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Fraud, perjury, death threats and human rights abuse warning about Hill and Associates in Bangkok

Hill Associates BangkokI would like to tell you my experiences of Hill & Associates of Bangkok which I believe will prove without a doubt to any fair minded person that Hill and Associates engage in fraud, perjury and human rights abuse which puts any legitimate activity of theirs into question; so I suggest you do not rely upon it. If Thai Gangsters arriving at my home in Phuket at the same time as receiving a telephone death threat, both of which I can substantially albeit circumstantially link to an unfounded and unlawful (fraudulent) Hill & Associates "investigation" against me. If my family and I were not forced to flee Thailand for safety concerns, I can assure you I would have done everything possible to bring criminal charges against the Bangkok office of Hill & Associates and to have their nasty business closed down. If you are contemplating getting involved with this organization, I suggest you think carefully about your own safety, about the legitimacy of anything any company who commits such acts, and about the ethics of dealing with Hill & Associates' Bangkok office.

I would like to point out I have put my complaints to Hill & Associates in Bangkok and also their regional head office in Hong Kong but have received no response. Having been given the opportunity to deny anything you read below, I think it is only right in the public's best interests I publish the sordid details of what Hill & Associates Bangkok did to me and my family and for what.

In November / December of 2003, a competitor of mine PT Bali Discovery Tours of Sanur with the help of Hill & Associates of Bangkok, Thailand filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) alleging that my domain, balidiscovery dot org (which I used as a warning site about the unsavory actions of PT Bali Discovery Tours), was a breach of their alleged Trademark. Also that I registered balidiscovery dot org in bad faith.

It seems that one of Hill & Associates' (Bangkok) businesses is enforcing International Trademarks and Copyrights. So, at the very least, they do not seem to be very good at this, as I easily won my case against their client without even needing to hire a lawyer! You see their client PT Bali Discovery Tours lost their World Intellectual Property Organization / WIPO complaint because they did not have the Trademark they claimed in the first place! What says this of the professionalism, integrity and ability of Bangkok's Hill & Associates? Not a lot, but it gets better / worse!

You see, as well as helping their client file for Trademark protection they did not even have, Hill and Associates of Bangkok also investigated me and falsely reported their findings in writing to the WIPO / World Intellectual Property Organization. My domain balidiscovery dot org was registered to an address in Thailand which Hill & Associates tried to make out was not a legitimate address for domain registration purposes in that, they alleged, I was not known there and could not be served with legal notices for my domain there. Trouble is, Hill and Associates of Bangkok lied about this / their findings, which I believe constitutes perjury.

What apparently happened was Hill & Associates in Bangkok were told by their client PT. Bali Discovery Tours that I was not registered at that address as, they claimed, a letter they sent me there was returned "Unknown at this address". This is actually false, as I had told their client PT Bali Discovery Tours not to communicate with me directly, but to contact my lawyer. I in fact refused to accept PT. Bali Discovery Tours letter previously. I am sure Hill & Associates must have examined the domain registration information carefully, and decided to be very selective over their investigation, as the email address and telephone (mobile) number used in the domain registration were 100% operational / valid. And, in fact, I certainly could be contacted by mail at the address used for the domain registration. A fact verified by the World Intellectual Property Organization / WIPO as they served the complaint from PT Bali Discovery Tours to me there (I even personally signed for it). But Bali Discovery Tours and their friends Hill & Associates clearly wanted to do more than serve a domain complaint against me; they wanted to find out where I lived.

Hill & Associates in Bangkok selectively ignored the domain registered telephone number / email address and instead went about unfoundedly and unlawfully through fraud finding out my home address. Hill & Associates wrote a statement for use at the WIPO / World Intellectual Property Organization stating that they had contacted the owner of the original / registered address and that I was not known there; actually, that is a lie and Hill and Associates of Bangkok know it which means a second count of perjury against them. You see, they in fact called the neighbor of the registered property, not the property itself. What is more that neighbor told them he was the neighbor and confirmed that letters sent to me there would get to me (as I was involved in the business at that address). However, it is not just that Hill & Associates made false formal written statements, but it is how they conducted their investigation that is of concern.

