Court tells Samak kin to pay B600m

Court tells Samak kin to pay B600m

Samak Sundaravej (File photo: Apichart Jinakul)
Samak Sundaravej (File photo: Apichart Jinakul)

The Supreme Administrative Court on Thursday upheld a lower court's ruling ordering the family of late Bangkok governor Samak Sundaravej to pay almost 600 million baht in damages to City Hall over a scandal-ridden fire engine and boat purchase scheme.

As beneficiaries of his estate, Khunying Surat Sundaravej -- Samak's widow -- and their daughters, Kanchanaporn Chailarp and Kandapa Mungthin, were ordered to pay 30% -- about 587.58 million baht -- of the estimated 1.958 billion baht in damages plus interest within 60 days of the ruling.

However, if City Hall and the supplier were able to reach a settlement, the amount the trio must pay should be reduced proportionally, and they would not pay more than what they inherited from the late governor, according to the court.

City Hall filed a case with the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court against Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug AG seeking to cancel the contract and calling for the return of payments worth about two billion baht it made to the Austrian firm.

In 2014, the Administrative Court ruled that Samak, who in 2004 signed a contract to buy 315 fire engines and 30 fire boats from the firm, acted negligently and caused damage to City Hall.

The 687-billion-baht procurement deal was signed on his last day in office as city governor.

According to the ruling, the former governor did not examine the deal carefully so he should be held accountable for the damage. The court ordered his heirs to pay the compensation.

An appeal was lodged with the Supreme Administrative Court.

The deal made headlines as the fire engines and boats were manufactured in Thailand, then sent to Europe for the installation of equipment, being imported back to Thailand.

City Hall sued a number of parties over the deal after the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) ruled it had been hugely overpriced.

In 2019, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled in favour of ex-Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayodhin, revoking City Hall's order for him to pay 1.2 million baht.

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