Judge fines ex-airport car park firm

A judge at the Central Administrative Court has recommended a fine of 82.6 million baht against a former car park operator at Suvarnabhumi airport as it violated a contract with the Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT).

  • Published: 31/07/2014 at 06:03 AM
  • Newspaper section: news

Parking Management Co last year filed a lawsuit against the AoT, which cancelled its contract to operate an airport parking lot on Oct 6, 2010.

The AoT had accused Parking Management of failing to pay the authority its share of parking revenues, not paying collateral and neglecting to install equipment and an information technology system as promised.

Parking Management appealed to the court, asking it to order the AoT to rescind the decision so the company could carry on its operation, and retrieve a seized computer system.

The dispute flared in 2010 when 100 armed men raided the airport car park and seized the equipment there, prompting Parking Management to move out.

Speaking at the court yesterday, judge Anusorn Teerapataranon, who is in charge of the case, said Parking Management had broken its contract with the AoT, which had warned the company of the violations.

Kasikornbank, guarantor of Parking Management, has partly compensated the AoT, but the company still failed to provide the cash collateral with the bank.

The AoT also has the right to scrap the contract without warning and to take over the parking building, Mr Anusorn said.

He said an internal company conflict was responsible for the case in which armed men raided the parking lot and confiscated assets.

The judge said the company should compensate for the loss which consists of the monthly revenue in line with the contract, electricity bills, a fine for failing to fill in the cash collateral, a fine for not reporting monthly revenue, and property tax.

He awarded payment of 82.6 million baht to the AoT. Of that amount, Kasikornbank has to shoulder 51.7 million baht as a guarantor.

The payment must be made within 60 days at a 7.5% yearly interest rate.

Speaking about Parking Management's claims that its staff were prevented from entering the car park, Mr Anusorn said the AoT did not obstruct the company from entering the area. Its entry was hampered as a result of an internal conflict.

Parking Management had held a board meeting calling for the removal of a man who was allegedly the leader of the armed men who seized money from the firm at the car park. He was identified as Tan Pojanapan.

The judge's opinion was not the final ruling but, in most cases, the Administrative Court would follow it. The panel of judges has not set a ruling date.

Parking Management lawyer Kijja Ali-Ishor said the contract termination order, signed by then AoT vice-president Somchai Sawasdipol, was unlawful as the AoT's official stamp was not on it.

Company staff were also blocked from gaining access to the car parking, which prevented an official handover of the site.

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Writer: Mongkol Bangprapa
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