You see, the neighbor then received a phone call from someone claiming to be Airborne Express who said they had a parcel for me and wanted to make sure I would be there at the domain registered address to receive it. My neighbor informed them I might well be but at any rate someone could sign for a parcel for me if I were not there. The caller then advised the neighbour that I had to personally sign for it and that it was an important parcel from Bali; they asked for my home address. The neighbor knew of my connection with Bali (my wife is Balinese and I have business there) so advised the caller of the residential estate where I lived. Shortly after, a motorcyclist claiming also to be with Airborne Express came to the security desk at the front gate of the estate of our former home asking which house was ours; the security guard suspected nothing and told them, then they drove away and the security guard let us know. Later that day I received a phone call at my home from a Thai woman with a well educated Bangkok accent claiming to be from Airborne Express wanting to know if I would be at home that afternoon as they had a parcel from Bali for me and needed my signature.

I was a little surprised as the phone line they called on was actually a modem line, not the main house number (which was ex-directory) and the only people that ever called on that number were wrong numbers; but I thought maybe I gave my business partner in Bali that number sometime for some reason. However, Airborne Express never showed up that day so I called them to see why they had not delivered my parcel and they advised me they had no parcel for me and had never called me.

It was not until I received the WIPO domain dispute from Bali Discovery Tours and saw the written statement from Hill & Associates in Bangkok that the penny dropped. As well as responding to the WIPO I also wrote to Hill and Associates in both Bangkok and Hong Kong setting out my claims and grievances against them but never received any reply. A business contact of mine said the regional manager of Hill & Associates was actually a business friend of Jack Daniels, my competitor in Bali. When challenged at the WIPO to produce his alleged Trademark and he failed, Daniels lost his complaint and I then received another phone call on that same phone line. This time it was an American with a mid western accent who advised me I was going to die before hanging up. I contacted my lawyer in Phuket to contact the phone company to see if they could trace the call but Thailand's antiquated telephone system did not allow this. All the telephone company could tell us was that the caller who made the death threat came from or through (could have been an international call) Bangkok, and that the phone number they called on was in fact the original phone number for my home address, was not ex-directory and therefore would have showed in an address search.

Shortly after this what I presume were local Thai gang members came to our estate and hung out within view of our house, clearly pointing at our house from time to time so as if to reinforce who was the subject of their attention. I contacted a senior police detective at Rawai (Phuket) police station we knew from before when our previous house was burgled once. He advised me that I should be careful, that he could approach these men but that might tip the balance regarding what if anything they did about me. He said as they had not harmed or threatened myself or my family as such, they may just have been paid to send me a message. He suggested that if I could not resolve the issue with the person I suspected of hiring them, to perhaps consider moving house or even to another country in case the problem got worse for me; in case the person hiring them decided to make a real problem for me. He agreed to send some uniformed officers around on patrol to give a visual presence and signal that their actions were being observed. He explained unfortunately the price of a life in Thailand can often be very low, so we decided to move away from Thailand altogether for safety reasons.

I believe these Thai gangsters were actually contracted by Hill & Associates, Bangkok given the circumstances as I truly believe a) my aggrieved competitor in Bali had no direct ability to contract them and b) if he had, he would have instructed and paid them to harm, perhaps kill me. I believe I owe my life to the perhaps unwillingness of Hill and Associates to go too far. I put the event of the telephone death threat to Jack Daniels in Bali making Hill and Associates in Bangkok aware of the same and with it the chance for both to deny being involved, but they did not respond. I want to make the point now that no matter what I think of Jack Daniels in Bali and Hill & Associates in Bangkok that if one of them had contacted me stating they had received a credible death threat which they believe I was connected with, I would not only deny this (as I am not capable of doing such a thing - a contact of mine did put forward the notion I could have Jack Daniels in Bali killed for $20,000 but I rejected it out of hand) but I would also sympathize with them as a fellow human being. The fact neither Jack Daniels (Bali) or Hill & Associates (Bangkok) made any such response I believe shows at the very least they are human garbage, at worst employers of murderous Thai gangsters.

Budi Setyawan | Made Pastika | Soenarko Ardanto | PATA | WIPO | Victoria Police Australia | Hill Associates Bangkok
© Copyright 2006. Mark Austin / Nasty Bali Org. All Rights Reserved.