FORMER culture minister and Pattaya mayor Itthipol Khunpluem, wanted under arrest warrant issued over malfeasance charges stemming from approval of a condominium project over a decade ago, has already fled the country, Naewna newspaper and Amarin TV said this afternoon (Sep. 6).
Pol. Maj. Gen. Chomchawin Punathananon, acting commander for Chonburi, said Itthipol flew to Phnom Penh by Cambodia Airlines at 10 a.m. on Aug. 30 with the airplane departing from Suvarnabhumi Airport.
He added that it does not matter what a person’s surname is, if an arrest warrant has been issued for him police will arrest him as is their duty.
Others who were involved in this case are likewise being chased, he added.
The malfeasance charges under Section 157 of the Criminal Code arose from issuing of a building permit to Bali Hai Co., Ltd. for the construction of Waterford Suites & Residences condominium at the foot of Pratumnak Hill, Pattaya City, on Sep. 10, 2008.
This followed the National Anti-Corruption Commission passing a resolution by 5 to 1 vote that Itthipol was guilty of an offence under Section 157 of the Criminal Code and there were grounds to remove him from office.
Offences under this section of the Criminal Code carry a penalty of one to 10 years’ imprisonment with the statute of limitation being 15 years.
As approval for the project was given Sep. 10, 2008 the case expires on Sunday Sep. 10. 2023.
Top, below and Front Page: Waterford Suites & Residences condominium at the foot of Pratumnak Hill, Pattaya City.
First below: Former culture minister and Pattaya mayor Itthipol Khunpluem. All photos: Amarin TV