Thai government in crisis after corruption accusation

BANGKOK (AFP): Thailand’s government was rocked by scandal today after an investigation found Interior Minister Sanan Kachornprasart guilty of filing a false statement of his assets. The National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) ruled that Sanan had submitted a false declaration outlining a 45-million-baht (1.2-million-dollar) loan which he said he had obtained from a trading company. The NCCC says that no such loan was ever made. The NCCC’s findings raise heightened suspicions about the already-tainted interior minister’s personal income. If Thailand’s Constitutional Court upholds the ruling early next month, Sanan must be sacked under a new anti-corruption constitution. That would deprive the Democrat-led government of its political kingmaker before elections later this year and tarnish the reputation of Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai’s administration. “Today the NCCC has ruled by consensus that Sanan intended to file false evidence to the NCCC over three contracts of a loan agreement,” comissioner Kirkiat Pipatseritham told reporters. “If the court supports the NCCC, he would be dismissed and banned from any political posts for five years,” Kirkkiat added. Thai ministers, public officials and their families are required to make detailed statements of their income and assets when they take office.

Phuket News
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