Thailand has been a victim of several serious economic crimes since 1979. Based on the report of Sutthi Sookying about The Department of Special Investigation (DSI): Countermeasures in regard to the investigation of Economic Crimes and Special Crimes in Thailand, based on the report “Thailand has experienced and suffered from many kinds of economic crimes for a long time. The economic crisis in 1979 and in 1997 partly erupted from the fraudulent activities and malpractices of the financial institutions and the stock market. The country is also faced with drug trafficking, money laundering, underground banking, cheating and fraud on the public. Yet, typical economic crimes such as corruption, tax evasion, and government procurement fraud are prevalent.
At present, Thailand has successfully enacted new laws and established new agencies to combat the prevailing threats of economic crimes which I elaborate on later in this paper. Although some favorable signs of achievement have been observed in combating offences like corruption, drug trafficking and money laundering, the success of implementation and enforcement of laws in relation to other economic crimes, is yet to be ascertained. Particularly, after the economic crisis of 1997 until now, the government has failed to punish the malpractice executives and the wrongdoers. So, Thai society has come to realize that some existing agencies and the old system of criminal justice are not capable of fighting economic crimes and other serious crimes.”
Although Thailand has been recovering from economic crimes involving private entities and legal persons in Thailand, there are still some who manages to avoid the persecution by the law against such crimes. According to PwC Thailand, "A decrease in reported fraud and other types of economic crimes in Thailand over the last two years may indicate companies aren't doing enough to protect themselves. It found 33% of companies reported economic crime and fraud in Thailand this year, down from 48% in 2018. While on the surface this appears to be a positive development, lower reported crimes can indicate a bigger problem."
With such serious threats against several involved entities in Thailand, Thai Companies are very exposed to such crimes and it is best if the Thai companies will take immediate action and respond to such exposure to fraudulent activities and risks.
Many companies such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) manufacturers like gloves, and mask manufacturers in Thailand have been affected by many fraudulent activities caused by fraudulent companies. Without proper action by the companies and the government, there will be no permanent solution to Economic Crime in Thailand.
Corruption and drug use and distribution account for the majority of crime in Thailand. Many attempts have been made to curb the drug trade. In recent years about 3,000 to 4,000 security companies in Thailand have opened up and deployed almost half a million security guards across the country as part of the nations crime prevention efforts.A lot of the crime in the country is centralized around tourist saturated areas. Tourists tend to be easy targets. These areas are also hotspots for human trafficking and prostitution. Large cities like Phuket and Bangkok are prime areas for drug abuse. Drugs often enter the country through northern Thailand.The United Nations is actively involved in plans to reduce crime in the Thailand. Anything from intentional killing and armed conflict to miss management of land resources and better practices at the Anti-Money laundering office is a major concern for the government.
The drug problem in the country is ever-growing, and with it comes other violent crimes. Many previous attempts have been made to fight the drug trade, but these have been largely unsuccessful and wracked with problems.Police officers tended to focus on small groups of traders who were almost always low-level instead of targeting the really problematic large-scale groups. Foreigners who are caught with drugs are often punished harshly whether they are regular drug users or not. It is not uncommon to find the death penalty or life imprisonment to be the sentence. Narcotics police tend to take any drug-related arrest seriously, most especially if the individual is caught with illegal drugs.
Rape is extremely common among the population of Thailand, and in many cases, law enforcement is the one perpetrating the crime. Furthermore, when sexual crimes are reported, law enforcement either does not take it seriously or simply refuses to take the cases.
Thai rape cases continued to rise yearly, and Royal Thai Police continued to fail the rape victims are their family members. However, in 2019 laws on sexual assaults were made much stricter, including a life sentence for acts committed against children younger than 13-years.
Scams are extremely common in Thailand, especially in tourist saturated areas. There are even a number of fake travel agents in the country that regularly scam tourists. This includes white-collar crime and property crimes.
There were also a number of scandals uncovered following the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 incident, where stolen visa labels were used to cross the Thai border.
