Connect with us


Property Watch: Innocent until proven guilty

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: The global hypocrisy of societies, governments, parliaments, judicial bodies, law enforcement agencies and even friends and acquaintances can be a fascinating subject. Hypocrisy exists everywhere in the world, including the Phuket property market.

In recent months, there has been a notable and worthy attempt to clean up many issues here. This work is ongoing, and will take many years.

One issue that has been covered in foreign and Thai media and has a huge potential impact on property investment is land title investigations.

The hypocrisy I have witnessed in society is the ‘jump on the bandwagon’ mentality when an investigation into an alleged wrongdoing is in process. I am confident there will be others who share the view that one essential principle in any society that has laws and law-enforcement agencies is: ‘Innocent until proven guilty’.

I believe many in Phuket rely, and may have to rely, upon this principle at some point in their lives.

However, the hypocrisy of society means that when an investigation takes place, those who seek glory in the difficulties of others and wallow in self righteousness, are often quick with such statements as, ‘There’s no smoke without fire’, and, ‘Well, that always looked illegal to me’.

Let me stand up for and protect all those who deserve the protection of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, including land owners. They are not guilty until proven so.

If there is an investigation into, let’s say, 50 projects, is it likely that all 50 projects will be illegal? I think not.

The point of an investigation may be to, where a land title has been challenged or doubt has been cast, actually clean up the title and give it a clean bill of health. This is something that is an inconvenient truth for those who relish controversy. If an allegation is made, it may become necessary to prove not only that the allegation was baseless, but also to ensure that any residual mud does not stick to the innocent.

An investigation is something that will often require multiple parties to look at a land title and where it came from. It will involve many senior officials who may have knowledge of land far deeper and far more technically competent than a foreigner. Those officials may remember who owned land in the 1960s. They may remember what it was used for, and why it developed into whatever it may be today.

The way I studied isn’t that different from many: reading books; analyzing information; digging deep into a subject I thought I would specialize in.

I tried not to comment to my professors on matters I didn’t understand, though I always challenged them if I felt confident enough with my knowledge to do so.

These days it seems many have an opinion that’s not grounded in fact, but in a 10-second search on the internet.

There are lots of land title investigations in Phuket. I doubt all the titles are illegal. I also doubt that there has been wrongdoing in every case.

If we truly wish that a legal system, society or environment will improve, we should do our bit to improve it.

Desmond Hughes has been an owner and operator of his law firm in Thailand for 12 years, and is a Senior Partner at Hughes Krupica:

— Desmond Hughes


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism9 hours ago

TAT claims 1,500 travellers arriving in Phuket July 1

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

5 million Moderna vaccines for Thailand, half of expectation

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 3: Are countries helping Thailand?

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


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

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 2: Will your country give a vaccine?

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 1: Should you travel to Thailand?

Thailand14 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Lockdown for BKK? Demonstrations back on, Pathum Thani shooter arrested

Thailand14 hours ago

Myth busted: Drinking alcohol does not kill Covid-19 – VIDEO

Phuket15 hours ago

Power outages coming to Kathu, again

Tourism16 hours ago

List of countries by Covid-19 risk level, classified by Thailand’s DDC

Thailand16 hours ago

Legalised marijuana up next? Courts get closer to legalising kratom

Phuket17 hours ago

Phuket police raids nab suspects for allegedly having guns, drugs, kratom

World18 hours ago

Antivirus legend John McAfee apparent suicide in Spanish prison

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: 4,108 new cases; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Bar girls in Pattaya arrested for allegedly violating Covid restrictions while live streaming

Protests19 hours ago

Gathering for 89th anniversary of constitutional monarchy

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8