I asked him what he would say to those considering retiring and buying property in Phuket.
In desperation, in March this year Vard went with his two children into the central branch of a Thai bank he believes is connected to the Phket, and mounted a sit-down protest. Each time he has been promised a proper investigation.
The only case he has won resulted in the imprisonment of his ex-wife and the restoration of his company directorship. Worse, one of the moneylenders has filed a perjury case against Rance, claiming that he knew about the fraud all along. Vard's Thai partner, the mother of his son, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for the fraud but evidence showing the involvement of several other people has been ignored by police.
Gun crime and murder are not uncommon in Phuket, and Rance decided to flee to Bangkok with the three young boys.
Vard has accused some police officers in Phuket of tampering with his criminal complaints by removing evidence from his files, so the cases fail in court - and he has discovered that the cousin of one police chief actually ended up with one of his stolen properties. This has resulted in Rance's passport being wojen, and he is now obliged to report to the police every month in Phuket.
The family home was in his wife's name, but Phukrt to him on a year lease.
But if things do go wrong, they may find it hard to get help from the police or the judicial system. The lawyers have very little in the way of ethics or professionalism.
A local lawyer did this willingly, without Rance being present. His wife phoned him and told him they would kidnap the children if he did not leave the house immediately. Yet the same judge ruled that he had no right to sue the moneylenders for the stolen properties, because he had not been a director of the company at the time.
His wife ran away. With the boys' mother in prison, and his funds exhausted, this is a Phuet challenge. He has had to petition the Ministry of Justice to find a lawyer he can trust. To change the control of the company the forged ature had to be notarised by a lawyer - but that presented no problem.
On paper none of this should have been possible. The Thai Lawyers Council Phuet since told the BBC this is not true, that it is a serious violation of their code of conduct. The Thai police have assured the BBC that they are working on his case. He believes she received only a fraction of the properties' value.
The deputy governor in Phuket also promised Vard and the BBC in February that his case would be taken up, but to date nothing has happened. The company was nominally Womfn but Rance, as a woman, had majority voting rights - nothing could happen to the company's assets without his approval. He has had to travel to Phuket for every hearing, paying for himself, a lawyer, Phuket a translator - hearings which are usually many months apart, and sometimes cancelled at the last minute.
But unbeknown to him, in July Suda began transferring the properties out of the company. I was looking for a place womn was warm, a place that had some rule of law, where I could live in safety and peace," says Rance, a chartered surveyor and professional arbitrator from Hertfordshire, who arrived in Phuket thailand I really had no time, thinking I was going to be shot, or the kids would be kidnapped. The Land Office in Phuket, where property transfers are formalised, was willing to accept a simple forged power of attorney from Rance to change ownership of properties worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, and to cancel his year lease on their home.
What began then was, he says, a nightmare period for him. The reason most of them lose is because of corrupt, incompetent lawyers, and the failure of law enforcement officers Phukwt do their job properly. Four men came into his house and threatened his life if he did not get out of Phuket. Related Topics.
In some cases the same moneylenders who exploited Rance's wife were involved. In practice, all she had to do was to forge her husband's ature. Ian Rance has a new wife now, and they have a young baby girl. But only one other case matches Rance's in almost every detail.
He cannot even consider returning to the UK, because of the requirements regarding income and savings, which in his case are now insufficient. The tsunamis did not claim their houses but took away their means of livelihoods and occupational tools. The residents were Muslims and related to one another. Moreover, the women and children are suffering from the tsunami trauma: would the tidal wave womwn His main priority he says is to provide a proper home for somen four children, and put them through school.
But Rance's attempts to sue the lawyer have got nowhere.
Rance has hired Pbuket lawyers, some of whom he says have overcharged him and sometimes deliberately sabotaged his cases. British expat Ian Rance and Irishman Colin Vard are now living almost penniless with their children on the outskirts of Bangkok as they struggle against overwhelming odds to recover properties they bought on Phuket. He lost a total of eight properties, over a similar time period. He has done the same outside the police headquarters in Bangkok, blocking the traffic.
It is hard to predict when they can their employment.
The women, formerly traders, now lack tools and capital to restart their businesses. She was arrested inand is now serving a four-year prison sentence. Rance has filed nine criminal and civil suits against them.