Thursday, January 24, 2013

When Thailand Divorce Turns Deadly

Although the majority of Thailand divorce cases are resolved without serious conflicts, some divorces do culminate in tragedy. A survey of recent news stories demonstrates a number of notable Thai-foreign marriages, ending not in an amicable divorce, but rather ending in a violent murder.

In October 2012, South African Oswald Heinrich Duvel was shot dead on the head by a gun man amid ongoing child custody battle in Thai courts with his ex-wife. The gun man was later identified by media to be his ex-wife’s half brother but police however, identified the gun man as the “new husband”. Duvel’s ex-wife and her mother confessed to the murder.

In 2008, 69-year-old retired Brit engineer Ian Beeston was beaten and stabbed to death at his home in a village in the north-eastern province of Thailand. Beeston’s 42 year-old Thai wife plotted his murder so she could enjoy his money with her Thai lover. Prior to his death, Ian Beeston predicted his own death in a letter to his lawyer saying “It is just a matter of time now. I am in real fear for my own life.” Beeston’s wife and her lover were arrested and charged for his murder.

In 2005, UK national Toby Charnaud was beaten to death, barbecued and his body fed to the tigers in Kaeng Krajan national park in Thailand after he divorced his Thai wife and removed her from his will. Charnaud’s ex-Thai wife and her three accomplices were later charged and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2006.

Divorce can turn deadly. As Thailand divorce attorneys like to say, while bad people can be seen on their best behavior in criminal court, divorce often showcases good people at their worst. Taking precautionary measures is a wise course of action prior to entering situations that involve child custody or the division of money and assets.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Thailand Real Estate Industry Expects Upbeat 2013

The Bangkok Post recently reports that Thailand real estate prices are set to rise, adding that the Thai real estate sector is growing and consumer demands in all regions are on the rise. The Bangkok Post article stated that many properties were already made available for sale or for rent in 2012 and the number is expected to grow with more properties in the pipeline for big and small developers in 2013.

The Nation however has a different view and in a recent report included the Thai real estate marked as one of a number of economic bubbles that threaten the Thai economy. According to The Nation article, although Thailand real estate market may expand this year, a booming real estate create a financial bubble.

Foreign nationals dealing with the Thailand real estate sector need to exercise caution and obtain legal assistance from Thailand property lawyers. Thai- US law firm Chaninat and Leeds based in Bangkok has recently published the complete English translation of the Thailand Condominium Act. The Act is in legal language and is used by attorneys, professionals and interested consumers as well.

The text book of the Thailand Land Code in complete English translation which is available in many bookstores in Thailand is also published by Chaninat and Leeds. The Thailand Land Code covers the full text of the Act on Ministerial regulations prescribing the rules, procedures and conditions of land acquisition for residential purposes by foreigners.

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