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Ex-TAT chief to be charged with bribery

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Ex-TAT chief to be charged with bribery | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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Ex-TAT chief to be charged with bribery
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has declared that it will file charges against former Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Juthamas Siriwan, who has been accused of accepting bribes from Hollywood filmmakers.

The charges will go to the Office of the Attorney-General in the next few weeks.

The process of filing charges began after December 2007 when Los Angeles film executive Gerald Green and his wife Patricia Green were arrested on charges of paying US$1.8 million (around Bt60 million at that time) in bribes to a Thai tourism official for the rights to run the annual Bangkok International Film Festival between 2002 and 2007.

Vichai Vivitasevi, a member of the NACC and also of a joint committee working with the Office of the Attorney-General, said yesterday that investigators had been working on both documentary and individual evidence for two years and 11 months.

“We have collected 2,200 pieces of documentary papers in relation to the case, most of which involved ways Juthamas allegedly deposited funds in banks in Singapore, Switzerland, Britain and the US,” Vichai said.

He added that all evidence collected was now considered as complete.

In regard to the assets used in the alleged bribes, amounting to $1.8 million, Vichai said this evidence was in the process of being brought back to Thailand in line an agreement with the United States under the United Nations Convention against Corruption of 2003.

He said the NACC had set up a fact-finding subpanel to probe whether Juthamas was unusually wealthy in a bid to ask for the confiscation of her assets. If she were found to be unexplainably rich, money could be taken over by the state.

“If she is also found guilty on criminal charges, she could face life imprisonment as the maximum punishment,” Vichai said.

He was asked whether the NACC had sped up the case to meet a March 31, 2015, deadline – after which the US would need to drop proceedings if the Thai government could not bring it to court. Vichai said he would push for the case to be taken up as quickly as possible because of the US’s firm stance on corruption.

The case is being investigated by agents from the Los Angeles Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Greens formed a business to bid for the management contract for the annual film festival.

In 2010, they were found guilty of paying bribes to the former tourism chief via bank accounts in Singapore, on the Isle of Jersey and in Britain – set up in the names of Juthamas’ daughter Jittisopa Siriwan and a friend.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 3,095 new infections, 17 deaths

Tim Newton

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The Thai public health ministry has announced 3,095 new cases of Covid-19 along with 17 new deaths from the past 24 hours of provincial totals. 877 of the new infections emerged from Thai prisons again after 3 days of reports with high numbers of cases coming out of key Bangkok prisons.

• Diners may be able to eat at Dark Red Zone restaurants if a decision is made today to ease some of the restrictions for the tightest controlled provinces. The decision will be announced today, but it will only be for 25% of tables, or perhaps one person per table, according to sources.

The CCSA yesterday discussed easing of restrictions surrounding restaurants and food outlets.

• Starting tomorrow, visitors to Phuket must either be 1) vaccinated or 2) have a covid-free certificate that is no older than 72 hours. The Phuket Governor says that the island province is still coming up with 10-20 cases per day and if people can’t produce either of the documents they will not be permitted to enter. An earlier decision to allow a 14 day quarantine as a third alternative appears to have been scrapped.

The Governor says the island is determined to reduce the numbers of cases and restrict entry.

“If not, they cannot come.”

• The world’s aviation industry, one of the hardest hit over the past 14 months, agrees that it is going to be a long recovery back to ‘normal’.

Jeffrey Goh, the CEO of Star Alliance says that the different ways that countries are gradually easing restrictions, and the unpredictable nature of the virus, as well as national regulations on vaccination ‘passports’ will make it a complicated recovery.

• The family of a man who died while infected with Covid-19 is demanding the prime minister, as well as other government officials, pay millions of baht in compensation, citing “negligence” after calls to Covid-19 hotlines went unanswered or were not of help.

35 year old Kunlasub Watthanaphon died on April 23. Kunlasub is said to have contracted the virus from a cluster in Bangkok. Many of the clusters of infections early in the recent outbreak were concentrated in nightlife districts in Bangkok including Thong Lor and Ekkamai.

• All inmates in Thai prisons will be vaccinated against Covid-19 starting next month. The announcement of the nationwide prison vaccination campaign follows this week’s outbreaks infecting nearly 3,000 inmates at 2 Bangkok prisons. There have also been outbreaks at prisons in Chiang Mai and the southern province of Narathiwat.

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Family sues Thai PM, CCSA after Covid-infected relative dies

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo from Kunlasub Wattnaphon's Facebook.

The family of a man who died while infected with Covid-19 is demanding the Thai PM, as well as other government officials, pay millions of baht in compensation, citing “negligence” after calls to Covid-19 hotlines went unanswered or were not of help.

35 year old Kunlasub Watthanaphon died on April 23. Kunlasub is said to have contracted the virus from a cluster in Bangkok. Many of the clusters of infections early in the recent outbreak were concentrated in nightlife districts in Bangkok including Thong Lor and Ekkamai.

When Kunlasub developed Covid-19 symptoms, he called the hotline numbers for those who think they make have contracted the virus. If he had received proper treatment quicker, the family says he might still be alive.

“The CCSA announced telephone helplines – 1330, 1422, 1668, 1669 and 1323 – for people who suspected they had contracted Covid-19. When my brother developed Covid-like symptoms he called these numbers. However, they were either busy or someone picked up but did not send help right away.”

Kunlasub had documented his illness on Facebook, posting updates, as well as photos and videos, up until the day of his death.

The death of the 35 year old man, who is well known in the esport, or video competition industry, sparked controversy. One person wrote on Facebook after Kunlasub’s death “My friend didn’t die because of a congenital disease. He died because he wasn’t treated in the early days.”

The case was filed at the Administrative Court today. It demands compensation of 4.53 million baht from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration as well as PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, his secretary and the prime minister’s office.

The family is also suing Thong Lor entertainment venues, where the first clusters were reported in the recent outbreak, for negligence.

“Had the CCSA imposed a strict lockdown on entertainment venues and banned travel during the Songkran holiday, the latest wave of Covid-19 with over 2,000 new infections daily would never have happened.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | 8 clusters in Bangkok, Phuket party organisers charged | May 14

Tanutam Thawan

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Foreigners may face a slight delay in receiving their Covid-19 vaccines, The BMA has now confirmed 8 clusters of Covid infection in the capital, Thai Private Hospital Association is now working to offer a variety of Covid-19 vaccine brands to Thais and Patong police have announced that the managers of the Phuket venues that hosted the Kolour entertainment event swill be charged under Thailand’s Emergency Decree provisions.

 

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