More on alleged funds flow

13 02 2010

The Abhisit Vejjajiva government continues to push the alleged foreign funding to the red shirts into the media (see PPT’s earlier post here). Obviously, its strategists think the claim is a winner. The problem for observers such as PPT is that there is no evidence being produced. Equally odd is the government’s acting spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn’s claim that the government has been observing this for almost three months. So why announce it now and then not show a shred of evidence.

PPT doesn’t know if there are transfers as claimed, but the government is playing this card in a way that suggests it is manufacturing a politically-motivated story.

Now – after the three months the government claims to have known of alleged transfers – the government has put the Department of Special Investigation and the Anti-Money Laundering Office on the job (The Nation, 13 February 2010). It has to be said that the DSI is looking increasingly like the government’s lackey organization for politicized investigations.

The report adds the curious line that these organizations have: “been instructed to probe the flow of suspicious funds by pursuing all leads, not only those politically linked.” Even more curious, Justice Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga is cited as stating: “The probe is about enforcing the Anti-Money Laundering Act in general. This may or may not have political implications…”. But it is not really curious because the government is trying to give the impression that it “was not out to fault any particular groups.”

This is pure political spin. Listen to academic-for-hire and government spinmeister Panitan and what is heard is an attack on the red shirts, even if there is no evidence. He said “huge amounts of money had been transferred to some red shirt leaders from the Middle East” (Bangkok Post, 13 February 2010). Even Pirapan can’t keep up the charade, for he adds that there will be investigations of mushrooming of pyramid schemes, on suspicion these illegal funds have been channelled to finance street protests…”. And who are the street protestors? Certainly they aren’t investigating the Democrat Party allies in the yellow-shirted PAD.

In addition, one of PPT’s favorite spin doctors is the Democrat Party spokesman Buranaj Smutharaks. Buranaj has long shown himself to be an enemy of human rights, free speech and several other important freedoms. He said “authorities were investigating three schemes designed to channel funds to the red shirts.” Didn’t the justice minister say they’re not “not out to fault any particular groups? Mark that down as a lie from justice minister no less.

Buranaj claims “couriers were hired to smuggle cash from border areas into the country. The suspicious funds came from casinos located nearby.” He also claims that “a group of import-export companies are suspected to have doctored their records to help move funds into the Kingdom.” Finally, he refers to “funds being moved via international wire transfer to local accounts of individuals or companies, with the records fixed to elude detection. Five businessmen are involved.” No evidence, just inflammatory accusations. Why? Buranaj also has a track record of wanting crackdowns on red shirts.



3 responses

13 02 2010
Update: More on the alleged “Red/UDD” funds flow « GJBKK Blog

[…] Political Prisoners Thailand reports that the democrats continues to push the alleged foreign funding to the red shirts into the media. […]

14 02 2010
Double standards again « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Party of funds allegedly being transferred to the opposition red shirts from abroad (see here and here). The prime minister, deputy prime minister, justice minister and a gaggle of spin doctors and […]

18 02 2010
Red shirts, Bangkok Bank and lies « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] the red shirts.” Another lie. PPT has posted on Panitan’s own comments previously, here and here. Panitan would not reveal “which agency had detected these questionable funds.” Earlier he had […]

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