Saprang flayed for costly overseas trip
General Saprang Kalayanamitr, assistant secretary general of the Council for National Security(CNS) and chairman of Airports of Thailand (AOT), came under attack yesterday for "squandering" Bt7.2 million on a week-long trip to England and Germany last week.
Saprang returned to Bangkok yesterday and refused to talk to reporters.
Thai Rak Thai Party executive Chamlong Krutkhuntode alleged Saprang had disbursed "unrealistic expenses" and voiced suspicion on inflated costs that paid for accompanying family members not on the official list of the AOT delegation.
On Tuesday, Saprang led a 13-member delegation to study safety and security measures at major airports in Europe.
"Work was just a pretext for the overseas trip because so many delegates and accompanying members share the same family name," Chamlong said.
On top of going to England and Germany, one of the delegates, Chirmsak Pinthong, got an expenses-paid side-trip to Denmark and Norway where his wife is the Thai ambassador, he said.
Chamlong said the expenses would not have been so high if the trip was strictly for business.
According to the AOT statement, expenses included Bt5.5 million for travelling costs, Bt1.2 million for entertainment and Bt500,000 as a "commission fee" for a travel agent.
Accompanying Saprang on the trip were AOT board members and
officials including Chirmsak, Air Chief Marshal Narongsak Sangkhapong, Air Marshal Itthiporn Suphawong, Nonthapol Nimsomboon, Totrakul Yomnak and Group Captain Salisa Nimsomboon.
The other delegates were Colonel Thanyaphrom Asawachinda, Colonel Pisit Charoensirapat, Police Major Ukrit Kalayanamitr, Komkrit Wongsomboon and Ranop Suphawong.