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Justice Minister Pracha Denies Bt16 Billion Was Transferred To Hong Kong


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Justice Minister Pracha denies Bt16 billion was transferred to Hong Kong

Atapoom Ongkulna,

Prapasri Osathanon,

Anapat Deechuay

The Nation

BANGKOK: -- Justice Minister Pracha Promnok yesterday dismissed reports that Thai politicians had sent Bt16 billion to Hong Kong, saying anti-money laundering agencies from other countries, including Hong Kong, had denied the report.

He said after the reports emerged, Anti-Money Laundering Commission secretary-general Pol Colonel Sihanart Prayoonrat had met anti-money laundering agencies overseas, including Hong Kong.

"These reports were only released to discredit the government. Those who released these reports should think about the country, and not only seek political gain. They should have evidence before releasing information that can damage the country,'' he said.

Pracha said he had told the Justice permanent secretary to look into his deputy Pol Colonel Dussadee Arayawuthi's report to Parliament about the money transfer.

"The permanent secretary is investigating the report and has called on all concerned officials to provide statements. We will know the result of his findings soon," Pracha said.

Dussadee, meanwhile, said he had written to Justice permanent secretary Kittipong Kittayarak explaining that he had nothing to clarify because he had not told the Parliament about this issue. He explained that though the Anti-Corruption Network had filed a complaint about the matter while he was secretary-general Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), he did not have any details on the subject. But he would be happy to lead a fact-finding panel to investigate the issue.

While he had been asked to attend a Sept 6-8 meeting that included Hong Kong anti-money laundering officials, he could not go because he had been dismissed as PACC secretary-general.

Separately, Democrat party-list MP Ongart Klampaiboon insisted he did not lie about Bt16 billion being moved to Hong Kong as he had received the information from the Anti-Corruption Network and had called on the prime minister for verification.

Meanwhile, Phetchaburi Senator Sumol Sutawiriyawat, deputy chairman of the House committee on Education, Corruption Investigation and Good Governance, said her panel had summoned the Anti-Corruption Network to provide further details on Thursday and would seek relevant data from the Hong Kong Independent Commission against Corruption. If the ICAC denies the transfer, the probe would be dropped.

She said her committee had chosen to investigate the issue after receiving a complaint from the Anti-Corruption Network saying Bt16 billion had been moved to Hong Kong and had been frozen last week because nobody had come to claim it. The network alleges this money was siphoned from state funds earmarked for last year's flood victims.

Sumol said the network had asked the Hong Kong anti-money laundering agency for information, but was turned down on grounds that the network is not a state agency. In reaction to Pracha's announcement, she said that perhaps the minister does not know about the issue yet because the information acquired by the Anti-Corruption Network was still confidential.

Meanwhile, Anti-Corruption Network secretary-general Mongkolkit Suksintaranont insisted that Dussadee knew about Thai politicians' money-laundering activities in Hong Kong, because while at PACC, he had a list of companies and other agencies that were allegedly involved.

"Now, as deputy permanent secretary of the Justice Ministry, he cannot reveal the truth. I wonder if Dussadee was transferred out of PACC because he had this information?"

Mongkolkit said he believed China gave the government information about suspect money transfers every three months, but some people preferred to withhold it.

"My information is credible because our advisers have close ties with Hong Kong anti-corruption officials," he said.

He said members of his network had met their counterparts in Hong Kong between September 5-7 and learned that some 30 Thai politicians from the government camp and high-ranking officials had got together to transfer money to Hong Kong for laundering purposes.

National Anti-Corruption Commissioner Wicha Mahakhun said his agency had never received any reports about the matter from other agencies or from Hong Kong. He said both Thailand and China had a pact on exchanging information on corruption.

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-- The Nation 2012-10-16

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Thai politicians just can't help themselves can they. Interesting the payment and Thaksin both were in HK... rolleyes.gif

Oh yes they can help themselves to money from the states coffers without a twinge of guilt.

The financial bubble is getting bigger here and soon the bubble will pop, watch the P.T.P. cut and run then leaving the Thai people in the hands of the international money lenders.

Edited by siampolee
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I still remember the time when some politicians and government workers would hide their cash in suitcases under the bed. Since that was no longer safe and because it was getting difficult to get into the bed, putting it in a bank and transferring it might make sense whistling.gif

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She said her committee had chosen to investigate the issue after receiving a complaint from the Anti-Corruption Network saying Bt16 billion had been moved to Hong Kong and had been frozen last week because nobody had come to claim it. The network alleges this money was siphoned from state funds earmarked for last year's flood victims.

Perhaps that's why Thaksin was in Hong Kong last week?

That is a lot of money not to be claimed so dam_n corrupt! The up side is that it is for the time being 'out in the open' I will be interested to see who eventually claims it and the reason given why it was transferred there!

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If you read the other English-language newspaper they are reporting today that the Thai AMLO organisation has contacted their HK counterparts already and the HK AMLO organisation has confirmed that no such transactions have taken place and there is no substance to the allegations, so it seems this is indeed Democrat scaremongering.

