people have been facing an issue relating to “Fraud”. It is one of the most common and most incurred offenses in various businesses and entities in Thailand. Even the closest of friends cannot avoid such issues. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is also an alarming increase in Fraud Cases in Thailand in relation to glove scams and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Such a case is similar to the breach of agreement or embezzlement offense.
In this article, we will discuss Thai Criminal Law in relation to Fraud and hopefully provide you with relevant information to equip you with your present or future endeavors in Thailand.
The Offence of Cheating and Fraud in Thailand is stipulated under the Thai Criminal Code, Section 341 “Whoever dishonestly deceives a person with the assertion of a falsehood or the concealment of the facts which should be revealed, and, by such deception, obtains a property from the person defrauded or a third person, or causes the person defrauded or a third person to execute, revoke or destroy a document of right, is said to commit the offense of cheating and fraud, and shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding three years or fined not exceeding six thousand Baht, or both.”
In practice, even though it is caused by a commercial agreement, it may be subject to the offense of fraud if the person committing this offense intentionally cheats another party from the beginning. For instance, Mr. A agrees to jointly invest in a business with Mr. B by letting Mr. B transfer some funds to his private account with no intention to return the investment and profits to Mr. B for any reason. The act of Mr. A is deemed as a fraud because he informed Mr. B of the false statement in order to receive the money from Mr. B dishonestly.
In addition to the foregoing offense, if the offender committed any fraudulent acts under Section 341 to the public it can be referred to Section 343 of the same which stipulates “If the offense under Section 341 is committed by the assertion of a falsehood to the public or by the concealment of the facts which should be revealed to the public, the offender shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding five years or fined not exceeding ten thousand Baht, or both.” Public Fraud is a public offense.
For example, a manufacturing company started selling their products to clients but they do not intend to send the products or to send the correct type of product they offer or sell to the clients that will be Cheating and Fraud, and if they claim that they have submitted relevant documentation about the product to a government agency such as claiming they have a Product License or Production License when in fact they provided false documents or information to the government agency in charge of issuing such licenses and the documents are to be publicized or to be available to the public, then it will be considered as Public Fraud under Section 343 of the Thai Criminal Code. Furthermore, it is actually known that if the injured person wishes to withdraw the case from the Court, the public prosecutor shall continually proceed with the case.
We receive over 20 fraud cases per year, and with the correct and proper documentation, this can give good results for the injured person and receive a fair judgment from the court. We normally report the fraud case to the inquiry office at the competent police station to gather the essential documents and reliable witnesses. Particularly, if it is a private fraud case (Section 341) and the injured party wishes to file the complaint to the Court in its own action, the law requires the person defrauded to file a complaint within 3 months after knowing of the case and the offender unless he or she has filed the complaint within 3 months prior to proceed the case in Court. Note that if it is a public fraud case (Section 343) such time constraint does not apply.
We can assist you if you have any problems related to fraud. Our experience in this type of offense gave us a better insight into every case we handle. If we have the necessary information we will be able to guarantee a good result for your case. If you are now in doubt or you feel like you will be cheated and defrauded you can also hire us to run Due Diligence to the other party (if it is a Business Entity existing in Thailand) or even private transactions between individuals we can advise as well.