wanted fugitive blogger Andrew Drummond, has asked investigators to ascertain if the photo was provided to the DSI by Drummond, who has previously reported on his blog that he is a DSI informant and has provided information and documents to them.

Hanks said today in Pattaya:

'Now that the trial is over I am able to speak out.

My lawyers have told me I should never even have been charged with this offence, but while I have been relentlessly attacked in the media I was advised that I must not speak out before for fear of prejudicing the case.

This has dragged on for two years and as 67 year old man with no criminal record it has been an absolute nightmare.

The case has received wide media attention and I have been branded as 'Mafia' and a 'gangster' - I already filed a case for this against Andrew Drummond but he absconded and fled Thailand befoe he could be put on trial - but I now have an arrest warrant for him.

My lawyers have spoke  to anti-corruption police and are calling for an investigation into how a convicted criminal and wanted fugitive can be allowed to act as a police informant to help to bring false criminal charges.

Drummond and his supporters have engaged in an incredible campaign of media and Internet harassment and every last one of them that can be identified will be prosecuted.

I have instructed my lawyers to prosecute every newspaper and website, every blogger and every journalist, whether in Thailand or overseas, that has misreported this case'.

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