THE Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders today (Feb. 7) issued an arrest warrant for former interior minister Charupong Ruangsuwan on the charges of receiving gifts in excess of the 3,000 baht ceiling, Thai Rath newspaper said.
This stems from the defendant not having attended a hearing on Dec. 13, 2022 with only his attorney showing up.
Charupong, who was the interior minister during Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration, is charged with accepting Bangkok-Beijing-Bangkok return business class air tickets from China Airlines in 2012 for himself and his team with each ticket being worth 39,000 baht.
He is also charged with accepting business class air tickets from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur and back from Malaysia Airlines with each ticket costing 20,000 baht and totalling 60,000 baht the following year.
Moreover he and his team were additionally charged with getting Eastern Water Resources Development and Management Plc (East Water) to pay for air tickets.
It was pointed out that Chatupong was not directly connected to nor supervised this company as it is neither a state enterprise nor a government agency. Although as interior minister he was chairman of the waterworks board he still could not claim such gifts valued at over 3,000 baht.
According to the National Anti-Corruption Commission regulations these charges are in violation of Section 103 of the Anti-Corruption Act B.E. 2561.
Mr. Charupong Ruangsuwan. Both photos: Thai Rath
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