A notorious money lender who fled from the Gold Coast to the streets of Pattaya after becoming a police target has stepped back into the limelight.
Tim ‘Sharky’ Ward is a heavily tattooed Kiwi expatriate who has forged a reputation in Thailand as the ‘Shark of Pattaya’.
He is a man who turns heads for his intimidating bodybuilder physique – but those same heads would stay glued to the ground if they owed money to the infamous loan shark.
Ward’s colourful life began on the streets of New Zealand where he grew up without parents and quickly became a social pariah; and his early reputation has followed him to adulthood.
‘You have to make it when no-one is going to give it to you. No mummy and daddy to run to so you gotta do what you gotta do. I was given up for adoption at birth. No mummy and daddy,’ Ward told the blog Stickman Bangkok.
‘I was picked on when I was a kid. A boy brought me home with him and his parents pulled him inside and slammed the door. I was that kid.’
He began an obsession with earning quick money by playing pool for cash while still living across the Tasman and he first stepped into a gym at age 16.
Ward left his hometown of Waitara, Taranaki on New Zealand’s North Island in 1990 to pursue his dreams on the Gold Coast in Australia.
He was a well-known nightclub owner and millionaire personal lender who, at his peak, owned three Lamborghini cars in three different colours – a luxurious life he earned by charging up to 200 per cent interest on his loans.
But after finding himself at the crosshairs of the Australian police in 2009, Ward moved to Thailand where he could finally be ‘free’.
He has openly admitted to sleeping with Thai sex workers and explained how easy it is to buy your way out of trouble in Pattaya.
‘I don’t have to wear a shirt. I don’t have to abide by the rules and if I do break the rules I just pay,’ Ward explained.
‘It is one of the only places in the world where I really do feel free. I f*** up all the time but I pay. It beats going to jail. In Australia I would be in jail.’
He even bears a tattoo of a shark clutching a wad of cash to serve as a reminder of his tough loan shark persona.
His lawless approach to money lending has landed him in a lot of hot water with authorities – and it has affected his personal life too.
Ward admits he doesn’t entertain any new friendships in Pattaya and has long abandoned the idea of having a long-term girlfriend.
‘I have been raided by cops, I have been done over by so many people, been ratted on so many times that the friendship thing closed for me about 10 years ago,’ he said.
‘I had girlfriends in the beginning and it did my head in.
I never let them sleep with me overnight. They never stay in my bed. I have not slept with a woman for 3 years. It’s too emotional.’
But despite his love affair with the seedy streets of Pattaya, Ward travels back to Australia regularly and was spotted on the Gold Coast’s Glitter Strip over the weekend.
Ward was banned from loaning funds in Queensland in the mid 2000s, and was made to pay $270,000 in fines and $100,000 in court costs, after he was prosecuted by the Department of Fair Trading, the Courier Mail reported.
Looking back on his time as a powerful loan shark on the Gold Coast, Ward said the luxurious lifestyle was all ‘worthless, fake bull****t’.
‘As for being a gangster, a judge once said that my very presence was extortion. But that’s nonsense, I’m a gentle giant.
‘I’m just not comfortable driving the Lamborghinis and eating at fancy restaurants. I feel most at home sitting on the beach in the dirt with a couple of dogs by my side.’
Since relocating, the tattoo-clad body builder would also spend four hours every night handing out meat to dozens of stray dogs and cats on the streets of ‘sin city’.
With more than 70,000 puppies born on the streets of Thailand every year, Sharky was believed to be walking more than 10 kilometres a night feeding the desperate animals.
‘I guess my passion for helping animals and kids comes from when I was vulnerable as a child. When I was a young I was very vulnerable so I know what they’re going through,’ the passionate animal carer said at the time.
‘Animals and kids cannot always take care of themselves so they need someone looking out for them.’
The muscular animal welfare warrior even went as far as defending the animals when the drunk tourists take aim at the defenseless creatures.
Sharky was known to also be looking out for the abandoned children roaming the dangerous streets of Pattaya. – Mailonline
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