Man jailed over fake bomb detector fraud

Man jailed over fake bomb detector fraud

The Don Muang district court on Wednesday handed down a nine-year jail term to an executive of a distributor of AVIA Satcom Co in a third fraud case involving bogus GT200 bomb detectors.

Suthiwat Wattanakit was found guilty along with AVIA Satcom Co of supplying fake bomb detectors known as GT200 worth 6.8 million baht to the Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) during 2007-2009.

The court sentenced him to nine years in prison and fined the company 18,000 baht. Both defendants were also ordered to pay compensation of 6.8 million baht to the CIFS, an agency under the Justice Ministry.

The court threw out the lawsuit against company employees Sasakorn Pluemjai and Panthaweesap Sudyajai on grounds of insufficient evidence.

The ruling hearing was postponed from last week when Mr Suthiwat fell ill and could not come to the court to hear the ruling. He submitted a medical certificate indicating a gastrointestinal infection.

It was the third fraud case involving AVIA Satcom Co which supplied the devices to several state agencies. According to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), 16 cases have come to light of the firm selling the devices to state agencies.

Mr Suthiwat was earlier sentenced to nine years in jail for supplying the bogus bomb detectors to the Royal Thai Aide-De-Camp Department and another 10 years for selling similar devices to the Royal Thai Army Ordnance Department.

The Don Muang district court on Wednesday granted bail to Mr Suthiwat who posted assets worth 680,000 baht.

GT200 devices were touted as being capable of detecting explosives until suspicions about the devices arose.

The National Science and Technology Development Agency conducted tests and found they did not contain any electronic components.

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