BANGKOK – Thailands National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) said that Thailand’s anti-graft law now punish any private company for bribing government officials, in the hopes of preserving the integrity of government procurement.
Speaking on the television program ‘Thailand Moves Forward,’ NACC Chairman Police General Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit said the law was introduced last year in order to comply with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and to receive cooperation from the private sector.
Since the law went into effect, a number of investigations have been opened against private corporations suspected of bribing public officials to secure government contracts. The NACC Chairman argued that law-abiding companies will benefit from eliminating bribes, which add to the cost of doing business.
Police General Watcharapol also cited the need for Thailand to improve its legal system, which he contends is outdated and time consuming.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s Criminal Court on Thursday sentenced former deputy finance minister Benja Louischaroen and three revenue officials to three years in jail for helping children of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra evade a 16-billion-baht tax bill on the 2006 Shin Corp share sale.
The court found guilty four former and incumbent Revenue Department officials — Mrs Benja, a former deputy director-general of the department who was deputy finance minister in the Yingluck Shinawatra government; Chamras Yamsoithong and Moreerat Boonyasiri, former legal affairs directors; and Krit Vipulanusat, the incumbent legal affairs director.
The court also sentenced Pranee Vejpruekpitak, former secretary to Thaksin’s ex-wife Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra, to two years in jail without suspension for aiding and abetting malfeasance under Section 157 of the Criminal Code.
The court released them all on bail for a surety of 300,000 baht each pending their appeal.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission filed the lawsuit against the five people on Dec 3, 2015, accusing the four officials of helping Panthongtae and Pinthongta Shinawatra avoid paying personal income tax.
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