“Commissions” II

A few days ago we posted about the UK details of “commissions” – bribes – paid in deals surrounding Rolls Royce engines and service for Thai Airways.

In that post we reminded readers that “commissions” have long been about an illegally regulated flow of payments to state employees and senior military officers from almost every act of state procurement. We noted that the top officers aren’t usually doing the “deals,” but the “system” works so that funds flow to the top.

We added that this system was so deeply embedded that it is normalized among the heads of the military, police and other big procurement agencies.

And, we pointed to the results: the reporting of wealth by senior civil and military figures as if it is normal that they are unusually wealthy declared by these persons.

In a related action, reported ever so briefly at the Bangkok Post, “a different Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case filed by the US Justice Department” and involves PTT and PTT Exploration and Production dealings with a Rolls Royce energy subsidiary.

The amounts of “commissions” in this case appear to be well in excess of $11 million just for Thailand (the case involves several other countries).

The events covered are from about 2003 to 2013. As the PTT website states, “PTT Public Company Limited or ‘PTT’ was registered on October 1, 2001 under [the] Corporatization Act B.E. 2542 (A.D. 1999).” It is added that “PTT conducts the exploration and production business through our subsidiary-PTT Exploration and Production Company Limited (PTTEP).”

Details of the legal case can be downloaded as a PDF.

It is stated at the Post that “PTT Plc has … begun an investigation into allegations of bribery by Rolls-Royce.” This became known because, as a listed company, PPT had to make a statement to the stock exchange.

A reading of the available annual reports on PTT suggests that being a director of the corporation has been a sinecure for the flunkies of the party or regime in power at the time. It is also clear that whatever party or regime was in power, the rewards flowed to Thailand’s elite. Each board of directors has been made up of not just flunkies of a regime but royalists and senior bureaucrats, many of the latter serving at PTT while holding down a senior position in the civil or military bureaucracy.

Today, the board is made up of military men, loyal royalists and others who have served the military following the 2006 and 2014 coup. In fact, these corporatized state enterprises and the fully state-owned enterprises have been stuffed full of junta brass and supporters.

In our earlier post we noted that there are many such instances of such corrupt payments, and this new revelation is just one of them. As we said, “commissions” are paid on literally everything that is procured.

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