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Police to question Thanathorn’s brother over role in 2019 bribery case

Maya Taylor




The younger brother of politician Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has been summonsed to face police over his role in a bribery case in which 2 people were jailed last year. In November 2019, Prasit Aphaiphoncharn, from the Crown Property Bureau, and Surakit Tangwithoowanich, were both sentenced to 3 years in jail for taking bribes from Sakulthorn Juangroongruangkit and forging documents as part of a land deal. Although Sakulthorn’s named was mentioned in the court proceedings, he was never charged.

The Bangkok Post reports that the deal centred around 12 rai of land in Chidlom, one of the most exclusive districts in central Bangkok. Sakulthorn, the boss of Real Asset Development, was in talks with Prasit and Surakit, who told him they could help him skip the land-leasing process of the CPB in return for 20 million baht. The Criminal Court subsequently revealed that Sakulthorn parted with money on 3 occasions, with both men found guilty of forging documents in an effort to trick him into the payments.

“The first payment is 5 million baht, and after receiving (forged) documents, Mr Sakulthorn then paid 5 million baht and another 10 million baht to both defendants, to process the land lease and pay the money to the deputy director of the Crown Property Bureau, who is also a state official, in a bid to influence this official to make a favourable decision in granting a land lease to the Real Asset Development company, without entering the official bidding process.”

The investigation initially focused on the 2 men who accepted the bribes, before eventually gathering evidence against other involved parties, including Sakulthorn. He now faces questions over his role in a government official’s misconduct, with Nipit Intarasombat, deputy leader of the Democrat Party demanding to know why it’s taken so long to charge him.

“Mr Sakulthorn was mentioned in court as the person who provided the money. Is this going to be a repetition of the ‘Boss’ Red Bull heir case?”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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