Ex-THAI chairman gets 2 years over excess bags

Ex-THAI chairman gets 2 years over excess bags

Wallop: Abused position
Wallop: Abused position

The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases yesterday sentenced a former Thai Airways International (THAI) chairman to two years in jail without suspension for failing to pay for 300kg of excess baggage in 2009.

Wallop Bhukkanasut was convicted and sentenced on charges filed by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for violating Section 11 of the Act on Offences Committed by Officials of State Organisations or Agencies.

Wallop, while chairman of the board in 2009, was found to have abused his authority in ordering airline staff to change the stated weight of his luggage so he could evade charges for the excess.

Wallop and his wife returned from a trip to Japan in November 2009. He used his position to bring more than 300kg of luggage back from Narita to Suvarnabhumi airport without paying for the excess weight.

In early 2010, after an investigation, Wallop was ordered to pay for the excess baggage. He resigned as executive chairman of the airline.

The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct cases yesterday found him guilty of the charge brought by the NACC. The court sentenced him to two years without suspension.

Wallop, who was on bail, was at the court for the ruling, Thai media reported.

The NACC had earlier found grounds to charge Wallop over his failure to pay the excess baggage fee. He was also accused of accepting gifts -- Kobe beef and expensive fruit -- from a company, with a combined value of more than 3,000 baht.

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