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Crackdown On Land Owned By Foreign Residents

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NATIONAL SECURITY SEMINAR

Foreigners own 100 million rai

Some 100 million rai of Thai land is owned by foreigners, mostly through their Thai spouses or nominees, Auditor-General Sriracha Charoenpanit revealed yesterday.

He said if this situation was "unsolved", it could lead to later generations of Thais having no land to live on.

Sriracha told a seminar yesterday on concealed juristic acts that threats to national security came from: firstly, drug problems ruining people, and secondly, the lack of land for future generations, as foreigners now owned a third of Thai land - about 100 million rai.

Foreigners own about 30 per cent of Hua Hin and Pattaya

It was a long-standing issue that resulted from a policy in 1997 to stimulate the economy by giving a special right of land ownership to foreigners with one million US dollars, he said. Some 90 per cent of coastal land at Ban Phe Beach in Rayong was foreign-owned, and foreigners owned about 30 per cent of Hua Hin and Pattaya.

Land deals were done in ways such as via marriage with Thais or setting up a Thai-based company and a law which allows foreigners to hold up to 49 per cent of the shares. Indeed, he said, many companies let them hold the other 51 per cent through nominees.

Sriracha called for a limit on land owned by foreign residents and said the land tax should be hiked to promote the use of land, although doing this might be difficult, as the rich would object.

Arrests for those who break the law

As a long-term solution, he urged the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) and Department of Special Investigation to look into foreign land ownership and give rewards to people who help police arrest those who break the law.

National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) lecturer Piyanuch Potawanich warned that the launch of the Asean Economic Community in 2015 would lead to more foreigners using nominees to own Thai land, especially Singaporeans, who were smart, had money and needed to invest for profit. Among many solutions, she also urged laws to punish nominees and deport any foreigners who do wrong.

Land Department executive Sujit Jongprasert admitted that finding nominees for foreigners who buy land wasn't easy. And AMLO chief Pol Colonel Sihanat Prayoonrat said the agency only checked land transactions that involved over Bt2 million in cash, so many buyers reduced the payment to avoid having to report such deals.

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-- The Nation 2012-03-13

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I wonder how this would effect those of us that are married to thais with children and own our primary residence that is obviously in the name of the Thai spouse. Certainly if all the paperwork was done and filed correctly then no laws were broken right? No intention to break or circumvent any laws either.

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How interesting. Are they afraid they going to take Pattaya or Phuket to other countries, leaving a big whole in the country with just black matter? Maybe it is about time hat Thais will lose their right on landownership abroad too. It will teach them a lesson. Never mind, nothing will happen. Lay down for a few weeks, and the boys in charge have filled their pockets and go back to sleep.

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so basically if you're married and your wife has bought land, you're in violation.

they needed you in 1997...but now it's screw off.

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Oh dear..........If they start investigating the funding sources of a lot of these deals there will be a lot of problems for a lot of people......and if someone decide's it's a good way to get rich on the cheap then dive for cover!!

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Why not go after Thais that allowed and profited from the illegal land holdings as well? Don't bother to respond, we all know the answer...

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OMG

Time to move to Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, or Cambodia, who all encourage foreign devils to invest in land.

It reminds me of Switzerland in the 1960's when the German hordes were stealing our beautiful Alps.

Fortunately, that huge injection of capital made our poor little country, with fewer inhabitants than Bangkok, so rich that we can now buy it back at a discount.

That off course will never happen in Thailand, because the money from land sales will go straight to Switzerland.

The big difference is that we invested our windfall gains in a world class education system and lean, efficient bureaucracy, while Thailand invests it in Mercedes-Benz's, Swiss watches and smart London apartments.

Please keep up the good work..

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This seems to surface as an issue every 3/4 years and then goes to sleep again. It makes me wonder if the real reason behind it is a land grab?

You could also argue that the loan sharks and rich are also hording large tracts of land and its just the foreigners being mad4 to look the villians?

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<snip> Maybe it is about time hat Thais will lose their right on landownership abroad too. It will teach them a lesson.<snip>

Like that will ever happen. Dream on...

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ALMOst began to care.

It is an absolutely FALSE statement that foreigners own 1/3 of thai land.

Completely, and utterly false. 0 Statistics to back this up.

1/3 of people reading this article probably believe it when they read that too.

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Another bullshit story. We are not allowed to own land so all the land 'owned by foreigners' is actually owned by Thais, be it nominees or people like jay and me. The Thais still own it.

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Lock up and then deport tens of thousands (many tens) of (mostly) honest openminded useful and generally quite good people, who are often caring for children ( mostly Thai children) , who may be partially supporting other familymembers . . . Who are good for the Thai ecconomy, mostly bringing a lot of good cold cash into the country on a regular basis . . . And think about it 30% of even Pattayas beach front land, no way . . .

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BANGKOK 22 January 2018 15:37
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