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How did so much cash end up in the home of transport permanent secretary Supoj Saplom? Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung thinks he knows.
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Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung responds to a question by an MP in parliament yesterday about the cash theft scandal involving transport permanent secretary Supoj Saplom.
Former transport minister Sohpon Zarum on Friday forcefully denied any connection with the cash kept at the residence of transport permanent secretary Supoj Saplom and said he had never been involved in corruption, as alleged by the deputy prime minister, reports said.
At a press conference this morning, Mr Sohpon insisted he had not been involved in any corruption or opened ways for others to be involved while he was transport minister during the Abhisit government.
The former minister said he was ready to prove his innocence and to allow double checking by the appropriate agencies.
He said his lawyers were preparing a defamation lawsuit against Mr Chalerm for providing false information to the House of Representatives.
deny – to say that you did not do something that someone has accused you of doing ปฏิเสธ
alleged – claimed to be true although not yet proven ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true, even when other people will not believe you ยืนกราน
innocence – the condition of not having done anything wrong or illegal ความบริสุทธิ์
defamation – the offence of writing or saying something bad about someone that is not true and makes people have a bad opinion of them การใส่ร้าย
lawsuit – a case that a court is asked to decide involving a disagreement between two people or groups คดีที่ยื่นฟ้องต่อศาล
Chalerm says Supoj money came from rail projects
Normally it is the opposition party that asks the questions of government ministers, but yesterday it was Pheu Thai Party MP Pichet Chuamuangpan doing the questioning.
He wanted to know what was happening in the case of the robbery at the residence of transport permanent secretary Supoj Saplom in Bangkok on Nov 12.
That is something everyone wants to know since it remains unclear how much money was stolen from Mr Supoj's house and where it originally came from.
Mr Supoj initially told the police he lost 1 million baht in cash, but later reported a loss of 5 million baht. Police now say, however, that they have already seized 17 million baht and it is likely that at least 100 million baht was taken.
In his question, Mr Pichet suggested there might be connections between the mountain of cash and former transport minister Sohpon Zarum of the Bhumjaithai Party, prompting fierce protests from the party's MPs.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, who answered Mr Pichet’s question in parliament, the cash came from electric railway projects initiated by the previous government.
Mr Chalerm said the cash came from Purple Line and Red Line electric railway projects, which are under construction in Bangkok and Nonthaburi province. He said that money had been prepared to pay for interest in case the projects were to be funded by local loans that would charge 6-7%.
The deputy prime minister said as an interest-free loan was available from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), the sum to pay the interest was shared among some people. Jica later refused to lend to the project, however.
Mr Chalerm said the amount of money would be revealed in a few days. He claimed the robbery was a case of revenge. He said his government will take decisive action against people involved with the money after investigations are concluded.
Meanwhile, Mr Sophon has scheduled a press conference for this morning to rebut suggestions that he was involved.
Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post. You can read the full story here: http://bit.ly/uofngN
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
cash – money in the form of notes or coins เงินสด
theft – (the act of) dishonestly taking something which belongs to someone else and keeping it การลักขโมย
scandal – a situation in which important people behave in a dishonest or immoral way that shocks people เรื่องอื้อฉาว
permanent secretary – a government official, not a political appointee, in charge of a ministry ปลัดกระทรวง
normally – usually; in normal circumstances โดยปกติ, ตามปกติ
opposition – of a political party that is not part of the government ฝ่ายค้าน
residence – a place where someone lives บ้านพัก
initially – at first ในเบื้องต้น
seize – to take something using official power ยึด
suggest – to show that something is possibly true ชวนคิด
connection – something that connects two facts, ideas, etc. การเชื่อมกัน
prompt – to cause someone to take action กระตุ้น
fierce – very strong รุนแรง, ดุเดือด
protest – a strong complaint or disagreement การประท้วง
initiate – to start something or make it start ริเริ่ม
under construction – being built กำลังสร้าง
interest – the money that a bank or other financial company charges you when you borrow money, or the money it pays you when you keep money in an account ดอกเบี้ย
fund – to provide money for something ให้เงินทุน
local – in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
loan – an amount of money that a person, business, or country borrows, especially from a bank เงินกู้
sum – an amount of something, especially money จำนวนเงิน
refuse – to say you will not do something that someone has asked you to do ปฏิเสธ
lend – to give money to someone who agrees to pay it back in the future ให้ยืม
reveal – to let something become known เปิดเผย
claim – to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it อ้าง
revenge – something that you do to hurt or punish someone because they have hurt you or someone else การแก้แค้น
decisive – strong; firm ซึ่งเด็ดเดี่ยว
investigation – the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something การสอบสวน
conclude – to finish; to complete an official agreement or task, or arrange a business deal จบ
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
press conference – an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it การแถลงข่าว
rebut – to show or say that something is not true โต้แย้ง, โต้ตอบ