Extortion Blackmail and Robbery

Below you will see an explanation on the definition of extortion blackmail and robbery in Thailand. This as well as blackmail and gang robbery. The definitions are different as well as the prison sentences for these. If you need assistance then see your legal rights when arrested in Thailand as well as the legal process that criminal law takes in Thailand. Speak to our criminal lawyer for more information and see our 24 hour number as well as LINE contact details for immediate assistance day or night.

Extortion Blackmail and Robbery



Section 337

Likewise this outlines the offense of extortion. This, whereby a person compels another to provide property through violence or threats, punishable by imprisonment not exceeding five years and a fine not exceeding ten thousand Baht. Aggravated circumstances, such as threats of death or armed coercion, incur imprisonment of six months to seven years and a fine of one thousand to fourteen thousand Baht.

There are two issues and these are highlighted in the following two cases I have highlighted.

Example One (Extortion or Duty)

In the first scenario, the defendant asserts that they honestly believed the victim had stolen a sticker from the department store for which they were responsible. Consequently, the defendant demanded the victim pay a fine of 30 baht to the department store. Likewise, threatening police involvement if the payment was refused. The defense contends that this action is not intimidation or extortion. This as the defendant was fulfilling their duty to manage the department store’s affairs. Likewise acted out of a sense of duty and preference.

Moreover, the defense argues that the defendant’s actions align with legal rights to prosecute criminal victims of theft. They stated that demanding the payment of a fine. This was akin to seeking compensation for damages in exchange for resolving the matter. Therefore, the defense concludes that the defendant cannot be found guilty of extortion. Supreme Court Judgment No. 2688/2530

Example Two (Robbery or Extortion)

In this the second case, the second defendant collaborated with others to threaten the victim, demanding 6,000 baht. This under the pretense that someone had filed a complaint with the police alleging the victim’s status as a homeless monk. The money was purportedly intended to silence the complainant. Despite the victim’s protestation of lacking funds. The second defendant, displaying dissatisfaction and feigning injury, insisted on taking whatever amount was available. Intimidated, the victim complied by offering 2,000 baht placed in an envelope on the table. 

Initially, the plaintiff sought to prosecute the defendant for robbery under Sections 340 and 340 of the Criminal Code. However, upon careful examination, it was evident that the defendant’s actions aligned more closely with the offense of extortion. This as defined in Section 337 of the Criminal Code. This distinction in the nature of the offense necessitates a different legal approach. Supreme Court Judgment No. 3221/2522



Section 338

Likewise this addresses blackmail. This where a person compels property by threatening to disclose secrets or cause injury. Likewise this is punishable by imprisonment of one to ten years and a fine of two thousand to twenty thousand Baht. Read further for more examples on extortion blackmail and robbery in Thailand and its definition by examples. 

In this specific case I will show an example of blackmail in Thailand. Firstly the defendant’s actions involved threatening the victim, a monk. This with the false accusation of engaging in sexual activity with a woman.

Robbery or Blackmail

Although this allegation was untrue. The defendant used it as leverage to coerce the victim into compliance. While the plaintiff initially pursued charges under Section 338 of the Criminal Code, which pertains to extortion. This based on the disclosure of secrets, upon review. It became apparent that the defendant’s conduct more closely aligns with the offense of extortion as defined in Section 337 of the Criminal Code. Supreme Court Judgment No. 10843/2553

“Sextortion” This is a good example for common issues today which has made the courts.

In both scenarios described, the perpetrators engaged in acts of extortion. This by leveraging sensitive and private information to coerce their victims into complying with their demands. In the case of the ex-boyfriend, the threat to release private photos of the couple online unless monetary compensation is provided constitutes extortion.

Similarly, in the second scenario involving the young girl,. The individual who recorded the sexual activity without consent and then threatened to publicly release the clip unless new material is provided or the victim meets their demands is also engaging in extortion. By threatening to expose the private video. The perpetrator seeks to manipulate the victim into providing additional content or meeting in person against their will.
So lets look at the case: Supreme Court Judgment No. 1188/2018.

– Prosecution:

In this scenario, the defendant sent obscene images and videos to the plaintiff’s daughter through a computer system. This with both the defendant and the plaintiff’s daughter having the necessary access code to view the content. Importantly, the content was not accessible to the general public without the code. As a result, the defendant argues that their actions do not constitute an offense under the Computer Crime Act 2007, Section 14 (4). Lastly you must remember that this is a fight between a divorced couple and that they are not strangers.

Section 14 (4) of the Computer Crime Act 2007 prohibits the distribution of obscene materials through a computer system. However, the defendant contends that because the content was only accessible to the plaintiff’s daughter, who had the code, and not to the general public, it does not meet the criteria outlined in the statute.

– Defense:

The argument hinges on the interpretation of the law’s language and its application to the specific circumstances of this case. They assert that since the content was not disseminated to the public at large and was instead limited to a private exchange between the defendant and the plaintiff’s daughter, it falls outside the scope of the offense as defined by the statute.

