Arrest warrant for missing former Pattaya mayor

Itthiphol Kunplome (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)
Itthiphol Kunplome (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

The whereabouts of former culture minister and Pattaya mayor Itthiphol Kunplome remained unknown on Wednesday, as he faced an arrest warrant over a controversial condominium development in Pattaya more than decade ago.

Mr Itthiphol was not seen at his home or his office in Bang Lamung district on Wednesday morning.

He did not report as ordered to public prosecutors on Monday. The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) was subsequently told to seek a warrant for his arrest, and it was approved on Tuesday.

Some local media reports said Mr Itthipol had flown to Cambodia on Aug 30. It is not known when he plans to return, but the 15-year statute of limitations in the case expires this coming Sunday.

The Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) said on Wednesday that Mr Itthiphol allegedly illegally approved construction of the Waterfront Suites & Residences condominium project in Pattaya on Sept 10, 2008, when he was Pattaya mayor.

Mr Itthiphol, 50,  was until recently the Minister for Culture. He is a younger brother of former Pattaya mayor Sonthaya Kunplome.

The Waterfront condominium project was designed to have 57 floors on two-rai of land at the foot of Khao Phra Tamnak hill, next to Pattaya Bay and Bali Hai Pier.

The project was challenged over its design and the land it was built on. The incomplete building has already been ordered demolished.

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  • challenge (verb): to question whether something/someone is trueful, accurate, or legal - คัดค้าน
  • construction: the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. - การก่อสร้าง
  • controversial: causing disagreement or disapproval - ความไม่ลงรอยกัน
  • demolish: to completely destroy a building, especially in order to use the land for something else - รื้อ (สิ่งก่อสร้าง), ทำลาย
  • former: of or in an earlier time; before the present time or in the past - อดีต, แต่ก่อน
  • illegally: in a way that is against the law - อย่างผิดกฎหมาย
  • mayor: the most important elected official in a town or city - นายกเทศมนตรี
  • prosecutor: a lawyer whose job is to prove in court that someone accused of a crime is guilty - อัยการ
  • statute of limitations: the legal limit on the period of time within which action can be taken on a crime or other legal question  - อายุความ
  • warrant (noun): a legal document that is signed by a judge and gives the police authority to do something - หมาย
  • whereabouts: where someone is - ที่อยู่,สถานที่,ตำแหน่งที่
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