Donation corruption and double standards

6 04 2018

We missed this story a couple of days ago and it deserves wide circulation.

The Bangkok Post reports that the “Department of Special Investigation (DSI) says it did not bring charges against Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda, who received a cheque worth 250,000 baht from the owner of a real-estate company implicated in a loan scandal…”. It is also “claimed that another cheque with an undisclosed value was deposited in a bank account belonging to ACM Prajun Tamprateep, a close associate of Gen Prem.”

This story goes back 14 years and is big news because another alleged recipient is Panthongtae Shinawatra. His case has gone to court. Prem’s case hasn’t. Neither has Phajun’s. Why is that?

According to DSI boss Paisit Wongmuang his agency “did not bring charges against all the cheque recipients…”. No further explanation as to why some are prosecuted and not others.

The Post cites a “DSI source” who said the “250,000-baht cheque was merely put into the General Prem Tinsulanonda Statesman Foundation and the money was not used for Gen Prem’s own purposes.” The source added: “The intention is clear that this was a charity donation…”.

The payment to “ACM Prajun’s bank account” was “explained” that “the sum was used to organise a banquet for those attending a course at the Thailand National Defence College…”.

In terms of law and corruption, it makes no difference what the money was used for. If some get off, all should. If some are charged, all should be.

This is one more example of double standards under the military dictatorship.

Following some trails and not others

30 09 2017

The media seems flooded with Yingluck Shinawatra stories. Dozens of them. And most of them are about the “hunt for Yingluck.”

We understand that the anti-democrats, including the Democrat Party, are beside themselves with rage about Yingluck’s disappearance, but we can’t help feeling that the attention is over the top. We wonder if the news blitz isn’t part of a junta plan to reduce the attention to its role in her departure. After all, the DNA swabs and “scientific” policing seems pretty much like a performance rather than an investigation. And what will the “investigation” show? She’s gone. Maybe some scapegoats facing minor charges? It hardly matters except as a performance for the anti-democrats.

While following trails, the Krungthai Bank (KTB) and Krisda Mahanakorn (KMN) real-estate company loan scandal has produced some interesting social media.

The Bangkok Post reports that:

… photos circulated online purportedly showing a cheque worth 100,000 baht signed by Wichai Krisdathanont, a former executive of KMN, on Dec 26, 2003. Also featured was a purported deposit slip showing that the cheque had been deposited into the bank account of Adm Pachun Tamprateep, an aide to Privy Council President Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, five days later.

Another photo shows part of a 250,000 baht cheque written out for a general whose name started with the letter “P”. It was supposedly signed on Sept 20, 2003 also by Wichai. According to the online post on social media, the money was then ordered to be wired to the bank account of the General Prem Tinsulanonda Historical Park Foundation.

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is hot on the trail. Well maybe not. It “has set up a panel to look into petitions urging the agency to probe individuals suspected of receiving embezzled money…”.

Its director-general Paisit Wongmuang said “the panel, formed by him, will look into all petitions and determine whether there were new issues that needed to be investigated.”

At present, the only targets seems to be Shinawatra-related cases, including Panthongtae Shinawatra.

We can’t wait to see how DSI fudges any notion that higher-ups might have pocketed millions more than Panthongtae is accused of receiving.

Interestingly, it seems that the photos have been leaked from DSI’s own investigators. It seems someone reckoned there was a cover-up going on.

Police, Prawit, Phajun and Prem

29 02 2016

An interesting report appears in today’s Bangkok Post, and many will be able to speculate rather broadly on the implications.

PPT has a couple of posts that mention Admiral or Vice Admiral Phajun Tamprateep (search by family name). In all of them he is reported to be a close aide to General Prem Tinsulanonda, President of the Privy Council, for over three decades. Phajun has been mentioned in posts about the 2006 coup and when he joined the rightist Pitak Siam.

These things make the report in the Post very interesting indeed, especially when there have been rumors of splits, make-ups and more splits between Prem and the junta (or members of it).