Facts that the Nation has so conveniently ignored in their reporting.

Edited by NCFC
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If you read the other English-language newspaper they are reporting today that the Thai AMLO organisation has contacted their HK counterparts already and the HK AMLO organisation has confirmed that no such transactions have taken place and there is no substance to the allegations, so it seems this is indeed Democrat scaremongering.

Facts that the Nation has so conveniently ignored in their reporting.

Link please

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If you read the other English-language newspaper they are reporting today that the Thai AMLO organisation has contacted their HK counterparts already and the HK AMLO organisation has confirmed that no such transactions have taken place and there is no substance to the allegations, so it seems this is indeed Democrat scaremongering.

Facts that the Nation has so conveniently ignored in their reporting.

Link please

This forum does not allow links to the other paper. I read the print version.

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If you read the other English-language newspaper they are reporting today that the Thai AMLO organisation has contacted their HK counterparts already and the HK AMLO organisation has confirmed that no such transactions have taken place and there is no substance to the allegations, so it seems this is indeed Democrat scaremongering.

Facts that the Nation has so conveniently ignored in their reporting.

Link please

This forum does not allow links to the other paper. I read the print version.

The interesting part of the 'denial' in the other paper is that it has statements of Justice Minister Pracha Promnok saying no-one knows anything, no-one told anyone anything. Yes check in their 'politics' section from today wai.gif

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More than likely only the tip of the iceberg, however, I would think that much of the money is actually going out in hard exchange currency; most probably as extra luggage for the bi-monthly politician exodus to see the mesiah. rolleyes.gif

No wonder this government promotes tourism so vigouously to get their hands on large amounts of untraceable foreign currency. :whistling.gifclap2.gifcheesy.gif

Edited by RogueExpat
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If you read the other English-language newspaper they are reporting today that the Thai AMLO organisation has contacted their HK counterparts already and the HK AMLO organisation has confirmed that no such transactions have taken place and there is no substance to the allegations, so it seems this is indeed Democrat scaremongering.

Facts that the Nation has so conveniently ignored in their reporting.

Link please

This forum does not allow links to the other paper. I read the print version.

The interesting part of the 'denial' in the other paper is that it has statements of Justice Minister Pracha Promnok saying no-one knows anything, no-one told anyone anything. Yes check in their 'politics' section from today wai.gif

I doubt the HK authorities would be lying or making unsubstantiated claims.

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NCFC:

'I doubt the HK authorities would be lying or making unsubstantiated claims.'

That is a selective (pro government) opinion of the piece. An informal question to the HK authorities received a negative answer. I wonder what the question was. Also, all the information seems to come from Pracha - hardly an independent & honest source. We need to wait & see what the transferred investigator turned up before he was transferred - provided he hasn't been silenced.

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The interesting part of the 'denial' in the other paper is that it has statements of Justice Minister Pracha Promnok saying no-one knows anything, no-one told anyone anything. Yes check in their 'politics' section from today wai.gif

I doubt the HK authorities would be lying or making unsubstantiated claims.

No-one is talking of lying. I just mentioned that the article has Justice Minister Pol. Gen. Pracha Promnok saying that others had told him that they were told that ... ... The mention that Dept. PM Pol. Captain Chalerm dismissed the claim as an attempt to undermine the Pheu Thai government doesn't come as a surprise though. wink.png

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On the basis that its pretty unlikely that this money arrived by suitcase, there should be a small trail of paper somewhere.

I would doubt that the first phone call would be to the head of the AMLO in Thailand, but between the banks, and the second would be from the hong kong counterpart to tell the Hong Kong Authority, that a ton of money arrived. It will all come out in the wash sometime, because, hiding this type of stuff in Hong Kong isn't quite as simple as anyone thinks.

The mere fact that someone claims to have met with the HongKong side shows this is a bogus story/denial. You think they just have people sitting around in Bangkok waiting to discuss this kind of stuff?

Edited by Thai at Heart
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If you read the other English-language newspaper they are reporting today that the Thai AMLO organisation has contacted their HK counterparts already and the HK AMLO organisation has confirmed that no such transactions have taken place and there is no substance to the allegations, so it seems this is indeed Democrat scaremongering.

Facts that the Nation has so conveniently ignored in their reporting.

There has been no public announcement from Hong Kong's ICAC and it was reported that they will only communicate with foreign government agencies. Therefore we rely for this information on the word of Thai government officials who are the ones accused of making the transfer. I for one don't regard this as a reliable source.

They may not have been able to nail down all the details correctly but experience shows there is usually no smoke without fire on these things. Money from the emergency flood relief budget was clearly intended to go into the trough. The question is how to track its movements when virtually all government agencies responsible doing so are controlled by the crooks.

