Company executive jailed 9 years for selling fraudulent GT200 devices to royal guards unit

TO GO WITH AFP STORY “Thailand-south-unrest-rights-Britain,FOCUS’ by Aidan Jones This picture taken on March 2, 2010 shows a Thai soldier using a GT200 detector as he patrols the streets of Yala, in Thailand’s restive south. Human rights activists say more than 400 people have been locked up — some for up to two years — on the basis of spurious evidence gleaned by the device, which is at the centre of a British fraud probe and that experts say is useless. AFP PHOTO / AFP PHOTO / AFP

The top executive of a company that supplied the controversial GT200 remote substance detectors worth altogether nine million baht to the Royal Guards Regiment was on Wednesday sentenced to nine years imprisonment by the Don Meuang District Court after he was found guilty of fraud.

Mr Sutthiwat Wattanakit of AVA Satcom Company, two staff members of the company, Mr Detpipat Wattanakit and Mrs Sasakorn Plumjai and the company were charged with fraud by the prosecutor for supplying two sets of GT200 bomb and narcotic detectors worth 1.8 million baht and six sets of remote substance detectors worth 7.2 million baht to the Royal Guards Regiment.

The court said that all detectors from UK-based Global Technical Company were ineffective and useless.

The court, however, found only Sutthiwat guilty  and the rest not guilty as charged.

Sutthiwat’s lawyer, Mr Wora-ath Sunthorn-apichart, said he would appeal against the conviction verdict to the higher court.

He maintained that the company had not tested the devices because they were regarded as military equipment which were banned from private use.

He said the company simply ordered the devices from the producer in Britain in accordance with the specifications spelled out by the buyer.

The army under then army chief Gen Anupong Powchinda also ordered hundreds of GT200 bomb detectors worth several hundred million baht from Global Technical.  Not a single army officer was charged for the purchase of the fraudulent devices.


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