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.. ILLEGAL NOMINEE COMPANIES - Under Investigation in Phuket


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For all of you smart foreign illegal "owners" of land who adopted the ethics of local Thai attorneys and crooked farang real estate agents (are you f*#king kidding me?!), and joined their transparently illegal schemes to circumvent the Thai law.  It worked for you for a long time, but only because Thai laws are not generally enforced.  There appears a changing attitude by Thai leadership .. enforcing the laws.


What is unclear about these investigations is how many of the nominee companies are created specifically for owning land illegally .. when registered, all Thai companies must state the business activities for which the company is established .. they cannot state "to illegally own Thai land" .. so, they register as real estate companies, travel agencies, whatever.


Illegal nominee company owners would do well to think of the consequences as Thailand leans toward more rule of law .. maybe it will happen today, maybe tomorrow, maybe some years away still .. but .. the consequences of failure at this level of play could be quite costly.


The legal consequences appear costly enough, but this threatens as an open checkbook for extortionists .. bad breakup with your Thai girlfriend/wife? .. get cross with your Thai business partner? .. maybe your Thai attorney is stricken with a sudden attack of ethics? .. so, maybe you want to meet in the coffee shop down at the Thai Land Department to discuss the problem?






Phuket firms face proxy accusations

8 Aug 2015 at 00:03 1 viewed0 comments



Phuket: Four companies in Phuket have been accused of acting as nominees for foreign investors following a sweep of businesses in the island province.

The Business Development Department's Phuket office worked with the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and the Tourism Department to examine 43 businesses registered in the province between July 12-17.


The examination sought to identify Thais being used as proxies by foreigners to run local companies, Business Development Department chief Nimit Kangkajit said.


Eight restaurants, 13 real estate firms, two real estate agents, 16 tourism companies, two car rental firms and two spa service providers were checked.


As a result, three of the tourism companies and one real estate firm are suspected of being foreign-owned but using locals as nominees, Mr Nimit said.


The Business Development Department is now examining their documents, registrations and accounts and will submit any evidence it finds to the DSI so legal action can be taken.


Any investors found guilty of using nominees to do business in Thailand could face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 1 million baht.


Mr Nimit said that British citizens account for the largest proportion of investment in Phuket's property sector, worth about 1.32 billion baht, while investors registered in Caribbean tax havens have invested about 1.18 billion baht in resorts and suites.


Other investors are from France, Russia, China, South Korea and Italy. Most of these have invested in the tourism and property sectors, he said.

In 2013, the Office of the Ombudsman sought support for a bill to prevent foreigners illegally owning land via nominees.


Under the bill, foreigners illegally holding land plots would face five to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of 500,000 baht to 2 million baht, while local consultants would face two-thirds of these penalties.


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This has happened in the past several times but the focus, as in this case, has always been on companies that are Trading, not companies that were set up to purchase a house and land.


Nothing to stop them doing a cull of these people of course, but even though I believe Thai politicians and beaucrats are pretty stupid, I can't see them doing this, the repercussions for the confidence in Thai investment would be disastrous.

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I am not sure why Thailand thinks that a foreigner is going to come to Thailand set up a real business, put 100% of the money, do 100% of the work and allow 51% Thai ownership that would effectively control the company and the foreigner's investment while receiving 51% of the profits and basically do nothing in the business.  

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