NACC reveals names in round one of Rolls-Royce probe

NACC reveals names in round one of Rolls-Royce probe

NACC officials talk during a seminar on corruption in Bangkok on Feb 16, 2017. (Photo by Seksan Rojjanametakun)
NACC officials talk during a seminar on corruption in Bangkok on Feb 16, 2017. (Photo by Seksan Rojjanametakun)

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has revealed a list of 26 people to be probed for possible links to the Rolls-Royce bribery scandal more than a decade ago.

Isra News Agency reported two of them are former ministers and the rest former Thai Airways International (THAI) directors and executives. 

Notably, the list is limited to those linked to the purchases of Rolls-Royce engines and spare engines during 2004-05. They do not include those involved in the two rounds of purchases made earlier in 1991-92 and 1992-97 identified by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) report on the Rolls-Royce case.

The list appears to be a lift-out of the names of ministers, all board directors and all members of the long-term investment subcommittee of THAI at the time.

The two ministers were in the Thaksin Shinawatra government -- former transport minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit and his former deputy, Vichet Kasemthongsri.

Another 15 are former THAI directors led by Thanong Bidaya, former chairman; Srisook Chandrangsu, vice-chairman (deceased); and Somchainuek Engtrakul, vice-chairman.

The remaining board directors are ACM Kongsak Wanthana, Chai-Anan Samudavanija, Thirachai Vutthitham, Thatchai Sumit, Borwornsak Uwanno, Chartsiri Sophonpanich, Vichit Suraphongchai, Viroj Nualkhair, Pol Gen Sant Sarutanon, Prof Dr Suchai Charoen Rattanakul, Olarn Chaipravat and Kanok Abhiradee.

The others are former members of THAI's subcommittee on long-term investments led by Mr Thanong as adviser, Srisook as chairman (deceased) and Mr Kanok as vice-chairman.

The other former members of the subcommittee are Kobchai Sriwilas, Tassani Suthas Na Ayutthaya, Suthep Suebsantiwong, Kaweephan Ruangpaka, Fg Off Veerachai Sripa, Wg Cdr Supachai Limpisawat, Fg Off Chinavut Naratesenee, Charnchai Singtoroj and Sangngern Pornpaibulsathit.

The NACC said these people were involved with the procurement of B777-200ERs and the engines to be installed in them and the purchases of spare engines for seven Airbus A340-500/600s from Rolls-Royce during the two years.

"They jointly abused their authority by doing or refraining from doing something so Rolls-Royce benefited from the sale contracts," it said.

The NACC panel probing the case comprises nine members and outside experts such as representatives from the Anti-Money Laundering Office, the Royal Thai Police and the Attorney General's Office.

The NACC already received the names of the middlemen who were in the private sector but cannot disclose their identities at this stage.

It said it had yet to receive the list of names from the SFO, who reduced the penalty Rolls-Royce would have faced to a fine for bribe-giving in exchange for information and more disclosure. 

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