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Product Sourcing, Fraud, and Corporate Due Diligence in Thailand
We receive a lot of inquiries from overseas wanting information on companies in Thailand allegedly exporting goods, whereby the customer overseas wants to know whether or not the company in Thailand is real or a scam, and/or has the capability they may claim online. Usually, our customer overseas plans to resell or distribute the sourced product in their market (e.g., paper products). Sometimes, it is equipment they plan to use in their operation (e.g., motors). Our work can be a part of a corporate "due diligence" investigation against potential fraud, as required by high level people or standard operating procedures in the company.
Sometimes, a company overseas asks us to help them source a product and find legitimate and capable manufacturers in Thailand. In these cases, when we find suppliers who potentially qualify, we can then check out the suppliers to make sure that they are really what they present themselves to be, by researching their documentation and assessing the suppliers by a personal visit. We can assess multiple potential suppliers.
Typically, the customer wants for us to visit the company onsite to make sure they are truly exist at the address specified, are really manufacturing or distributing the particular product, and are capable of producing the product of sufficient quality and on the scale required.
Usually the first thing we do is check available business registration records and the summary corporate Annual Reports which must be filed in the Thai government system, and research other things as well. For example, if a corporation has too little registered capital to be doing what they claim, and/or their Annual Reports show way too little income, and/or financial reports possibly don't exist in Thai government records as required, then something may be suspect. Legally, the person signing documents and agreements should be a signatory authority for the company. There are other details which should be verified.
If they are a very new company, then missing mandatory Annual Reports may be just because there hasn't been enough time, and we may rely much more on a site visit.
Most official information in Thailand is in the Thai language, so we need for our Thai research staff to do much of the work.
A common situation is that a company is offering a product at a relatively low price in the market. Scam companies often do this to lure in buyers, though of course it could also be legitimate.
We have found a lot of scam companies in Thailand. Many people have come to us after already being scammed. However, many others have come to us before placing an order asking us to check out the company.
There are professional scammers in Thailand. Some have impressive, professionally done websites with photos taken of others' factories and products which they misleadingly claim to be their own, and photoshopped graphics. They have one or more phone numbers dedicated to this fake business, as well as email and other internet presence. They may have Thai proxies, typically poor and uneducated people, who have been unwittingly (or wittingly) complicit in company and bank account setup.
There are also startups who really want to do business but misrepresent themselves online in similar ways and don't really have the capacity, quality, or experience claimed.
After all, on so many websites, including of major legitimate companies, the pictures on the website are often taken from stock art by the web design company and are not photos of actual employees or associates. It can be a grey area, too.
Our main job is to:
Most official and unofficial information in Thailand is in the Thai language. Indeed, for many things, an English language search can turn up little or nothing whereas a Thai language search turns up a tremendous amount of information, a vast and crucial difference. Our Thai research staff are accustomed to researching in the Thai language, and our expat Managing Director (from the US and who worked in Washington, D.C., for 10 years, mostly in the information technology field...) does English language research.
We also have considerable experience with manufacturers. In Thailand, our Managing Director has consulted to engineering companies setting up factories and been to multiple industrial estates and factories, usually for I.T. and computer related work on site, but sometimes to troubleshot electrical problems, as he actually has a background in engineering. Both our Managing Director and staff have personally known many business people in the manufacturing and sales fields, including owners, investors, project managers, engineers, and sales people. We are comfortable walking into a factory to assess both its operation and its people.
Our professional skills and experience are well worth using if you are taking significant risks, and better sooner than later.
We take quick small jobs, as well as major jobs. You can also do this in budgeted stages, e.g., have us do just a little bit of work at first, report that, and if things look okay and there is no show stopper, then continue into more advanced work.
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Our office is co-located with Export Quality Services Co., Ltd., aka EQ, which is the same company we previously operated under, but we split off the private investigations business to a daughter company, Lucky Lion Pride Co., Ltd., whereby EQ now focuses on language translation and some other things.