Supoj’s corruption

19 10 2018

It wasn’t that long ago that PPT mentioned the “missing” case of Supoj Saplom. Then we said:

Everyone know the Ministry of Transport is a cash cow for officials and their ministerial bosses. It has been that way for a very long time. Add on transport infrastructure and the whole area is awash with cash and corruption.

Who can forget the case of Supoj Saplom that came to light in late 2011. As floods bore down on Bangkok, Supoj worried that all of his ill-gotten gains might get water-logged, so he had all of his cash moved to an upper-level room in his house. When a gang of tipped-off burglars found the loot, there was so much cash they claimed they couldn’t carry it all away. One of the blue-collar crooks claimed the gang found 700 million to 1 billion baht in cash stuffed into bags.moneybags 1

The story of the white-collar crook’s loot was a sensation for a while and then faded. He was alleged to have accumulated the money as permanent secretary at the Ministry of Transport and chairman of the State Railways of Thailand. Earlier he was Director of the lucrative Highways Department.

The burglars were all jailed. Supoj was convicted of something and jailed for 10 months, but presumably was bailed awaiting an appeal. We can’t find anything else in the media records post-2017.

Now we learn that Supoj has been “found unusually rich …[and] has been sent to prison for 10 months for filing false asset declarations, after losing his appeal.” So our guess was right.

Supoj Saplom went off to the “Bangkok Remand Prison on Thursday after a judicial appeal panel of the Supreme Court for politicians and state officials upheld an earlier court ruling.”

The court managed to mangle things, just deciding that “as a high-ranking official, Supoj had not set an example for others when he failed to declare assets worth over 20 million baht.” That figure sounds remarkably low.

The 20 million sounds odd in the context of a civil court seizing more than 65 million from him. Even that seems low for a person in his position.

None of the unusually wealthy in the junta’s puppet National Legislative Assembly have ever been investigated.


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