Friday, 17 June 2016

6/17/2016 06:05:00 pm
STEVE BALFOUR disappeared during a trip to visit his daughter in Pattaya, with one friend claiming he’d said if anything happened to him, it’d be his Thai ex-wife’s fault.

Steven Balfour (pictured with ex-wife Nan) has been missing since May
THE family of a Scots dad who vanished in Thailand more than a month ago believe he has been murdered.

Ex-soldier Steve Balfour disappeared on one of his regular trips to the country to see his six-year-old daughter Georgina, who lives with her Thai mum in Pattaya.

He has not been seen since May 14, and his passport and belongings were found in his hotel room.

Steve, 35, split from wife Nan Kidaw in a bitter divorce last year.

And a close friend has claimed that he warned during a Facebook chat: “If anything ever happens to me, it’s her that’s done it.”

Steve’s dad Archie, 56, who served with him in the Royal Scots, told the Record: “Only two things could have happened to Steven. Either he has committed suicide or he has been killed.

“I know for a fact that he would never take his own life. He completely doted on Georgina and did everything for her – which only leaves one thing.

“We are certain he has been killed or murdered.”

Steven Balfour with ex-wife Nan

Steve’s close friend Caroline Steel, 36, who has known him since they were children, said she chatted to him regularly online before he went missing.

She said: “Steve and I used to speak all the time on Messenger and Facebook. We recently talked about visiting him in Thailand to celebrate some birthdays.”

And she claimed: “I definitely remember a conversation when he said that if anything ever happened to him during a visit to Thailand it was her that’s done it.

“We’re all so worried about him now. It’s so out of character.”

Archie, of Rosyth in Fife, said: “When I heard about the conversation with Caroline, it all started to fit together.”

Steve’s family and friends are desperate for progress to be made in the search for him.

Archie says the authorities haven’t even checked his son’s bank records to see if his account has been active since he was last seen.

He said: “I can’t believe it’s taken so long for them to get moving on it.”

Steve married Nan eight years ago in a traditional Thai ceremony.

It’s understood she got the family home, car and possessions in the divorce, and Steve has been sending her money to help bring up Georgina.

Steve served in the Royal Scots from 1995 to 2010. He then got a job as a bodyguard with Olive Group, a security firm who work in trouble spots around the world.

He generally worked eight weeks on, four weeks off in the Iraqi city of Basra. He was due to return to his job last Monday.

Steven's dad Archie Balfour has spoken to the Record

Whenever he got leave, Steve flew to Thailand to spend time with Georgina. Every time he arrived in the country, he checked into the Baan Tong Tong resort in the Nong Yai area of Pattaya.

The resort’s manager, Mike Williams, told how he was knocked unconscious by a “large American” in a bar before he went missing.

Mike used to be a detective in Australia and now works part-time with the local police. He searched Steve’s room after he went missing.

Mike said: “We found his passport and all his possessions in the room, which was untouched.

“I reported him missing to the British Embassy in Bangkok and to offices in London but nothing has been done since.

“The Thai police can’t really do anything until the British Embassy get involved, and that hasn’t happened.

“Steve was recently jumped by a large American in a bar and knocked out.

“I think that could be linked to all this, as I’m certain something very bad has happened to him.”

Mike said the American attacked Steve at the Billabong Golf Club on the outskirts of Pattaya.

He defended the Thai police’s handling of the investigation, saying: “They are doing as much as they can, but there are rules about when people can be questioned and gaining access to bank accounts.”

Steve’s best friend in Thailand, former Scots Guard Malcolm Farquharson, has been searching for him for the last two weeks.

Malcolm said he was working offshore when Steve disappeared.

He added: “Steve had been missing for two weeks when I got back onshore.

Steven's belongings and passport were found at the Baan Tong Tong resort in Pattaya

“I couldn’t believe nothing had really been done. I took his photo everywhere, to the bars and golf clubs we used, but the last anyone saw of him was on the night of May 14.

“We’ve tried to get help from the local embassy but they don’t seem interested, probably because they get so many missing people each year.

“But this is very different. Steve was not a tourist, he knew Thailand, got married here and had a daughter here who he absolutely loved.

“Something very bad has definitely happened to him.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said yesterday: “We are supporting the family of a British national reported missing in Thailand on June 1.

“We will remain in close contact with the local authorities as they continue their search.”

Police Scotland said officers in Rosyth were liaising with Steve’s family “to provide any support they may require”.

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