The new Thailand Anti-Corruption Act: clearly defined to cover foreign juristic persons registered abroad

Peerapan Tungsuwan

Baker & McKenzie

Baker McKenzie (Thailand) discuss the impact of the 2018 Anti-corruption Act on overseas registered persons.

On 21 July 2018, The Government Gazette published the Act Supplementing the Constitution Relating to the Prevention and Suppression of Corruption, B.E. 2561 (2018) (the “2018 Anti-Corruption Act”), which came into effect on 22 July 2018.

The Anti-Corruption Act repeals and replaces the previous anti-corruption law, which had been effective since 1999. Among other things, the reason for implementing the 2018 Anti-Corruption Act is to enhance measures and mechanisms to strictly prevent and suppress corruption and willful misconduct.

The definition of state officials also covers officials of Thailand and foreign countries, agencies of international organizations, persons who hold a political position, judges belonging to the Constitutional Court, persons holding positions in independent organizations, and members of the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

One of the significant changes is that the definition of persons who commit bribery has been expanded from the previous anti-corruption law to govern foreign juristic persons registered abroad that operate a business in Thailand. Therefore, a person who commits an offense of bribery that is subject to the 2018 Anti-Corruption Act can be individual persons, Thai juristic persons and foreign juristic persons registered abroad that operate a business in Thailand.

If the offense is related to a juristic person, and the offense is committed for the benefit of the juristic person, the juristic person has to prove that it has an appropriate internal control system to prevent commission of the offense and that it is actually implemented and used by the juristic person.

Otherwise, that juristic person will be subject to a penalty of a fine equal to but not exceeding twice the value of the damages from the commission of the offense or assets received. If an accused or a defendant escapes during trial or court proceedings, or after conviction by a final judgment, the period of during which the person has absconded will not be counted as part of the prescription period.

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