Connect with us


Foreign investors in Phuket facing police investigation

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Foreign investors in Phuket facing police investigation | Thaiger

PHUKET: A fact-finding effort is underway in Phuket to compile information about local businesses in which Thai people are hired by foreigners as their nominees – a practice which is generally illegal under Thailand’s harsh Foreign Business Act.

Provincial governor Wichai Phrai-sa-ngob, who ordered the investigation, said he was not discriminating against foreign investors, but guarding against the illegal use by foreigners of Thais as nominee shareholders.

Under Thai law, foreigners can own no more than 49-per-cent of any business venture with Thais. An ongoing practice, local authorities say, is that foreigners eventually gain control over such companies illegally.

To scrutinize foreign businesses, the Phuket Provincial Revenue office is checking on foreigners’ tax payments, while the Treasury office is scrutinizing ownership of condominium space and Immigration police are examining the visa and residence status of expatriates involved in Phuket-based businesses.

Local authorities and the Interior Ministry will look into all information and decide on what to do if their fact-finding reveals illegal shareholdings, the governor said.

There are now 19,653 joint Thai-foreign businesses in Phuket, which have reportedly invested around 62 million baht. That figure alone would appear grossly incorrect, far off-scale in the context of overall foreign business in Phuket.   

A sensational report in the Bangkok Post last week cited research showing that foreigners held 90% of the beachfront land in Phuket. But in a nation often averse to statistical analysis, and where statistics are frequently suspect or simply unavailable, the Post report generated widespread incredulity amongst in Phuket.

Patong Deputy Mayor Chairat Sukbhal dismissed the report as most hotels in Phuket are not owned by foreigners, he says, noting that most, in fact, were operated as joint ventures or simply managed by a salaried foreign executive.

Meanwhile, Phuket’s Provincial Business and Trade Office said a regulation requiring joint Thai-foreign businesses to produce bank accounts with a high minimum balance on deposit has been revoked because it could not effectively serve as proof of substantial business funding.

“In most cases, the money was withdrawn immediately from the bank accounts once account statements were presented to Thai authorities as proof,” office head Weerachai Tantiwatthanawallop said.

The provincial land office says, again, that legal action will be taken against any businesses found to be holding land and operating illegally with a majority of foreign ownership, because Thai law imposes strict sanctions on foreigners owning land in Thailand.

— Nation / Gazette Reporters


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Bangkok24 mins ago

Governor says Bangkok will only re-open when safe to do so

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Australian released from death row, Samui restaurant raided | September 20

News16 hours ago

Pathum Thani man allegedly lights building on fire, sticks around to laugh and smile

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand16 hours ago

Australian and American on Thai death row released from Thai death row, Supreme Court clears drug trafficking case

World17 hours ago

Insect snacks hit Japanese vending machines

Thailand18 hours ago

The Return of ‘THE TIM’ | Thaiger Bites | September 20

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 12,709 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand18 hours ago

Pattaya laundry shop reports ladies’ underwear thief is on the loose

World19 hours ago

Hanoi to ease Covid restrictions this week

Thailand20 hours ago

Morning Top Stories | No approved October re-opening, Phuket easing restrictions | September 20

Thailand20 hours ago

Government believes more suspects involved in theft from budget meant for the disabled

Thailand22 hours ago

Dual Pricing and Reduced tax on Alcohol | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 92

Thailand22 hours ago

Around 20 people arrested at Koh Samui restaurant for drinking alcohol, gambling, playing pool

Bangkok22 hours ago

Bangkok residents warned of flooding risk as torrential rain forecast this week

Thailand23 hours ago

Government seeks to regulate infectious waste disposal charges

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand7 days ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11