Crime of Misappropriation

Crime of Misappropriation

"The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool." Trust is the most valuable asset we can offer someone, yet it is often breached. This betrayal can stem from numerous causes. In this article, we delve into scenarios where trust is placed in someone to manage or co-own property, only for it to be shattered by issues arising from that property. Trust breaches can inflict significant harm, particularly when one entrusts property to another under an official agreement, only to find the contractual party acting dishonestly with the deposited property. Criminal law steps in to safeguard the rights of the aggrieved party by establishing the offense of misappropriation and stipulating its penalties.

Thai Criminal Law: Crime of Misappropriation

In Thailand, the act of dishonestly managing or damaging property is considered a Criminal Offence under the Thai Criminal Law, Section 352 states: “Whoever,  being in possession of a property belonging to the other person,  or of which the other person is a co-owner, dishonestly convert such property to himself or a third person, is said to commit misappropriation, and shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding three years or fined not exceeding six thousand Baht, or both. If such  property  comes under  the possession  of  the offender on account  of being delivered to  him  by  the  other  person  by  mistake  by  any  means  whatever,  or  being  a  lost  property found by him, the offender shall be liable to one-half of the punishment.”

Section 352 of the Thai Criminal Code

To protect victims of such offenses, Thai Criminal Law specifies the crime of misappropriation or embezzlement. This crime involves a scenario where an individual, who either holds property belonging to another or is a co-owner of said property, dishonestly converts the property for their own use or that of a third party. In simpler terms, if you co-own property and attempt to claim sole ownership or sell the property without the co-owner's consent, you could face criminal charges under Section 352 of the Thai Criminal Code.

Many people get confused between the offence of theft and misappropriation because it has a similar legal method or the process to which the offence was committed is almost similar in principle. However, the significant key to classifying which act will commit the offence of misappropriation is to consider possession of a property. A person has the right to possess whether by the duty under an agreement or by the belief of an injured party to deposit such property before he/she embezzles it dishonestly. Additionally, embezzlement is a private offence. Provided that, parties can negotiate, settle and withdraw the case from the Court.

With reference to the chapter of the offence of misappropriation under the Thai Criminal Code, it further designates that when someone has found a valuable movable property which is hidden or buried and there is no one claiming to be the owner. If such a person converts such property for oneself or to another person, he or she will be punished under the Criminal Law as well. Furthermore, this kind of case will be deemed as the Civil Case conformed to the Criminal offence. In the light of this issue, an injured person shall request a public prosecutor to let the offender return the property embezzled or provide the price in lieu of returning the property.


No crime is tolerable under the law, especially those involving betrayal. These offenses are inexcusable and are addressed with the utmost seriousness. Our legal team is deeply committed to supporting clients who are navigating the challenges associated with such betrayals.

We excel in providing our clients with comprehensive litigation services. In cases of misappropriation, thorough consideration of all related documents is essential. Should a case be initiated, the attorney representing the plaintiff will file a motion demanding that the offender provide compensation, as neither compensation nor default interest can be sought by a public prosecutor.