A former millionaire money lender who moved to Thailand after becoming a police target has been spotted shopping on the Gold Coast.
Tim Ward, dubbed ‘Sharky’ for his time as a loan shark, moved to Pattaya, in Thailand, after finding himself in the crosshairs of the Australian police but still owns a luxury place in Surfer’s Paradise.
He returned to the Glitter Strip at the weekend and the body builder, who turned over millions as a high-flying loaner – charging up to 200 per cent interest, was seen walking through Australia Fair shopping centre at Southport.
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.
As police rounded in on Sharky by stepping up their intelligence, he decided to move to Thailand in 2009.
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.’
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.