The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has dismissed charges against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and three others in a corruption case related to Thai Airways International’s (THAI) acquisition of 10 Airbus aircraft between 2003 and 2004.
According to an interview by former deputy transport minister Pichet Sathirachawal, the NACC has dropped charges against himself, the former prime minister, former THAI president Kanok Abhiradee, and former THAI board chairman Thanong Bidaya.
The four individuals were initially accused of failing to perform their duties in the aircraft acquisition process, which a team of investigators believed was mismanaged and entailed unethical acts. These allegations are said to have resulted in a significant increase in THAI’s debts, adding to the airline’s ongoing financial problems.
Between 2002 and 2004, the former prime minister’s cabinet authorized THAI’s proposal to purchase ten A340-500 and A340-600 aircraft for a total of 53.5 billion baht. The procurement plan was submitted to the cabinet by former industry minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit at the time, as revealed in an investigative report. The former industry minister was removed from the investigation after evidence convinced the commission that he had no involvement in THAI’s purchase of the ten planes.