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‘I wanted my pay… But Calum Melville gave me a Mars bar’

Calum Melville
Calum Melville

Dozens of people from around the globe have contacted the Press and Journal since we reported on Calum Melville’s bankruptcy.

Employees, landlords, business associates and contractors have all complained about the unpaid bills, wages and debt he has accrued over the years.

Paul Conlan, who worked for Mr Melville’s firm between July 22 and September 15 last year, claims he is owed more than £14,000 in unpaid wages.

The 40-year-old said he has not received “one penny” for the work he had carried out for Oilfield Integrity Management.

He said: “You know yourself that the oil industry has not been great and for someone like that to take advantage is just obscene in 2016/2017.

“It’s been tough, 2016. It was really hard, made even worse by this situation. The last time I was paid for a job was in April last year as the industry has been slow especially in Asia.

“I have been using my savings and credit cards to live, my wife earns 15,000 baht, £349, a month and she works for a credit company. It has made it a little bit easier as I’m living in Bangkok where the cost of living is way less than the UK – if I were in the UK living I can only imagine that the situation would have been far worse.

“I have had to have friends and family help me out which isn’t great at my age.

“The long and short of it is I haven’t really been surviving as the money I was going to be paid was to be used for more courses to further my career in the industry, so the knock-on effect has been massive.”

Mr Melville claims he wants to return to Dubai to try to revive the business so he can pay people like Mr Conlan.

However, he said he had no intention of repaying his landlord, despite owing him more than three months’ rent.

The owner of Yanjoon Holiday Lets, where Mr Melville rented his Dubai apartment, claims he is due more than £11,000. He claims Mr Melville left the property at the beginning of the year and said he would not allow the family to return if they ever decided to come back to Dubai.

He also said he had taken formal legal action against Mr and Mrs Melville for their debts.

Mr Melville claims, however, that his family had paid for a number of services to be included in his apartment costs which had not been delivered.

He said the cleaners had not been to their home in months and said he was not prepared to pay for services he was not benefiting from.

Another disgruntled employee, Jack Boath, worked for Mr Melville’s firm to manage eight rig contracts with Aban Offshore in South Africa, Iran and Singapore for a salary of almost £8,000 a month.

He said there were at least 50 members of staff who had outstanding payments from last year and said he had not been paid for nine months’ worth of work.

He said: “If someone had said to me nine months down the line, I’m still not being paid, I would have left a long time ago.

“You get promises and letters claiming we will be paid, but that never happened.

“Calum comes across as likeable and charismatic but I feel conned. His reputation has been destroyed.

“My last communication with Melville was just before he left the UAE on January 30.

“I had gone into the Dubai head office to ask for my outstanding pay again.

“He asked me to take a seat in the main office and said ‘I’ll be with you in a few minutes, would you like a Mars Bar.’

“I was absolutely livid, meeting to discuss nine months of salary outstanding and the guy offers me a Mars Bar.”

Mr Boath said the meeting was adjourned and was told his pay would be processed each month until finalised.

He added: “Of course he disappeared the day after and has had no contact. I was with the receptionist Glori Minerva who had received a message from Melville saying  –  ‘empty the office and sell all the desks and computers’   –  which she has now done.

“I have not been back to the office since but assume it has now been taken back over by the landlords at DMCC free zone who were also owed money.”

Mr Melville disputes how much cash, if any, Mr Boath was due and questioned if the work he carried out deserved payment.

However, he refused to be drawn on commenting further.

Meanwhile, back in the UK Jim Moig and Bob McKay, from Ellon, are still trying to recover around £58,000 still owed to them by Mr Melville after he bought over Global Lifting Services   –   a company they had built from scratch.

The pair originally launched legal action in 2012 when they still had not received what they were due, and subsequently spent thousands of pounds on legal fees taking him through the courts. Despite repeated attempts, sheriff’s officers could not find him to serve him his bill.

But in 2015 Mr Melville was declared bankrupt and they have not been able to reclaim any of the money they are due.

Mr Moig told the P&J he was going to urge his solicitor to try to retrieve some of their cash after Mr Melville fled from Dubai and was recently back in Aberdeen.

He said: “I did not know he was back but now I do I will be sure to get in touch with my solicitor to ask if he can look into getting some of the money back. Why should he get away with not paying what he is due when he appears to have been living the high-life ever since.”

When asked about how he felt about still owing Mr Moig and Mr McKay money Mr Melville said: “When I have money, they’ll get money.”