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Tax records of 38 ex-ministers under scrutiny


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Tax records of 38 ex-ministers under scrutiny

By THE SUNDAY NATION

 

THIRTY-EIGHT former Cabinet members from the previous governments of Abhisit Vejjajiva and Yingluck Shinawatra have come under the microscope over their tax records, a media inquiry has found.

 

They are being targeted in a move by the Office of the Auditor-General to have the Revenue Department determine whether the politicians had paid proper taxes on their incomes while in office.

 

The focus was on former political office-holders with earnings exceeding Bt5 million, according to Auditor-General Pisit Leelavachiropas. But he did not identify the politicians.

 

An inquiry by the Kom Chad Luek Online team, which is part of the Nation Multimedia Group, revealed that 38 former Cabinet members – 19 from each government – met the profile hinted at by the auditor-general.

 

Pisit had said that those politicians were not “unusually wealthy” – a euphemism that suggests corruption – but authorities simply were interested as to whether the taxes they had paid correlated with their earnings exceeding Bt5 million.

 

According to the auditor-general, more than 60 politicians were initially targeted in an investigation by his office and that they were affiliated with political parties other than Pheu Thai and Democrats – the country’s two largest. 

 

“The Office of the Auditor-General is not going after any person in particular, as has been alleged. We are scrutinising everyone,” Pisit said.

 

The law requires political office-holders to submit reports on their assets and debts to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on three occasions – after assuming office, after leaving office, and a year after leaving office.

 

The research by Kom Chad Luek Online discovered that 19 members of the Abhisit government, serving between December 2008 and August 2011, earned more than Bt5 million while in office. 

 

Eleven of them came from the then-ruling Democrat Party, seven from other coalition partners – five Bhum Jai Thai Party politicians, and one each from Puea Pandin and Ruam Jai Thai Chart Pattana parties – as well as a non-politician with no political affiliation. 

 

General Prawit Wongsuwan, who served as defence minister in Abhisit’s government, was the Cabinet member with no political affiliation. He is now the defence minister and deputy prime minister in charge of security affairs in the current post-coup government.

 

The inquiry also found that 19 members of the Yingluck government, serving from August 2011 to May 2014, earned more than Bt5 million. Of those government ministers, 15 came from the coalition leader Pheu Thai Party, two from ally Palang Chon Party, and one each from the smaller Chart Thai Pattana and Chart Pattana parties.

 

Of the 38 ex-Cabinet members, only four reported assets of less than Bt10 million – former social development and human security minister Issara Somchai and former culture minister Nipit Intarasombat of the Democrat-led government, and former deputy agriculture minister Yuttapong Charasathien and former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyaphirom of the Pheu Thai-led administration. The 34 others reported having wealth ranging from Bt23 million to Bt2.9 billion.

 

Former finance minister Korn Chatikavanij was the wealthiest Cabinet member in Abhisit’s government, with Bt807.6 million in reported assets, followed by former deputy agriculture minister Chartchai Pukkayaporn (Bt518 million), and former science minister Kalaya Sophonpanich (Bt423 million). Nipit, a Democrat politician, reported the least assets among members of the Abhisit Cabinet, at Bt3.1 million.

 

Among the members of Yingluck’s Cabinet, former deputy prime minister Phongthep Thepkanjana was the wealthiest, with Bt2.9 billion in reported assets, followed by the former prime minister herself (Bt541 million), and former defence minister General Yuthasak Sasiprapha (Bt312 million). Boonsong, a key Pheu Thai figure, was the “poorest” among them, with Bt4.4 million in reported assets.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30311037

 

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-04-02
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" Eleven of them came from the then-ruling Democrat Party, seven from other coalition partners – five Bhum Jai Thai Party politicians, and one each from Puea Pandin and Ruam Jai Thai Chart Pattana parties – as well as a non-politician with no political affiliation. "

 

" The inquiry also found that 19 members of the Yingluck government, serving from August 2011 to May 2014, earned more than Bt5 million. Of those government ministers, 15 came from the coalition leader Pheu Thai Party, two from ally Palang Chon Party, and one each from the smaller Chart Thai Pattana and Chart Pattana parties. "

 

Good to see that the enquiry is covering ministers from several parties,not just one side or another, hopefully the current government-ministers will also be checked-out in their turn, after they have left power.

 

This sort of even-handed scrutiny is a step in the right direction, IMO.

 

And might usefully be extended to cover senior public-servants, including police & military ? :whistling:  

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3 minutes ago, tomta said:

Why does the article call Prawit a non-politician. He's not in a political party but he is certainly involved in politics.

 

It doesn't call him a non politician, it says he had no political affiliation, hence he was not a member of any of the political parties.

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'Unusually wealthy' is of course a relative term. When you change most of these guys' REPORTED wealth into Western currencies, they're not exactly rolling in it.

 

There again, in my family here in Surin, anyone who's got more than $5 to rub together is unusually wealthy ...

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'Unusually wealthy' is of course a relative term. When you change most of these guys' REPORTED wealth into Western currencies, they're not exactly rolling in it.
 
There again, in my family here in Surin, anyone who's got more than $5 to rub together is unusually wealthy ...


Many ministers are listed as having over $10 million, some go up to $50+ million. Seems pretty good when you consider Thai salaries etc. Hell, the police chief has $30 million. How much does the US or UK police chief have I wonder?
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This is good news? 

 

Unless the current regime include themselves in a fair investigation into their taxes as well, it's just another example of how the law doesn't apply equally to all. 

 

People are so fickle. "Look! Two women have been sent to prison for corruption. See, things are changing"

 

Yea, meanwhile that ugly Red Bull turd avoids any scrutiny by the people in power becuase he's been sick/busy for the last 5 years. 

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6 hours ago, rooster59 said:

as well as a non-politician with no political affiliation. 

 

 

3 hours ago, darksidedog said:

It doesn't call him a non politician, it says he had no political affiliation, hence he was not a member of any of the political parties.

The article calls Prawit "

 "a non-politician with no political affiliation"  as in the above quote

 

 

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The problem is that they are looking at declared assets, if you look at some of the big criminals brought down these last 4 years they have all had huge amounts of stashed cash and other hidden assets, it doesn't help either when temples have the ability to launder huge sums without being detected

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