11 July 2024

Former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyaphirom has been sent to the Police General Hospital for examination to determine whether he needs a surgery of cervical spine dislocation or not, said Corrections Department director-general Pol Col Narat Sawetanan on Wednesday.

He said doctors at the hospital would decide whether Boonsong would require  a surgery or not and how long he would be hospitalized. In case there is a need for surgery, corrections officials would be sent to the hospital to guard him around the clock in accordance with normal practice.

Boonsong, who is serving a 42-year prison term in connection with a fraudulent rice scheme, has been in and out of the Corrections Department’s hospital for medical treatment for his cervical spine problem.  But lately, his condition has worsened to the extent that the Corrections Department’s hospital has decided to send him to the Police General Hospital which is better equipped and has specialists to deal with his ailments.

Boonsong has recently become a subject of suspicion among several Pheu Thai party heavyweights that he might have “spilled the beans” about the fake rice deals with China which could implicate more people involved in the scandal leading to their prosecution in exchange for his pardon.

Besides, several senior commerce officials and businessmen were given heavy jail terms by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Offices for involvement in the fake deals involving rice bought under the rice pledging scheme of the government of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The suspicions of the former commerce minister have been heightened by his son’s defection from Pheu Thai to the pro-government Palang Pracharat party.