Connect with us

Thai Life

Fight for your right

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Not long ago, a close associate phoned to get a heavy burden off his chest. His parents in the UK were in need of help in moving to another state, but no other family members would help. “John” as we’ll call him, complained to me that he really wanted to go back but that his Thai wife had spent everything he ever had so he couldn’t afford to travel.

It’s a very common scenario – foreigner comes to Thailand with money, falls in love/lust, stays, loses money, then either grins and bears it, becomes horribly miserable, commits suicide or somehow makes his way back home with bitter story to tell all who will listen.

After his money is gone, the foreigner is rightfully angry and worried, but to date has historically been of the mind that if it’s over, then it’s over, and nothing can be done. He thinks no money can be recovered, stolen property is lost forever, and there is absolutely no place to begin to set things right.

There are generally two types of personalities that find themselves dealing with this situation. The first is a passive, sometimes defeatist one that won’t even try to do what it takes to recover what he is entitled to. He feels that it can’t be done so trying would be useless.

The second type of personality is the one that decides to take action, come what may, to see how to make the best out of a bad situation. It is very easy to be defeatist because of what happened was bad enough, but add on top of that being a foreigner in a seemingly unfriendly or unsympathetic environment… you have prime ingredients for failure, even before success is considered.

Not everything in these situations need be lost forever – in many cases. While some things like documented evidence of fund transfers may not be easy to locate, or you never got a receipt from your wife for the money you gave her, or you can’t even think about getting anything back because you have no place to live… don’t give up.

Although most people, including Thais close at hand, may agree that nothing can be done, saying so doesn’t make it so. Reward comes to those who seek it, and if you don’t try then nothing will come to pass. If you have been ripped off by your (ex) Thai wife and want to get satisfaction, any money back, possession of at least some stolen property, the time to begin is now. Here’s one tact to follow – with the caveat that this is not nor should it be considered legal advice:

1. Despite depression and possible other hardships, sit down and put together what you had, what she has, and where she got it – according to you.

2. Write down a brief but detailed account of your story – when and how you met your wife, the various dates and amounts of money transferred to Thailand from where, and dates your wife bought which items with the money you provided; marriage date and place; date major items, like car or house that was “bought” by her, and just how you provided the money for it.

3. In cases where the wife is an inveterate gambler and the big money has been lost through gambling, you are obviously not going to get any back. But you may be able to sue in civil court to recoup some property and whatever money may still be around or coming in as personal income.

4. To get organized on the road to meaningful action, it’s best to talk with an attorney about your situation and show him whatever kind of evidence – record of events and documents, like bank transfer receipts that you have showing when, how and where you provided the money. You will probably be able to get some free legal advice up front as a lawyer who handles these cases will want you as a paying client and may be willing to try to solicit your interest by providing minimum guidance.

5. Because using someone else’s money for wrongful reasons may also be a breach of the law, the aggrieved party may also consider filing a criminal complaint, first with the police, and then using a copy of that, with other documents and statements, working with a lawyer, to file a case with the public prosecutor’s office.

6. In filing a formal civil case, several legal statutes are possibly applicable to the case of a foreigner faced with a common rip-off by a Thai wife (or even girlfriend). The client and lawyer should discuss which, but possible statutes including some of those in the contacts and family law sections of the Civil and Commercial Code. Property of Husband and Wife is covered under Statutes 1465-1493. In the Civil and Commercial Code, other sections may or may not apply. Chapter 1 under Title 6, Ownership-Acquisition of Ownership, beginning with statute number 1308, is instructive. Lawyers won’t always identify which statutes apply for various reasons. Thais usually want to “get it over with” and don’t like multiple filings.

The above is provided only for information and to illustrate that while you may be having hard times, and are rightfully depressed, doing something about it is possible, and frankly, can be another way of tiger-balming a sensitive wound. To what extent you will be successful depends on your individual case and the circumstances. In my experience, Thais have proven highly inventive in being unable to be found if hiding from someone trying to collect money from them. As well, police, when criminal charges are filed, are far from helpful in working with you to pursue locating the defendant. You will have to do a lot of the footwork yourself, go to various government agencies to obtain documents or complete filings. It takes a great deal of time, and results are seldom immediate.

For foreigners who have not yet run into the unfortunate circumstances described in this article but are certainly not immune from them, take heed and keep records.

Frank G Anderson is the Thailand representative of American Citizens Abroad. He was a US Peace Corps volunteer to Thailand from 1965-67, working in community development. A freelance writer and founder of Northeast Thailand’s first local English language newspaper, the Korat Post (thekoratpost.com), he has spent over eight years in Thailand “embedded” with the local media.

He has an MBA in Information Management and an Associate Degree in Construction Technology.

— Frank G Anderson

 

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

image

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:

Thailand9 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Nov 1 reopening proposed; arrest for “sexy” officer cosplay | September 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Covid-19 UPDATE: Provincial totals, vaccinations and more

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Contrary to Anutin, US says delivery of vaccines awaits Thailand

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!

Thailand13 hours ago

Sunsets, ‘Farangs’ and Boring Charisma | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 25

Thailand13 hours ago

CCSA approves reopening delay, state of emergency extension

Thailand14 hours ago

Video of feet on bread appears to be from India, not Thailand

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | Thailand’s security council approves Emergency Decree extension | Sep 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 3 new deaths, 322 released from medical care

Malaysia16 hours ago

Malaysia considers further re-opening to domestic tourism

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand Re-opening, Costs and challenges | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 96

Weather16 hours ago

Weather warning issued as tropical storm Dianmu approaches

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Education ministry to accelerate vaccination of over 200,000 teachers

Myanmar18 hours ago

US judge orders Facebook to disclose anti-Rohingya content as part of international case against Myanmar

Tourism18 hours ago

Tourism operators slam government as re-opening postponed to November

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 12,697 new cases and 132 deaths

Tourism3 days ago

Travel data to Thailand for 106 million people unprotected online

Economy5 days ago

Cuts to import duty on alcohol, cigars, part of plan to entice wealthy foreigners

Crime4 days ago

OnlyFans content creators arrested by Thai police on pornography charges

Thailand4 days ago

Party at luxury villa in Phuket raided, homeowner allegedly assaults police officer

Coronavirus Vaccines5 days ago

Doctors say cardiac arrest caused death of man given AstraZeneca booster shot

Tourism6 days ago

Local businesses say they aren’t profiting from Phuket Sandbox

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Covid-19: Detailed info on vaccinations, hospitalisations, and provinces

Thailand5 days ago

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

Bangkok4 days ago

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

Thailand4 days ago

Bangkok re-opening Criteria, Thai Airways keeps Struggling | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 93

Phuket2 days ago

Police suddenly began raiding Patong bars selling alcohol

Thailand5 days ago

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

Crime2 days ago

Ex-cop “Joe Ferrari,” other officers charged with violating discipline policy over suspect’s death

Phuket5 days ago

Phuket domestic travel rules need streamlining, officials discuss

Thailand4 days ago

Government warns that posting pornographic material is illegal following OnlyFans creator being questioned by police

Thailand2 weeks 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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Trending