Remember the Rolls Royce graft story? Forgotten it already? The junta’s government seems to hope it goes away. In the best tradition of burying graft allegations, dragging out a case seems to one way of hoping it will go away.
The Bangkok Post reports that the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) “has admitted there has been no progress in its investigation into the Rolls-Royce bribery scandal involving two major state enterprises.”
That’s none. Zilch.
But never mind, a “newly-appointed joint committee on anti-graft” will hold meetings to “consider high-profile corruption cases, including the Rolls-Royce scandal.”
The new committee is “headed by NACC president Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit and comprises the section heads of various agencies such as the Justice Ministry, the Office of the Attorney-General, the Anti-Money Laundering Office, the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the Auditor-General.”
That should work better than the other committees and agencies, right? Probably not. It might be better for a burial of all the charges.
On the Rolls Royce case, NACC secretary-general Sansern Poljeak said “the British Serious Fraud Office (SFO) which is pursuing lawsuits against British manufacturing giant Rolls-Royce over corrupt acts, has not yet handed over documents to the Thai agency.”
We guess blaming the British is useful for the NACC in deflecting criticism of their non-work.
Sansern did say that the “British officials are apparently concerned about the confidentiality of the information they are expected to forward to Thai officials for use in the probe.”
That would seem a reasonable concern, especially when the SFO is dealing with multiple and competing Thai agencies, all of which are incompetent.
The NACC says it “needs hard evidence from the SFO and other official foreign agencies to take legal action against the accused.” Of course they do. They do not want to do any of their own investigations because they are politicized and incompetent.
And guess what? One of the issues of confidentiality is the new committee: “After the panel was formed last week, the SFO sent an email to the NACC expressing concerns about the confidentiality of the information it would hand over to the NACC…”.
Sansern said the new committee would consider the “issue…”.
And, if blaming the Brits is insufficient, also blame the Americans: “the NACC has not yet received documents from the US Department of Justice.”
On another related bribery case, as expected, “PTT Plc president and chief executive Tevin Vongvanich earlier admitted the firm had made no progress in its internal investigation into the Rolls-Royce bribery allegations…”.
PTT had “set up an internal investigative committee consisting of company members who have never been involved in procurement or auction processes in order to ensure transparency.” Nothing. No progress, but “the committee continued to gather evidence and information.”
Another Bangkok Post report is about the new super-committee meeting for the first time. They seemed to rewind to the early days of the RR “investigation,” deciding who the “lead agency” should be. “It has been agreed the Office of the Attorney-General will be responsible for requesting documents and information from the British Serious Fraud Office…”.
The Office of the Attorney-General seems to have rewound the tape of investigation: “Amnat Chotchai, director-general of the International Affairs Department [of AG]… “said the investigation into the Roll-Royce scandal has hit a snag due to a lack of information.”
The death penalty excuse came up again, but has again been dismissed by the Thai “investigators.”
And is the new super-committee sorting things out? No. “Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit, chairman of the … NACC … and head of the joint panel, said the prosecution [no idea what this means] has been put in charge of coordinating with the SFO to seek evidence and documents while the NACC will coordinate ‘unofficially’ for information.” So not the AG’s office?
Creating a shemozzle is one of the best ways of not getting things done. And this looks like a classic case of bureaucratic shemozzle that might even be called “corruption” among the anti-corruption agencies.
The NACC boss rambled on: “The matter has been resolved [we are not sure which matter he means]. There will be no more problem when it comes to seeking information…”. Yeah, right…. He is a senior policeman and they are masters of illogic and corruption cover-ups.
He went further! The case is not stalled at all! “Pol Gen Watcharapol said while the NACC has gathered facts involving THAI, the agency still needs to verify some information before it decides to press charges against those allegedly involved in the scandal.”More: “The NACC has information about who were involved in the two first two periods of the bribery but we have to be sure before we go ahead and press charges. We are still gathering information about the third period…”.
Wow. In the space of a day, the stalled investigation is almost finished. Stunning. Amazing. Lies.
We are sure that it is not just us who think this is a hastily cobbled together sham and a sad joke.