Thailand jails former officials for graft | Inquirer News

Thailand jails former officials for graft

/ 08:37 PM September 10, 2013

In this undated photo, Thai former Deputy Interior Minister Pracha Maleenont walks with aides in Bangkok, Thailand. The Thai Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for politicians on Tuesday found Pracha guilty and sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment for wrongdoing in a contract to buy fire trucks and boats for the Thai capital in 2004. Pracha did not appear in the court and his whereabouts were unknown. AP

BANGKOK – Thailand’s Supreme Court on Tuesday handed long jail sentences to two former top officials over a corruption scandal involving a mega purchase of fire trucks and boats.

Former deputy interior minister Pracha Maleenond was jailed for 12 years while ex-Bangkok fire department chief Atirak Tanchookiet was sentenced to 10 years in prison.


The two were convicted of abuse of power and price collision over the 2004 deal to buy 315 fire trucks and 30 fireboats from Austrian company Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug for nearly 6.7 billion baht ($208 million).


Arrest warrants were issued after they failed to attend court for the hearing.

The Supreme Court judges found that the contract for the purchase price for the equipment had been inflated by nearly 50 percent.

“The purchase was not reasonable and caused damage to the country,” the court ruling said.

Three other suspects, including two former government ministers and a one-time Bangkok governor, were acquitted due to lack of evidence.

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TAGS: corruption, News, Prison, Thailand, world

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