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Canadian Tim Rooney from his YouTube video posting

Expat Claims He Has Been 'Left to Die'

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
PHUKET: A Canadian engineer who says his passport is being wrongly held by Thai officials also claims he will soon run out of money and will die, yet Canada's embassy refuses to help.

The man, Tim Rooney, 52, tells his story in a compelling 7 minute 33 second YouTube video in which he claims: ''Maybe when you are watching this, I'll be dead.''

The video, headlined 'Canadian Citizen Might die in Thailand,' begins with Mr Rooney switching on the camera.

''Hello everybody,'' he says. ''This story is about how you can be left to die in Thailand with no help from the canadian embassy or the Thai government.''

He relates how he has been living in Thailand for 13 years and is a Canadian citizen whose work as an oil industry engineer takes him around the world.

After advertising a computer for sale online in 2011, Mr Rooney said he got into an email argument with a German man in which swear words were used. He was arrested for defamation as a result.

He said the case appeared to be settled until this year when he was again arrested, this time by Immigration, and ''thrown in jail with Thai murderers, rapists, criminals . . . let go on bail for 60,000 baht and they kept my passport.''

He said a prosecutor decided the defamation charge would be dropped and the bail money and his passport would be returned in 30 days.

''Went back in 30 days, and instead of getting it back I was informed that the German guy had gone to the prosecutors' board and although the prosecutor had dropped the defamation charge they were going to charge me with an 'insult' charge, which carries a 500 baht fine, 15 dollars,'' Mr Rooney said.

''Then I could have my passport back, and again this would take another 30 days.''

Mr Rooney said when the day came, he went back to the prosecutor's office expecting the case would be resolved.

''Again the prosecutor said that this German man had gone back to the board of prosecutors and appealed that decision. So now the charge stands again and the prosecutor says I have to wait another two months.''

He said he had been assured the charge would be dropped but the process would take two months.

''My problem is now that I need two major surgeries that I need to go back to Canada for,'' he said.

One surgery, he said, was on a leg that will be amputated if he doesn't have surgery. Mr Rooney said he was a diabetic.

''I have no money for food, I have no money for rent, I have no money for insulin, I have no money period to wait another two months to get my passport back so I can return to Canada, have my surgeries and work again as an engineer and build up my bank acount.

''I want to let everybody know that the canadian embassy absolutely does nothing to help you.

''If you send an email in Thailand you could end up in jail unless you have a lot of money to pay the police off in the first place - which I didn't and I won't.''

He said he had no choice except to go to the media. The Canadian embassy could not help with medicine or food, he said.

''I hope the world gets to see this and sees the injustice that can be done by your embassy and by the Thailand Government.

''Thank you for listening and . . . if I don't get any help I don't expect to be alive past the next two weeks.

''The Thai Government knows it and the Canadian Government knows it. I told them I cannot live more than two weeks. That's all the food I have . . . and maybe when you are watching this, I'll be dead.''

He adds before switching off the camera: ''Thank you everybody. I hope this doesn't happen to you.''

In response to the YouTube video, viewers have shown a degree of scepticism. Mr Rooney has responded to say he is not a scammer and is not looking for money donations.

The video was posted on October 2. Phuketwan has asked envoys at the Canadian Embassy for comment.

Expat Tells of Impending Death in Thailand

Canadian Says He Gets No Help from Embassy
A Canadian man who has lived in Thailand for 13 years says he faces death and is getting no help from his embassy.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Something wrong here, to be defamation you have to make the defaming comment to someone OTHER than the person defamed. If saying something in public always preface it with "in my opinion," by law you are entitled to your opinion.

Posted by DSI Watcher on October 16, 2013 09:52


My first reaction is to think there is something not right about this story, but I have lived here long enough to expect the unexpected. Will be interesting what response comes from the Canadian Embassy!

Posted by Richard on October 16, 2013 10:02


@Richard, if true then the response could be the same as when the two Canadian girls died after partying on, I think, Don Phi Phi island.

Posted by DSI Watcher on October 16, 2013 10:47


The way Thailand works, I guess this German's Dad is bigger than Tim's Dad....

Posted by Tbs on October 16, 2013 11:02


what was wrong with that computer?

Posted by frog on October 16, 2013 11:02


Would be nice to hear the side of the German guy

Posted by walter on October 16, 2013 11:25


What is the name of the German. Must be in public by now. If this story is correct i certainly do not want to get close to that German.

Posted by One Expat 14 years on October 16, 2013 14:41


I know Tim - He stayed in Patong 6-7 years back and I can confirm that he already then was a diabetic and user of insulin. I still follow Tim on FB and only know him as a quiet, sympatric and friendly person to get around with. He has always been a good Ambassador to Thailand and has promoted a lot of friends to come here - the country he likes more than any another.
I myself work as a volunteer for the Phuket Tourist Police and has presented Tim's case for my professional officer colleges. They silently agree on - that Tim is a victim of a scam, but cannot interfere in a case that are taken place in Pattaya.
As I have been informed, it's a Police Lieutenant that holds the case. Only a higher ranking official will be able to cancel the case.
What you write in a private E-mail is between two persons. How can that ever be a police case?

