NACC to charge 13 in Green Line case

NACC to charge 13 in Green Line case

Former Bangkok governor MR Sukhumband Paribatra and Keeree Kanjanapas, chairman of BTS Group Holdings Plc (BTS), have been implicated by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for allegedly sidestepping the law and for irregularities in the contractual extension for operating the BTS’s Green Line routes.

A source in the NACC said the commission agreed at its meeting on March 10 to press charges against 11 people, among them MR Sukhumband and Mr Keeree, as well as the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC), which is affiliated with the BTS and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).

The 13 face charges related to malpractice stemming from the contract signed in 2012 between Krungthep Thanakom (KT), the BMA’s investment arm, and the BTSC. In a contract worth 190 billion baht, the KT hired the BTSC to operate the Green Line train services and carry out maintenance.

The source said the NACC found the hiring of the contractor avoided compliance with the law governing state-private joint investments as well as the law pertaining to offences caused by tender bidding for state projects, where the bid had allegedly favoured the BTSC.

The 13 individuals and parties named by the NACC, apart from MR Sukhumband and Mr Keeree, are: Theerachon Manomaipiboon, a former deputy Bangkok governor; Prapanpong Vejjajiva, former chairman of KT; Amorn Kitkawengkul, KT executive.

Others are Chroenrat Chutikan, former City Clerk; Ninnart Chalitanont, former deputy City Clerk; Jumpol Sampaopol, former director-general of the BMA’s Traffic and Transportation Department (TTD); Thana Wichaisarn, former director-general of the BMA’s TTD; Krit Kiatpanachart, head of BMA’s Transport Division; Surapong Laoha-anya, executive of the BTS; the KT and the BTSC.

The contracts to operate the sections in question were originally due to expire in 2029. However, the KT and the BTSC had signed to extend the contract for another 13 years.