Ex-CAT CEO in firing line of corruption probe

Don Sambandaraksa
09 May 2012

As expected, Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday moved against former CAT CEO Jirayuth Rungsrithong and the CAT board at the time the True 3G deal was signed.

The Commission's True 3G investigative sub-committee censured the executives for alleged failure to act in the best interests of the state in approving the 3G deal.

The actual board members have not yet been named as they are still being contacted.

The NACC sub-committee voted unanimously that three laws were indeed broken: Article 156 of the criminal code on dereliction of duty of a government official; the public-private joint investment act; and article 46 of the frequency allocation act, namely the no transfer of frequency to a third party to operate clause.

The committee was inconclusive as to whether anti-collusion regulations (public sector procurement regulations) were broken and a decision whether to prosecute the former CAT CEO on that point will be made at a later date.

Separately, the NACC is still investigating former ICT Minister Chuti Krairiksh (Democrat) who was minister when the deal was signed for possible dereliction of duty charges.

The NACC will convene on 14 May again to discuss the other issue of the sale of Hutch to True. True bought the assets of Hutch’s CDMA network for its spectrum for re-use as 3G on 850 MHz.

State-owned CAT's deal with True Move to allow the latter to offer 3G services - before the country's upcoming 3G auction - has been under investigation for some time. Both the Senate and the ICT Ministry have declared the deal “illegal.”

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