Posted by Jeper Bull on October 16, 2013 15:52


What does an email argument, between two foreigners, have to do with the Thai authorities? If this story is true then 1) how did the Thai authorities get on to the case? 2) if he (the Canadian) was reported to the Thais, what kind of person would do that?
Could this happen in any other country? This was emails between two individuals, how can he be charged with defamation? I just don't get this at all!

Posted by Sudo Nim on October 16, 2013 16:23


I am the Canadian of this story and I agree it is just corruption. In 2011 when the German man made a complaint to this police lieutenant for defamation is where the corruption started. The policeman should not have taken the case then and it should have ended there however, he did. I hired a lawyer who spoke to him and he agreed to drop the case so That's what I thought happened. A year went buy and I worked around and then did a 3 month contract in Canada and came back to Thaiand this past March with the intent of returning to Canada in June for more work however I was arrested in June and told that the German man had filed a new complaint of the same charge. The reason I was detained, thrown in jail and had to pay bail and they kept my passport was because the police said they went to my condo to give me a promise to appear at the police station but I did not answer so they left a note in my mailbox but I was in Canada working at that time and my landlord was collecting my mail and said there was no notice to appear so they arrested me again and said because I failed to appear that they had to detain my passport and charge me 60k bail. Not that it is in the system I have fallen to a victim of time which I don't have due to my health issues.

Posted by Anonymous on October 16, 2013 17:57


if he visits his local temple i'm sure they will help him with donated food.. or he could probably sell some of his electronic equipment..

Posted by another steve on October 16, 2013 18:05


@ another steve,
this could happen to you too, Tim is in deep trouble because of a scam, that happens sometimes here!

Posted by Sherlock on October 16, 2013 18:28


If it's as said, the german has no case in Thai law, and the police officer is in cahoots and it's a face/bribery issue. As for another steve's suggestion I am almost speechless. The Canadian embassy needs to step in, and the police Lt concerned needs a good kicking.

Posted by phonus balonus on October 16, 2013 18:31


A foreign government cannot interfere with local law enforcement. It can advocate on behalf of a national who is detained or incarcerated and it can act to ensure that international agreements in respect to its national are respected. The accused in this case is not detained, nor the subject of a Thai government initiated legal matter. Instead, the Canadian is involved in general litigation involving a third party national. The Canadian government has no legal standing nor basis upon which it could intercede. The Canadian government would not intervene in a defamation suit in Canada, so why is it expected to intercede in one in Thailand? The issue is with the German plaintiff. To date, no one has heard the German's side of the story. Perhaps, the German has just cause with the defendant. If the German is being vindictive then the moral obligation is on the German community to have a word with one of its own and to encourage him to behave in an appropriate manner. I would like to know more about the German's position as these stories often have more twists and turns than a winding country road.

Posted by Ryan on October 16, 2013 18:59

Editor Comment:

If the issue is so simple, Ryan, why is the man's passport being held? Doesn't the passport belong to the Canadian Government?


A Canadian Passport is the property of the Canadian government and should not be surrendered to any party. Tim was forced to surrender it and the Canadian government ought to declare it invalid, and issue him a temporary passport immediately. Normally in his situation it would not make any sense to have an operation done in Canada, when the cost in Thailand is so much cheaper, even in a private hospital, but Tim, due his recent 3 month employment there, may be entitled to free Provincial Health Care coverage.

Posted by Guenter Bellach on October 16, 2013 20:04


For the first and last time I lend a relatively large amount to some friends in 95, they decided they did not want to return the money (in full) so I kind of wrote it off.
Until my then Thai girlfriend heard about it ... she knew exactly how to sort it out, an agreement was made with the local police, the borrowed amount was returned in no time....minus 30% fee . This was many years ago but would be surprised if something similar could not be done today. So be careful out there !!

Posted by Sailor on October 16, 2013 20:15


I think there is alot to this sad tale that has not been exposed. Obviously, the Thai authority, a police LT has some explaining to do.

But what is the story about the computer? Was it a piece of junk? Obviously the German thinks so or perhaps that German is just one helluva rotten bastard. Perhaps someone could post his name so that he can not continue harming this Canadian from a position of anonymity.

Lastly, what kind of engineer for global energy companies finds himself destitute after only a few months without work? I think this Canadian has to bear some of the blame for his current misfortune.

I wish him the best all the same.

Posted by Concerned & Miffed on October 17, 2013 08:55

Editor Comment:

Mr Rooney says he spent what remained of his bankroll caring for his seriously ill father. People who have never had that kind of decision to make are fortunate. We don't believe it would be fair to name the German unless he takes the opportunity to give his side of the story at the same time.



