BANGKOK, 3 April 2017: The high-profile Rolls-Royce graft case will be concluded by the end of the year, claims Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (CDC).
In a report carried by the National News Bureau, NACC chairman Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit said the anti-graft agency is in the process of acquiring evidence and questioning witnesses.
The investigation has been ongoing since February when news broke of alleged corrupt dealings between British aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce and the national airline, Thai Airways International. Other Asian airlines were also identified in the graft investigation.
The NACC chairman said the investigative team would provide a progress report every two months.
The team has been in contact with Britain’s anti-corruption agency to request information about the case, he said, adding that the agency expected the case to be concluded by the end of this year.
Rolls-Royce and Thai Airways International have come under fire after corruption claims emerged, accusing the engine maker of paying bribes to win contracts, to both airline employees and government officials.
Roll Royce admitted the charges following an official court inquiry in the UK.
It is understood allegations covered three distinct timeframes starting from 1 June 1991 to 30 June 1992 when Rolls Royce allegedly bribed airline and government officials to the tune of USD18.87 million.
Bribes were handed out during a second period, 1 March 1992 to 31 March 1997, amounting to USD10.8 and during a third period, 1 April 2004 to 28 February 2005, kickbacks amounted to USD7.8 million.
Last week, a former TAT governor Juthamas Siriwan, 69 years old, was sentenced to 50 years in jail for accepting bribes totaling USD1.8 million over the contracting of the former Bangkok International Film Festival.
A government spokesman said the jail term would serve as example as it attempts to rein in rampant corruption.