If you have you heard about Viktor Bout who was the the Russian arms dealer caught in Thailand and who was consequently extradited back to the US? How about the Australian author, Harry Nicholas who was charged with and eventually pardoned from Lese Majeste? There have been a number of men and women in Thailand who wittingly and unwittingly involved themselves in drug smuggling by acting as drug mules?

At times we tend to forget that although Thailand is a developing country it also has comprehensive laws which are there to seek protection for everyone who land to her shores. As foreign visitors you much like everyone else will be expected to abide by Thai laws and regulations. It’s  a given fact that there are also language as well as cultural obstacles to our fully understanding Thai laws and customs. Thai law punishes wrongful acts and uphold the right ones. Perhaps, we can start with such a premise.

Below are some of the things that you should keep in mind when visiting or staying in the Land of Smiles.

1. Passport and Thai Visa – Also ensure that you have a genuine passport when visiting Thailand  as those who are caught possessing a counterfeit passport face criminal prosecution. Always carry your passport with you or always have a copy with you, photopage and visa page, so that you have something to show to the police in the event that you are stopped and they will you for your passport. At the same time, if you are working in Thailand you should be holding a work permit. Punishments for Thai immigration-related violations results in either paying a fine, imprisonment and deportation.

2. Illegal Drugs – Never and we mean never bring prohibited drugs into Thailand as severe penalties wait you if you are caught smuggling or using illegal drugs in the Kingdom. You can either end up in prison for the rest of your life and be permanently blacklisted from the country.

3. Prostitution – It’s illegal in Thailand at least under the law even though it might not appear to be. If you look around you do see a mushrooming number of clubs among the tourist hot spots in the country.

4. Lese Majeste –  Always show respect to the beloved King and the members of the Royal Family by not criticizing them or vandalizing their effigies and standing up and show respect when the monarchy song is played. Otherwise, you will be charged with lese majeste.

5. Be sane – It is always safe to be rational at all times especially when you are in another country.  When you are not in the right frame of mind, you would most likely commit irrational acts leading to punishment and regrets later on. You also risk yourself being a victim of some unscrupulous individuals who want to take advantage of your poor mental state.

If you happen to get in trouble with Thai authorities in the kingdom, contact your embassy for advice and assistance. You can also contact a registered Thai law firm for immediate assistance.

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