Excellent post.

Posted by Concerned & Miffed on October 17, 2013 09:02


@ Sailor - this is exactly the way this case works.

Posted by Sherlock on October 17, 2013 14:10


what a joke ... as i have posted before , my case involves a farang fraudster with two false passports a false bank account and the cops, immigration , dsi and the media could not give a **** !! the german in this case obviously has money to pay the right people and a black heart ...give the guy his passport and let him be ...

Posted by Anonymous on October 18, 2013 10:26


I am very aware of Tim's situation and I can assure anyone who is reading or watching his Youtube clip that what he has stated is true. I have been taking helping him when I can with his hospital visits here in Thailand and things are in a very bad shape for him.
I saw the last persons comments about "comment to someone OTHER than the person defamed. I have been living here in Thailand for many years and can assure you, to a large extent the law many times is very gray area depending who is filing and who the Defendant may be etc. Here you are guilty until proven innocent unlike the Judicial system (for the most part) in the U.S. for example.

Posted by Tom on October 18, 2013 13:00



My apology. I missed the part about spending his money to help his sick father.

I hope your news article sheds enough light to help this poor guy out.

Posted by Concerned @ Mistaken on October 18, 2013 18:04


An embassy is not there to hold the hand of fully grown adults who make dubious choices or errors in judgment as this man did.

It's not their role to step in and circumvent Thai law.

Next time, keep your mouth shut!

Posted by Black Bauer on October 20, 2013 17:56


This story is very fishy. If him gone to court and applied for a bail extension (200.000 Baht) I am 100% sure the court allowed him to gone back to canada for work solve his health problems. Him speak him have no money, no food, no insulin, ... and after a lot of people checked his other videos and replied angry him changed to: "No I don't need money now ...!!!"

I mean, him only speak about the bad german and his wife and that him are good guy and a samaritan. Him do NOTHING!!!

I miss completely the part where him speak real sorry to the german for the: "For 6000 baht you can lightly tongue my asshole and EAT MY SHIT! I wouldn't sell it to you if you payed me 20,000 baht you ignorant loser."

This is in Germany a very strong insulting where him can get in court a fine of up to 60.000 EUR. Yes, for a stupied email between to people.

Next point: In Canada him never will get a free medical service if him back because him must be physicaly present 153 days there before him can apply for it. Just google for OHIP Canada.

And the surgery prices what him told are from the expensivest hospitals in the Pattaya Area. If him gone to the Banglamung Hospital or Chonburi Government Hospital him will not pay 25% of it.

Posted by peter on October 26, 2013 16:23


I want to help this guy, how much money does he need, how can I get in touch with him.

Many thanks.

O pearson

Posted by Oliver pearson on October 28, 2013 04:39

Editor Comment:

He wants justice, not money.



Nobody would be fined 60.000 Euro for writing something like that to somebody in an email in Germany. Don't make up things, if this was the case hundreds, maybe thousands of people would be branded criminals and be fined 60.000 Euros in Germany every single day..It's just not true. You could probably say it live on national television to somebody and nothing would happen.

Posted by christian on October 29, 2013 18:21


@christian: of course you get some money for a thing like that, if written in a letter or a e-mail, no matter what. Maybe not 60K, but at least 2-3K Euro. But only if you go to police.
Here a list:

But that aside, if the Canadian wrote something like that, then he should be penalized for this. But keeping him in the loop like this for that long is not reasonable to the offense in question. Unfair procedure by any means. He should have counter sued if not guilty or payed up a "stupid" tax. Really no reason to corner yourself with your life like that. Not very adult behavior in a country like Thailand. Sorry to say, but very true.

Posted by Lena on October 29, 2013 20:57



The police in Germany (or any european country) would never take up such a case and waste time and money investigating it. If I went to a police station and said I want to report a crime because somebody told me to "lightly lick his a**" they would just tell me to go away, for SURE. If all it took was to go to the police to get somebody fined 3000 euro for being rude and insulting half of Germany would be employed in the police force to fine the other half.

Posted by christian on October 30, 2013 10:21


Christian, that is simply not true. Google "Beleidigungen Kosten". A lot of recent verdicts will show. So please don't insist when it is so clear factual wrong. The police would def. not turn you away, don't insult the "Freund und Helfer" like this (friend and help). If you report a prosecutor will get your case.

Posted by Lena on October 30, 2013 12:24


Christian, It can be 100.000 EUR!!! Look here: Effenberg for Insulting
Here another 60.000 EUR fo a..hole

Here you can read how expensive are insultings between 2 people spoken or written in Germany:

But so or so it don't give a reason to insult someone who just want buy your notebook.

And all the other stupid comments that the german not have a case.... If him don't had a case the police don't start a lawsuit and it never gone to the prosecutor. But now it's there and after in court. After this video 100%!!!

Posted by Peter on October 31, 2013 21:43

Saturday September 18, 2021
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