There is no definition of corporate crime in the Thai Criminal Code. Corporate Criminal Liability is imported from corporate civil liability. Corporate Civil Liability is when a company is sued in civil court for a wrongdoing by the company or in the name of the company.
Corporate Crime is defined as crimes committed by individuals acting within the scope of their employment with the intention to benefit the corporation. An example is if an employee bribes government officials to ensure that a company’s project is approved. The employee is committing an illegal activity for the benefit of the corporation. The purpose of criminal liability is to place the corporate assets at risk as a deterrent to criminal activities.
A Corporation is a juristic person which is legal person under the law. The Thai Supreme Court has declared that as a legal person, a corporation can be subject to criminal law. As such, the Corporation can be charged with a crime if all the elements of the crime have been met. The difference is that a Corporation cannot be incarcerated. However, the company can be dissolved (death penalty), have their assets seized, or required to pay fines.
In addition, the company directors and managers can be removed from the company and individually charged with the crime. They can be criminally liable for offenses made by the company’s employees and could be incarcerated for crimes made for the company. The director or manager is not liable for passive act such as the lack of adequate instruction. The director or manager’s actions must be deliberate with intent or knowledge of the illegality of the action.
The burden of proof for corporate criminal liability is higher than in corporate civil liability. The prosecution must prove all of the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt which can be difficult for corporate crimes. The parties to the crime and the company directors have a right to refuse to testify if the testimony will assist in incriminating them. A company can raise the defense that they have taken all reasonable actions to prevent the crime.