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The rice pledging scheme also seems to be generating massive windfall profits to some out of the government's loses. All the export sales are also going to equally corrupt governments which makes it easy for buyers and sellers to divert taxpayers' money to offshore accounts. It's a reall win win to convince the peasants that this scheme is really for their benefit, while amassing the real benefits in offshore accounts. Just distributing cash equivalent to the government's loses to poor farming families would be far more efficient and put about Bt 400,000 in the hands of each poor family a year which would immediately be spent on mobile phones, TVs, motor bikes and pick-ups, creating a huge multiplier effect on the economy. Using most of the cash to subsidise foreign farmers and consumers and be stashed in overseas accounts doesn't help the Thai farmers at all.

Obviously some one is taking a big bet that global food prices will make rice prices shoot up at some point. If he is right he pockets all the gains. Otherwise, he stiffs the taxpayers and the farmers with the loses.

Edited by Arkady
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If you read the other English-language newspaper they are reporting today that the Thai AMLO organisation has contacted their HK counterparts already and the HK AMLO organisation has confirmed that no such transactions have taken place and there is no substance to the allegations, so it seems this is indeed Democrat scaremongering.

Facts that the Nation has so conveniently ignored in their reporting.

Link please

This forum does not allow links to the other paper. I read the print version.

The interesting part of the 'denial' in the other paper is that it has statements of Justice Minister Pracha Promnok saying no-one knows anything, no-one told anyone anything. Yes check in their 'politics' section from today wai.gif

"He said both Thailand and China had a pact on exchanging information on corruption."

;)

-mel. (I didn't write a word! giggle.gif )

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The interesting part of the 'denial' in the other paper is that it has statements of Justice Minister Pracha Promnok saying no-one knows anything, no-one told anyone anything. Yes check in their 'politics' section from today wai.gif

"He said both Thailand and China had a pact on exchanging information on corruption."

wink.png

-mel. (I didn't write a word! giggle.gif )

Exchange of information on best practices probably? huh.png

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Thai politicians just can't help themselves can they. Interesting the payment and Thaksin both were in HK... rolleyes.gif

Oh yes they can help themselves to money from the states coffers without a twinge of guilt.

The financial bubble is getting bigger here and soon the bubble will pop, watch the P.T.P. cut and run then leaving the Thai people in the hands of the international money lenders.

No they will let it go back to the Democrates and then blame them for everything that happned .. just a continual repeat / circle of things ...

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UPDATE

ICAC 'dropped' illegal money transfer case

The Nation

BANGKOK: -- Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) detected an illegal money transfer from Thailand but decided to drop the case because Thai authorities had failed to file a complaint, a graft buster said yesterday.

"The case in question took place in the past and involved Thai politicians," Theerapat Kamkubon said.

In his capacity as acting chairman of the Anti-Corruption Network (ACN), Theerapat said he had asked the ICAC whether Thai politicians might be involved in moving funds through the underground banking system.

He said an ICAC executive responded by saying that there had been such activities in the past but the commission did not have the mandate to investigate unless Thai authorities sought to initiate legal proceedings.

Theerapat added that he had raised this question at a meeting between his network and the ICAC in Hong Kong on September 7.

Earlier remarks from the ACN triggered speculation about Bt16 billion being allegedly siphoned from the rice-pledging scheme and being parked in Hong Kong.

Dussadee Arayawuth, deputy permanent secretary for the Justice Ministry, said yesterday that he had confidential information about some money being illegally transferred from Thailand to Hong Kong, but this was not linked to the Bt16 billion that was allegedly moved.

Dussadee said a leading politician had on Saturday tried to persuade him to shed light on an illegal money transfer involving politicians, but he said he really had no knowledge about the issue.

"I don't want to be dragged into this bickering," he said, adding that he did not wish to draw a hasty conclusion but wanted evidence to speak for itself.

Meanwhile, though Justice Minister Pracha Promnok has insisted that there was no instance of Bt16 billion being allegedly moved to Hong Kong for laundering purposes, ACN secretary-general Mongkolkit Suksintaranont said he was 80 per cent certain that politicians had moved the funds through the underground banking system.

He said he was ready to provide backing for any government committee set up to investigate the issue, though this panel should be composed of members of his network because he did not trust government officials. However, he said, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung was welcome to join, especially since he had previously spoken about such movement of money to a parliamentary committee on governance.

Mongkolkit then said the ACN would this week convene a board meeting to decide on the next move.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai MP Pracha Prasopdee backed Chalerm's previous comments by saying yesterday that critics were fabricating this story as a pretext to overthrow the government. He added that the Democrats and other opposition members had joined forces to dramatise the case despite the lack of evidence.

He also challenged the key opposition Democrat Party to censure the government, saying he would then have the opportunity to expose how five Democrats allegedly moved their ill-gotten riches out of the country.

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-- The Nation 2012-10-17

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Yesterday

"Justice Minister Pracha Promnok yesterday dismissed reports that Thai politicians had sent Bt16 billion to Hong Kong, saying anti-money laundering agencies from other countries, including Hong Kong, had denied the report."

Today

"Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) detected an illegal money transfer from Thailand but decided to drop the case because Thai authorities had failed to file a complaint, a graft buster said yesterday."

Tomorrow

???

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