TL:DR #1 Corruption Allegations Highlight Need for Renewed Business Confidence

For legal reasons, which in themselves highlight the issue that freedoms of speech is restricted in a manner that prevents open analysis and criticism, it is not wise to discuss without the protection of a media outlet, the current Thailand Toyota “Bribery” case which is currently being investigated and in relation to which some allegations are refuted. Presently, there is a 10-member panel, set up by the Court of Justice, assigned to look into 10 cases involving the Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) group and the issue of interpretation of the rules governing imported car parts and taxes [1].

It is worth noting for the purpose of balance that Thailand is not the only jurisdiction in the world where corruption allegations have reared their ugly heads to put into context how such issues in business dealings can arise due to financial pressure and corporate governance weaknesses. The Volkswagen emissions scandal caused a huge range of damage to shareholders; dealers; reputation; and ‘brand Germany’ with the financial consequences continuing recently [2] There are also frequent reports of bribery in most Continents, the issue is certainly global, with the face of corruption manifesting itself under different guises dependent on culture, society, politics, business practices the interrelationship between the state and public sector and often more than one jurisdiction in the mix. However, in a country that will struggle economically given the impact of COVID19 on various sectors from tourism, trade to manufacturing, the blight of corruption is a drain on the energy applied to economic growth and shortens the supply of capital for infrastructure and development essential to the longevity of success. Short-termism and greed are endemic issues relating to the mentality of corruption.

International anti-corruption measures are enshrined in the United Nations Convention against Corruption (“UNCAC”) [3] which Thailand signed on 9th December 2003, and which it ratified on 1 March 2011 [4]. Thailand replaced its Organic Act on Counter Corruption 2542 (1999) [5] with a new anti-corruption law “Act Supplementing the Constitution Relating to the Prevention and Suppression of Corruption B.E. 2561 (2018)”, There are also provisions embedded in the Thai.

Penal Code regarding the bribing of public officials and there are many initiatives to combat corruption frequently reported on by the Thai National Anti-Corruption Commission. [6]

For those interested in an exceptionally well-written English analysis comparing corporate criminal liability for bribery offenses between Thai and Foreign laws, Ms. Kornkaew Luangthanukun has her Masters’s Degree thesis published by Thammasat University available for viewing. [7]

Behaviorally, it is human nature to criticize and in an intuitive manner, cast blame. However, rational detached analysis of corruption, applying theoretical principles relating to economics, sociology, behavioral science may reveal that corruption is not a simple linear transaction, but is rather a network and pattern of behavior invisibly crossing legal boundaries and jurisdictions.

Whilst it is important to comment and observe corruption to be aware of its risks, it is also commercially important to ensure opportunities for investing in a country and its future growth prospects in one or more industries are not left by the wayside for prejudice or misunderstanding. Corruption does exist in Thailand, but it is acknowledged by many in the state and private sectors and there are many organizations and co-operatives set up to implement measures to combat corrupt practices. A collective approach to avoiding corruption, not becoming a ‘participant’ in a minor or major corrupt practice, and not facilitating others to be corrupt is a long-term behavioral solution to improve societal and business norms. The state also has a pivotal role to play, and from the timeline of law and practice, there has been some improvement in the management of the corrupt activity, historically.

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[1] Bangkok Post Online Reporters Court reacts to Toyota bribery scandal (29 May 2021 see: – Last accessed 22 June 2021.

[2] Geoff Colvin 5 years in, damages from VW emissions cheating scandal are still rolling in ( 6 October 2020 see: – Last accessed 22 June 2021

[3] United Nations United Nations Convention against Corruption (see: )

[4] United Nations Signature and Ratification Status (see: ) – Last accessed 22 June 2021

[5] Original Thai text at See Unofficial English Translation at:

[6] See: -Last accessed 21 June 2021

[7] Kornkaew Luangthanakun Corporate Criminal Liability for Bribery Offences: A Comparative Study Between Thai Laws and Foreign Laws (Faculty of Law, Thammasat University Online, 18 August 2017

see: )

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