NACC breaks silence on GT200 investigation

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 National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) broke its long silence about its probes into the procurement of the fake bomb detectors GT200 by several state security-related agencies with an announcement that it had recently received a copy of the verdict by the British court against the British fraudsters of the useless but costly devices.

By design or just a coincidence, the NACC gave a press conference about this long-standing controversial issue related to alleged corruption in the procurement process on the same day that the Department of Special Investigation issued a statement that it had already filed 16 court cases against the Thai distributor of the devices, Avia Satcom, and its top executive, Mr Sutthiwat Wattanakit.

All these moves followed the Don Meuang District Court’s verdict on Wednesday convicting Avia Satcom and Mr Sutthiwat of fraud concerning the supply of nine million baht worth of GT200 scanners to the Royal Aide De Camp Department.

NACC secretary-general Worawit Sukboon told the media that the NACC had ordered probes into the procurement of the devices by five state agencie, namely the Air Force Ordnance Department, the Army Ordnance Department, the Forensic Science Institute, the Chainat provincial police and the Customs Department.He claimed that the probes of these procurement deals were 80 percent completed.

He also disclosed that the NACC had recently received a copy of the verdict of the British court on the GT200 foreign deals and officials were now in the process of studying the document.Somerset-based British businessman James McCormmick which marketed the fake devices to several governments in the world, including Iraq and Thailand, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2013.  Others were also put on trial.

He added that he had asked for a fully copy of the Don Mueang District Court’s verdict against Avia Stacom and its executive and expected the investigations could be wrapped up by yearend or early next year the latest.


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