THE KINGDOM of Thailand has a long history of strong centralized rule and complicity with authoritarian figures which has increased the likelihood of corruption. Many people consider corruption to be not just pervasive but endemic throughout the entire Thai system.

In the summer of 2003, the prime minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra, following campaigns against drug trafficking and intellectual-property piracy, launched a campaign designed to eradicate “Dark Influence” throughout the country. Regional officials were instructed to draw up lists of suspected figures who would then be investigated and, if found guilty, dealt with harshly. Attention has been focused on unlicensed bus companies and motor cycle taxis, both of which are important sectors in Bangkok in particular, and both of which have reported paying bribes to the ...

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