April 15 2014
As I was saying in my previous post, it is a simple statistical matter that some of my readers will run into trouble of one sort or another when in Thailand. So can you count on your Embassy to help you if you are in deep trouble?
To give honor to where it is due I will start with the French Embassy. If you are a French national and if you think that you might run into trouble in Thailand you should get yourself naturalized a Swiss or German citizen before coming here.
A few years ago, one of our clients spent nearly 6 months in a Thai jail before receiving a visit from a representative of the French embassy. It makes you wonder why French people pay their taxes. Over the years, I‘ve heard many stories from my french clients that describe the short comings of the French Embassy but I will hold my tongue, at least for the moment. Note however that my critics does not include the administrative staff of the French embassy such as those in charge of issuing new passports to French citizen or to issue visas to Thai citizen which are doing a great job as far as I was personally able to judge.
From personal experiences and from what I hear, citizens from the US, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany do not need to worry; they will be well cared for (Swedish and German diplomats in two cases, I can remember, went far beyond the normal call of duty to help their compatriots and have gained my admiration since then). Others I cannot judge (please feel free to send your comments on this matter I will include them in a later post).
To be fair to the Embassies, even the French one, they have to handle some pretty serious stuff (especially when dealing with those of their citizens that have gotten this little something I referred in my “Somtam Effect” post) and there is a limit to what one can do to help. What I mean by this is that once you are the target of a criminal complaint there will be so much that your Embassy will be able to do for you meaning that they will be mostly able to comfort you but not to get you out of trouble. In other words, if you ever get in trouble you will be mostly on your own.
Note: A reader asked me whether I made up the search I was referring to in my previous post. Meaning was there really a “how to efficiently bribe Thai police?” search. Yes, I did not make this one up. For your information that was not the worth Google search I have seen to date. The worth one was “How to buy a Thai wife?”
About the Author:
The author Rene-Philippe DUBOUT is a lawyer since 1990 when he was admitted to Geneva bar (Switzerland). He practiced as a litigator there for 10 years until he moved to Thailand in 1999. In 2002 he founded with a group of Thai lawyers Rene Philippe & Partners Ltd a local law firm that specialized in Cross Borders Investments and Real Estate. He has been lecturing in several Thai Universities and a speaker to numerous conferences and seminars. He is the author of a must read book:”How to Purchase Real Estate Offshore Safely: The Case of Thailand”.
© Copyrights 2009 – Rene Philippe Dubout – This article may be reprinted if information about the author, the websites, and the URLs remain intact