In the past, the US State Department had reported misconduct from the Thai police in human trafficking cases. Thailand was also the only one to vote against the United Nations Forced Labor Conventions in 2014.
The United Nations are quite heavily involved in efforts to curb this problem, and efforts have been made in the major cities like Bangkok in more recent years. The ethnic origin of many victims of this kind of crime is varied, which sometimes makes it difficult to identify all the various countries that victims come from. Even the population within the country is diverse.
Different regulations are proposed by the United Nations each year, and progress is slowly being made to reduce the victim population of sex crime worldwide.
Assaults against women and children have risen in the last few years, and it is believed that not many of the victims seek assistance from law enforcement. Domestic disputes in the country can turn violent, and cases of predatory violence against minors and other kinds of physical attack and interpersonal violence are a major problem in the country.
Thailand, at one point, had a reputation as being a haven of choice for criminals fleeing their own countries. Some of the more prominent criminal gangs in Thailand that are involved in petty theft, identity fraud, and other petty crime are foreigners.
This extreme form of violent crime is unfortunately fairly common in the country. Those who commit homicide can get away with it if police are lax in their investigations. Armed groups are often involved in violent conflicts, and this pushes crime statistics in the country way up. Victims of this kind of crime struggle to see justice, especially when they are American or other foreigners.
About 10% of the Thai population owns a legal gun. That makes for around 6 million legally registered guns in the country. A Small Arms Survey estimated that the total number of guns, legal or otherwise, was around 10,300,000. The degree of guns in southern Thailand is higher than in the rest of the country.
Juvenile delinquency is fairly common in Thailand and it is not uncommon for technical college students to be involved in rival gang shootings, mostly in large cities like Bangkok. It is not isolated to male students and is quite prominent among females as well.
The infrastructure of prisons in Thailand is not up to standard. There also does not seem to be must political motivation to deal with this problem. Even the mail that comes into a prison is often containing contraband that is used to organize crime from inside the prison system.
Corrupt prisons and government officials add to the problems related to such cases. There are cases of prison nurses dealing drugs; wardens often help them. Criminals are placed in the wrong cells, etc. Thai authorities have taken to installing jamming devices to target any mobile phone in the building. But this has not been particularly successful.
It is important not to believe that Monks are above criminal activity in Thailand. Many have been involved in crime because their life as monks offers a veil to the outside world. Many are involved with pornography, guns, and drugs.
Between 2014 and 2017 there have been seven murders of foreigners reported. The general feeling is that police investigation is subpar in these cases and there is not much faith in law enforcement overall.Regardless, Thai authorities have had some success, as with the Albano murder, where suspects have been arrested. Murder remains a common occurrence in Thailand, especially in larger cities like Bangkok. Not even public transport and cabs are considered safe in the country as they are often the source of drug deals. There are also Chinese organized crime networks active which work through cabbies.Tourists are often found dead or stab to death when traveling alone or in vulnerable groups. Thai police can be slow to investigate this type of crime. But there has been collaboration with other countries to manage crime and exchange prisoners.
Having said all of this, it should be noted that places like Bangkok have safe areas where tourists can go without being at much risk of crime in the daylight. As with any city or place with a high and varied population, there is always some danger, but it is not actually that much more dangerous than certain places in the UK or the US. It is important to research your destination ahead of time and to speak to locals to find out where the safer areas in the city are and what places you should avoid.Stay away from areas where locals report many sex workers and drug dealers. If a crime is perpetrated against you, make sure to engage in legal action. Contact our offices for further information on how we can help you.
Juslaws & Consult has handled many Economic-related crimes and other cases which involves a Thai Company and Thai business entities having issues with such cases as fraud or the same. Awareness is one thing but taking action and putting prevention as the main priority is the best thing a Thai company can do in order to avoid being a victim of economic crime or making it worst.It is best that you consult with a legal and business consultant if you are worried about your business being a victim of economic crimes or any crimes which may destroy and cause a lot of inconveniences on your part. Juslaws & Consult is always ready to provide you with extensive information and consultation regarding any related aspects of the discussed topic above, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or inquiries.