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AOT to file scanners complaint

BackJan 12, 2007

Thaksin named as culprit in overpricing

Gen. Saprang Kalayanamitr
Saprang: Action taken in line with directive

The board of Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) is filing a corruption complaint as a damaged party against individuals, including ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and a former transport minister, over the allegedly inflated price of the CTX baggage scanners. It has filed the complaint with the Assets Scrutiny Committee (ASC), which established there are grounds to the allegation, in a fact-finding process.

The AoT will now proceed to file a complaint to formally begin the inquiry stage of the investigation before the case is forwarded to court.

AoT chairman Gen Saprang Kalayanamitr, also deputy secretary-general of the Council for National Security, said the AoT is taking action in line with a directive from Transport Minister Theera Haocharoen.

The board ordered AoT president Chotisak Asapaviriya to immediately prepare written complaints.

Last month, the ASC found Mr Thaksin, former transport minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit and 20 other people to be responsible for the overpriced purchase of a conveyor belt system and its 26 computed tomography X-ray (CTX) machines now operating at Suvarnabhumi airport.

The findings from an ASC fact-finding probe were reported to Adm Theera earlier. It was concluded that the AoT is the immediate damaged party in a position to file a complaint.

The CTX machines alone were quoted at 1.5 billion baht and they must operate as part of the conveyor belt system. The overall system plus the scanners cost 4.3 billion baht. Investigation found the figure was inflated by 1.5 billion baht.

The inquiry resulting from the complaint is expected to be time-consuming given the number of witnesses to be examined.

The National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) yesterday formed a sub-committee to investigate complaints against Yaowapa Wongsawat, younger sister of Mr Thaksin, accused of being unusually rich, making false declarations and concealing her assets and liabilities.

The sub-panel, headed by economist and NCCC member Methee Krongkaew, will examine her assets.

Mrs Yaowapa, wife of former justice permanent-secretary Somchai Wongsawat, reported her assets to the NCCC when she was a list MP of the former ruling Thai Rak Thai party.

The report of her assets was not published as publication was compulsory only for cabinet members. It was unclear what her net worth is.

Her assets are to be examined by the NCCC, appointed by coup-maker Council for National Security.

Earlier, the Democrat party accused Mrs Yaowapa of concealing ownership of her real estate firm Sangsin Property from the NCCC.

The firm, which owns the Beverly Hills Housing Estate, allegedly belonged to Shinnisha Wongsawat, 26, a daughter of Mrs Yaowapa.

The former opposition party also investigated the trading of shares in seven companies by the Wongsawat family, in the stock market and outside it. One of them _ Portal Net Co _ won a bid to lease software to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) under questionable circumstances.

Meanwhile, the Financial Institutions Development Fund (FIDF) will hold a special meeting on Monday to look into an order by the Finance Ministry to file a complaint as damaged party against Mr Thaksin, over the controversial Ratchadapisek land purchase involving his wife, Khunying Potjaman, said Pairoj Hengsakul, the assistant central bank governor.


Source: Bangkok Post
Friday January 12, 2007