– The Charge

The plaintiff has invoked multiple sections of the Criminal Code and the Computer Crimes Act. Likewise, seeking punishment for the defendant’s actions. Specifically, the plaintiff is pursuing charges under Sections 309 ( pertain to offenses related to defamation), 326, and 338 (this section addresses extortion) of the Criminal Code, as well as Sections 80, 90, and 91 ( various offenses related to computer systems and data) of the Computer Crimes Act, B.E. 2007, Section 14.

Additionally, the plaintiff seeks the seizure and destruction of the defendant’s computer and video files containing the defamatory statements.

– The Court

Following examination, the Court of First Instance has determined that the complaint supports charges under specific provisions of the Criminal Code and the Computer Crime Act, B.E. 2007. The charges that have been deemed viable are under Sections 309 and 338 of the Criminal Code, in conjunction with Section 80 of the Computer Crime Act, B.E. 2007, and Section 14 of the same act.

In this case, the defendant’s actions constitute a single offense that violates multiple laws, including attempted extortion under Section 90 of the Criminal Code. This offense carries a maximum punishment of 2 years imprisonment. However, considering the usefulness of the defendant’s evidence for the case, the court has decided to reduce the sentence by one-third, as permitted under Section 78 of the Criminal Code. This went on appeal and then to the Supreme Court. What he was found guilty of was the charge of extortion. The Computer Crimes Act fell by the wayside due to technicalities. The sentence was reduced from 1 year and 3 months to 8 months. The definitions of extortion blackmail and robbery I have further explained below. 



Section 339 defines robbery as theft committed using violence or threats to facilitate the act, obtain delivery, seize property, or conceal the offense, punishable by imprisonment of five to ten years and a fine of ten thousand to twenty thousand Baht. Aggravated circumstances, such as causing bodily or mental harm, grievous bodily harm, or death, incur varying degrees of imprisonment and fines.

– Attempted Robbery

We will look at the charge of attempted robbery in Thailand and the sentence for this crime. In this case, the defendant engaged in threatening behavior towards the victim, using a sharp knife to hold her neck while demanding property. Despite initially threatening violence, the defendant eventually hugged the victim and searched for valuable items, specifically a necklace and ring.

Upon realizing that the items were not as valuable as expected, the defendant abandoned his attempt and fled. In that case, the Court of Appeal sentenced the defendant to 6 years and 8 months in prison for attempted robbery and an additional 4 months for indecency, resulting in a total sentence of 7 years and 2 months in prison. Supreme Court Judgment No. 1032/2529.

– Impairment of Freedom not Robbery

In this case, the defendant in the matter approached the victim’s house and employed threats, including brandishing a grenade, to instill fear in the victim before taking their belongings from the premises. This conduct constitutes coercion through intimidation, as the victim was compelled to submit to the defendant’s demands due to the perceived danger to their life, body, or property.

While the victim initially sued for punishment under the charge of robbery, which typically involves theft through force or intimidation, upon review, it was determined that the defendant had no intention of stealing. Instead, the defendant’s actions were primarily aimed at causing impairment of the victim’s freedom through fear-inducing tactics.

As such, the offense committed by the defendant aligns more closely with the provisions of Section 309 of the Criminal Code, which addresses coercion through threats or intimidation resulting in impairment of freedom. Supreme Court Judgment No. 1280/2513.

– Robbery

The defendant initially completed the act of theft and attempted to flee the scene. However, the woman responsible for the property pursued and apprehended the defendant. In an effort to escape arrest, the defendant resorted to violence by using a knife to stab the woman. The sequence of events suggests that the act of stabbing the woman occurred as part of a continuous course of action stemming from the initial crime of theft. Supreme Court Judgment No. 2674/2532

Section 339

bis extends the penalties for robbery committed under specific circumstances, such as against certain types of property, with corresponding imprisonment and fines.

Section 340

This pertains to gang-robbery, where three or more persons participate in robbery. This is punishable by imprisonment of ten to fifteen years and a fine of twenty thousand to thirty thousand Baht. Aggravated circumstances, such as carrying arms, cause heightened penalties.

To highlight the matter that Section 340 is not always possible and cannot be used. The instance where someone has been found guilty and there is a death sentence. This cannot be halved or become a heavier sentence. The death penalty is the highest sentence you can get. So in those instances the Section is irrelevant.
Section 340 bis extends the penalties for gang-robbery under specific circumstances, with corresponding imprisonment and fines.

Section 340

ter imposes heavier penalties for offenses under Sections 339, 339 bis, 340, or 340 bis when committed while impersonating law enforcement or using firearms, explosives, or conveyances to facilitate the offense.


Crime in Thailand

One of the most common crimes that expats get arrested for in Thailand tends to be assault charges. These are also very common amongst tourists who come to Thailand. You will note that the crime in Thailand is not high. Having said that however, once in a while there will be murder charges that make the news headlines. Also take legal advice from a Thai lawyer when arrested. Last but not least there is also the marriage visa Thailand on here as well which has been explained.