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TRichards

Defamation/set-up in Thailand concerns

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Hello all at Thaivisa, 

 

I have a current concern and would appreciate some viewpoints. I used to live in Thailand and left two years ago following divorce from a Thai lady. I've booked to return to Thailand for the first time since then for a Christmas holiday in a few months time. 

 

I've received several strange emails in recent days from someone claiming to be my ex-wife's new partner, who appears to have a grudge against me. I don't know his nationality but his English appears to be native. I deleted and thought nothing more about them apart from the most recent, received yesterday. This email claimed that he had been defamed by me on the internet, that the words had been reported to the Thai police, and that I'll be arrested at the airport for questioning if I ever return to Thailand. I've spent the past 36 hours pondering what this is all about.

 

I don't know who he is or what this grudge is about, but it's presumably linked to my ex-wife and is either a bluff or a set up. A friend I spoke to earlier today suggested that he could have defamed himself on a website somewhere using my name and reported it to the Thai police. Could it be as simple as that?? He may even have had access via my ex-wife to an old 12call simcard registered in my name and used that to do it, if that makes any difference (IP addresses etc).   

 

As the hours have passed I've grown increasingly worried. The last thing I want for my Christmas holiday with my new partner is to be detained by the police on arrival in Thailand. Should I take this seriously? Is there anything I can do before arriving at Christmas to check if it's a genuine problem?

 

Many thanks for any opinions or advice. 

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Hmm, I think that I would urge you to adopt a rather more cautious approach than others have suggested. Defamation is regarded as a criminal, rather than civil, matter here in Thailand. Should your ex-wife's new partner be minded to press charges against you, you would be liable to have your passport seized upon your arrival in Thailand and, hence, unable to leave the country at least until these charges had been either dropped or dismissed. Read what happened recently to Jonathan Head (the BBC's South East Asia correspondent) in similar circumstances in the link below:-

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Head

 

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I guess you need to think about how acrimonious your divorce was and just how vindictive your wife might be willing to be.  Yes, it could just be a bluff to scare you into not coming back to Thailand, or to make you constantly nervous while you're here.  On the other hand, Thailand's defamation laws are such that if your ex and her new partner really want to make life hell for you, they may be able to do so, even if in the end you can prove your innocence.  If you're still in contact with your ex, maybe you could send her an email along the lines of "... You know I didn't defame anyone; why are you doing this....?", hoping for a reply that admits your innocence.

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I'd be tempted to reply to the email and state clearly that you have not defamed anyone and that any accusation of defamation is false.  Go on to say that anyone making a false claim about you would see a counter claim against that person.  Yes, if in Thailand someone makes a contrived claim to the police about you which subsequently proves to be false then you can sue them for that.  It's all a bit silly and such a response seems unnecessary and not the sort of thing one wants to engage in, but maybe it will shut this person up?

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7 hours ago, TRichards said:

Many thanks for any opinions or advice.

Firstly strange how you get a email just before your visit back and not before. !!

 

Was your divorce messy or amicable. ?

 

Why didn't you get a new email after the divorce.? 

 

Have you money connections still being paid from your divorce settlement. ?

 

Can you not go to a Thailand embassy and check with them to see if you have an outstanding charge against you filed at a police station.?

 

 

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7 hours ago, TRichards said:

He may even have had access via my ex-wife to an old 12call simcard registered in my name and used that to do it, if that makes any difference (IP addresses etc).

In which case you would be able to show that you were not in the country at the time and so it was not you using the sim card?

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Check the Header on the email, & see if you can determine where it came from.

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8 hours ago, ukrules said:

They know you're coming back obviously, how ?

They don't know. I think it's a case of a jealous new partner of my ex-wife who sees me as a threat to his relationship for some crazy reason and wants me never to return. I talk with my ex wife in a friendly manner once a month or so. Perhaps he saw my latest email to her a couple of weeks ago and lost it.

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4 hours ago, Laughing Gravy said:

I would take a guess and it is just a guess that the person is full of wind. Probably just trying to frighten you to stay away. I wouldn't let  anyone know when your coming back to Thailand or where your staying.

I haven't. He seems to think I'll be arrested at immigration if I ever return, so where I stay is presumably irrelevant. 

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2 hours ago, mstevens said:

I'd be tempted to reply to the email and state clearly that you have not defamed anyone and that any accusation of defamation is false.  Go on to say that anyone making a false claim about you would see a counter claim against that person.  Yes, if in Thailand someone makes a contrived claim to the police about you which subsequently proves to be false then you can sue them for that.  It's all a bit silly and such a response seems unnecessary and not the sort of thing one wants to engage in, but maybe it will shut this person up?

I don't even know his name. The email address is random and he doesn't use a name. I've got nothing to go on. I doubt my ex wife would tell me his name either. 

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1 hour ago, LongTimeLurker said:

In which case you would be able to show that you were not in the country at the time and so it was not you using the sim card?

Yes I could, but it's the whole being arrested at the airport and carted off for X number of hours or days and the damage that could cause to my new relationship not to mention my holiday that I want to avoid. I've already booked return flights to Bangkok and hotels. I really don't want to have to go to Vietnam or somewhere like this if there's a simple way of finding out if there's a genuine problem.

 

I thought about applying for a Thai police clearance certificate before I go at Christmas but I suspect that only reveals convictions. Anyone know?

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