Fraud in Thailand
Fraud cases come under both civil and criminal complaints in Thailand. However, when it comes to criminal cases, the complainants are required to provide a higher degree of proof to make their case stronger as compared to the proof that they might have to present in a civil suit. Fraud is used as an umbrella term and includes various sub-categories under the criminal system of Thailand.
Is fraud a civil or criminal offense in Thailand?
Fraud can either be a criminal or civil offense in Thailand depending on the nature of the fraudulent action.
What Constitutes Fraud in Thailand?
According to the Thailand Criminal Code, a person is said to have committed a fraudulent act if:
- The person conceals information that must have been provided to the other person when dishonestly obtaining property from him; or The person deceives another person and causes him to execute a certain legal document in right.
Statute of Limitations for Criminal Fraud
The statute of limitations varies for criminal fraud and depends on the nature of the case brought before the court in Thailand. The statute of limitations is based on the civil or criminal nature of the case, and also whether the case comes within the private or public domain. However, it must be noted that for filing all legal cases it is crucial to be vigilant and file the case without wasting any time. So, if someone has done fraud with you or if you have an allegation of fraud against you, then make sure to contact a fraud attorney in Thailand immediately.
Therefore, the offence of fraud is compoundable and the laws require the victim to file a complaint within 3 months from the date of knowing the offence and knowing the offender otherwise, the statute of limitations will lapse.
Civil Proceedings against Fraud
Certain civil sanctions are available against fraudulent actions in Thailand under the Securities and Exchange Act including the following:
- A fine equal to the loss occurred due to the commission of fraud shall be imposed on the offender
- Reimbursement of investigative expenses
- Bar on being the director or executive in a securities company for a period of less than ten years
- Suspension on being able to trade in securities for not more than five years
Fraud under Thailand Criminal Code
There are various kinds of fraud that are punishable under the Thailand Criminal Code including the following:
- Under section 341 of the Thailand Criminal Code, a person commits fraud by cheating when he or she obtains property from another person through deception or concealment of a fact. Such a person shall be punished by the imposition of fine not more than THB60,000 or imprisonment of three years or both.
- Under section 350 of the Thailand Criminal Code, a person shall be liable for fraud by cheating creditors if he or she prevents a creditor from receiving debt payment, thus will be punished by imprisonment for two years or a fine not more than THB40,000 or both.
- Under section 14 of the Computer Crime Act 2007, a person shall be liable for committing fraud if he or she deceives another person by importing false data that may cause damage to the public. Such a person shall be punishable by imprisonment for three years or a fine not exceeding THB60,000 or both.
Penalties for Fraud
There are various penalties that may be imposed against an offender of fraud, including the following:
- Forfeiture of property
Right To Bail in Criminal Proceedings
Generally, the criminal courts grant bail to suspects, however, the following factors are taken into consideration by the courts for granting bail to the suspects of fraud:
- The severity of offense and circumstances
- Evidence against the offender
- The trustworthiness of the person who is filing for the grant of bail
Refusal To Grant Bail
The Court may refuse to grant bail to a suspect due to the following reasons:
- The suspect will most likely escape.
- The suspect will conceal the evidence.
- The suspect will get involved in another inquiry.
- The person filing for bail is not credible enough.
For all the reasons mentioned above, it is crucial to hire an attorney who can help in providing you a provisional bail.
Safeguards Available To Defendants
The following safeguards are available to defendants in a fraud case alleged against them.
- The defendant has the right to legal counsel of his own choice during an inquiry or preliminary examination who may defend his case.
- The court shall not accept any evidence against the defendant in a court of law if such evidence is obtained by another party in an illegal manner. It is a basic human right and liberty available to all the citizens of Thailand that must be protected at all costs.
- In addition to this, the defendant will also have the right to appeal to the court if the decision is against him. The defendant can file an appeal to the Court of Appeal if he is found guilty by the lower courts in Thailand. He can further also appeal to the Supreme Court as well. It must be noted that questions of fact cannot be appealed unless the punishment involves the imprisonment of more than 3 years or a fine of more than THB60,000.
Contact Our Lawyers Today!
Now that you know all about fraud in Thailand, if you need legal assistance in either civil or criminal fraud cases, then get in contact with one of our Thailand litigation lawyers who have experience in dealing with both civil and criminal fraud cases, including land fraud, electronic fraud, document fraud, financial fraud, etc. They have successfully litigated in this area for years, and have been involved in prosecuting and defending such cases.