BTSC did not study laws
Executives of the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC), operator of the Skytrain, reported yesterday to the Department of Special Investigation to acknowledge charges that they ran the system without a legitimate contract. They denied any wrongdoing.BTSC executive chairman Keeree Kanjanapas and chief operating officer Surapong Laoha-unya spent more than three hours listening to charges against them and testifying in their own defence.
The DSI has launched a probe into the contract, struck between the Democrat-led Bangkok Metropolitan Administration via its legal investment arm Krungthep Tanakom (KT), and the BTSC. Under the contract, the BTSC has continued to operate the original Skytrain network (not including the two extension routes).
The DSI is investigating whether the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration had the authority to award contracts worth hundreds of billion baht to the BTSC without prior approval from the interior minister, which has a mandate over concessions for rail-based systems.
Keeree and Surapong said they did not know whether the BMA had the authority to award the contracts or not, head of the probe team, Pol Lt-Colonel Thawan Mangkang, yesterday.
"How could the firm agree to enter into the contracts without studying all the relevant laws first? It seems impossible that both sides [the BTSC and BMA] failed to examine the legal aspects first," Thawan said.
He said his team gathered all facts related to the case but would question more witnesses for legal information before forwarding a brief to public prosecutors.
Thawan said Keeree, Surapong, and the two former Bangkok governors MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra and Apirak Kosayodhin may be summoned to acknowledge charges relating to the contracts by which the BTSC operates the two Skytrain extensions.