The report states that Phajun is chairman of the NLA’s sub-committee on police reforms, and sent some messages to various people regarding claims that police were paying for promotional positions (which has been normal practice in the police for decades). The allegation, though, suggested “an army general … [was] involved in position-buying in the police force.”

Remarkably, the police have taken (or perhaps threatened) legal action against Phajun. Indeed, police have “issued a summons … requiring Adm Phajun to report to the Cyber Crime Division, under the Central Investigation Bureau, on March 10 to acknowledge a charge of violating the Computer Crime Act.”

Even more remarkable is that Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan “backed” this police action. Prawit said “police were right to take legal action against … Phajun … because the message undermined the police.”

It also undermined Prawit because he reckons he’s in charge of the process and “insisted there had been no position-buying as long as he had been in charge and those who claimed they could secure police posts in that way were lying to get money.”

Presumably it undermined the Army also.

Presumably Prawit’s response undermines Phajun and Prem too.

These are interesting times.

The Prem connection

19 11 2012

The Bangkok Post confirms that Admiral Phajun Tamprateep, a former chief of the office of the chairman of the Privy Council and statesman General Prem Tinsulanonda for 31 years, joined the first Pitak Siam rally.

Why? “He said on Monday that he did so out of his love for Thailand and the monarchy.”

Phajun, who was effectively a spokesman for Prem,  has previously been mentioned in relation to actions by the Constitutional Court against the Puea Thai government.

He also plans to rally with Pitak Siam on 24 November.

As PPT has been pointing out, and is clear to all, this is the old gang reassembled to destabilize and bring down yet another elected government.

Prem and the 2006 coup allegations

24 03 2009

General Prem Tinsulanond, former unelected prime minister from 1980 to 1988 and now president of the Privy Council, has been implicated in the planning of the 2006 coup. There have been reports regarding this and they are appended below. Prem has denied his involvement.

In the Bangkok Post (24 March 2009: “Prem ignores Thaksin’s claims”), it is reported that, Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda has issued no instructions in response to Thaksin Shinawatra’s claim that two privy councillors were behind the 2006 military coup that toppled his government, a spokesman for the general said on Tuesday [Chris Baker has posted a translation of Thaksin’s main points at New Mandala]. Gen Prem’s personal secretary, Vice-Admiral Phajun Tamprateep, also said the two accused privy councillors — Gen Surayud Chulanont and Charnchai Likhitjitta — have not met Gen Prem to discuss the matter.”

Further, “Vice-Admiral Phajun said the Privy Council president was not worried by the accusation, nor was he angered by it. Gen Prem had not asked security agencies to closely monitor Thursday’s planned rally by the red-shirts, when Thaksin is expected to make another phone-in, he added.”

On Prem’s involvement in Thaksin’s ousting, it is noticeable that following the king’s declaration on the April 2006 election, the center of the opposition to Thaksin and the Thai Rak Thai government moved from PAD to Prem. Prem made a series of speeches criticising the government and Thaksin both before and after the coup (see the report at Thai Parliament and  New Mandala for a snippet that is also posted at General Prem’s website, but without links; in fact, Prem’s news site includes a range of similar reports, many of which seem to have gone from the Bangkok Post website). Prem was implicated in discussions with senior judges. His most explicit attack on the government was his 1 September 2006 speech to 950 cadets at the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy where he said the soldiers belonged to the king, not a government. He was supported by military leaders and Privy Councilor and former army commander General Surayud Chulanont (read the speech here).

In late June 2006, Thaksin had made statements alleging that a “charismatic person” was working to bring his government down. Many assumed that this figure was General Prem or the king himself (The Nation, 4 July 2006; International Herald Tribune, 7 July 2006).

At about this time, the first public reports of a possible coup emerged as General Prem apparently held discussions with military figures and palace advisers (Straits Times, 8 July 2006). Soon after Prem visited the military units and demanded that officers be loyal to the king, powerful serving officers began a public campaign against Thaksin ( The Nation, 3 January 2007).

Much of the current lesé majesté controversy can be traced back to the events of the coup, the PAD’s use of royal symbols and the military junta’s expressions of royalism (including the use of yellow ribbons on weapons and tanks during the coup).

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