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Pattaya Daily News

15 August 2010 :: 11:08:27 am 35327

NACC Investigate Corruption Case of Former TAT Governor

Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is due to investigate bribery claims being levelled against former Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Juthamas Siriwan by a Los Angeles District Court.
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Bangkok, the 14th of August 2010: Following the sentencing of US filmmakers Gerald and Patricia Green on Thursday on conspiracy and money laundering charges, Thailand’s NACC has announced its intentions to investigate the situation and subsequent indictment of former TAT governor Juthamas Siriwan.

A Los Angeles District Court on Thursday sentenced the Greens to 6 months imprisonment followed by a further 6 months home detention over their payment of some US$1.8 million in bribes to secure the lucrative contracts to organise the Bangkok (Thai) International Film Festival between 2002-2007. The funds were paid from several shell companies owned by the Greens into the offshore accounts of Mrs. Juthamas’s daughter Miss Jittisopa Siriwan.

According to prosecutors, the Greens benefited from the illegitimate contracts to the tune of US$13.5 million over the five-year period. Despite profiting from the event, the Greens are largely attributed for raising the profile of the annual event in Bangkok, attracting the likes of Michael Douglas, Oliver Stone and Jeremy Irons to the festival.

Sentenced on Thursday, the Greens, known in Hollywood for several notable projects including production of Academy Award nominated films, will also be required to pay US$250,000 in restitution.

Mrs. Juthamas and her daughter have subsequently been indicted in Los Angeles over their participation in the case, while Thai authorities have reportedly stated that they will present a case to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) following findings by the United States District Court.

Thailand’s main anti-graft agency the NACC stated that investigations into Mrs. Juthamas are currently underway, while they have requested that she present herself to the agency to defend herself. The NACC has no authority to order her to appear or apprehend either Mrs Juthamas or her daughter. Despite several attempts to contact the pair, they have as yet not presented themselves to the NACC and their whereabouts are unknown to Thai authorities.

NACC spokesperson Klanarong Chantik explained to the Thai News Agency (TNA) that Commissioner Methee Krongkaew had been present in Los Angeles for the recent sentencing of the Greens. A report is expected to be compiled upon his return to Thailand.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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