Authorities early this month raided and inspected 17 tourism-related operators in Phuket and Phang Nga on suspicion they were acting as nominees for foreigners. The firms are associated with Tranlee Travel Co. Such companies operate tourism-related businesses such as hotels, tour buses, ferries, restaurants and souvenir shops. (See story here.)
Authorities are investigating whether shareholders and directors of the subsidiaries were involved or aware of their nominee status. If so, the department will revoke their business registration. (See story here.)
Business Development Department (DBD) Director-General Pongpun Gearaviriyapun said that following inspections of 635,000 juristic persons registered with the department, 22,992 of them were found questionable, deserving special care in doing business with or contacting them.
Ms Pongpun said of the total 22,992 questionable firms, 7,293 were found to have no headquarters as registered, 4,054 failed to submit annual financial statements as required, and 11,293 have not answered queries concerning their financial statements.
Others include juristic persons with names that resemble large or famous companies to mislead the public, firms that had their business registration revoked, and companies associated with Tranlee Travel Co, suspected of being an illegal nominee tour firm for foreign interests.
Ms Pongpun warned people to also pay special attention to companies that exaggerate their registered capital. The department has been investigating firms that reported registered capital of more than B5 million to see whether such capital is paid, she said.
Ms Pongpun said the department has written remarks at the end of the certifications for all juristic persons that the public or other businesses can examine through the department’s “e-Service” application by keying in the names of juristic persons.
The remarks mean the department has determined those companies require special care, she added.
The number of companies named on the blacklist has grown by more than 4,000 in the past two months. As of May 19, the blacklist named 18,756 companies. (See story here.)
The DBD e-Service app is in Thai language only, but allows searches in English and Thai. The app is available for download for Apple and Android devices free from the DBD website, www.dbd.go.th, as well as iTunes and Google Play.
Nimit Khangkajit, Director of Phuket DBD office, told The Phuket News that his office does not have any information of how many companies in Phuket, or which companies operating in Phuket, are on the blacklist.
“The DBD in Bangkok has all the information on this. Our office has not received any information regarding the list of companies in Phuket that have been to the blacklist, or even deregistered,” he said.
“To search for such information on companies registered by DBD, you can use the e-Services app or register to search DBD database via the DBD website. Both offer the same information about companies, but please note that to search you must type the company’s name in Thai language – and please get the spelling right, or you may not find the company you are looking for,” Mr Nimit said.
Regarding Tranlee Co Ltd, a search by The Phuket News through the DBD e-Services app revealed the following information:
Registered: Nov 27 2544 (2001)
Registered Capital 16,000,000
Address: 29/42 Moo 1, T. Rassada, A. Muang Phuket
Biz Category: 79120 ธุรกิจจัดนำเที่ยว
นางสาวไรวรรณ แสงศรี (Raiwan Saengsri)
นายกฤชกร รุ่งมงคลนาม (Krisakorn Rungmongkolnam)
ข้อดควรทราบ (Points to know)
1.The Phuket Company Shares Registration Office mandate number 13/2559 revoked registration, effective July 7, 2016.
2. Office of Tourism Guide Business Registration, Southern Region, Zone 2 mandate number 44/2559 on June 28, 2016 revoked tourism business permit.
3. This company is under investigation for using documents and evidence arising from party(ies) who were not Thai nationals using Thai national ID cards. Advise caution in dealings.
4. Withhold* ระงับ any paperwork issuances, guarantees, approvals with this company. If it is your intention to obtain a guarantee with this company, must receive approval from regional of the business and commercial group director first.
5. The registrar has notified investigators to consider pressing charges for giving false information to officers.
Good guys get stars
However, for juristic persons that run businesses with honesty, accountability and good corporate governance, the DBD offers accolades, putting remarks at the end of certifications for juristic persons.
She said the department is also committed to teaming up with anti-corruption organisations to choose companies with policies against corruption and kickbacks. For them, the department will add positive remarks at the end of their certificates.
According to the BDD, new business registrations totalled 31,792 in the first six months of 2016, up one per cent over the same period last year. They had a combined registered capital of B127 billion, a rise of 35% year-on-year.
The new registrations were mostly in construction, machinery sales and food/restaurants.
Additional reporting by Supatra Sutham
Read original story here.