INTELLECTUAL Property Department deputy director-general Suphat Saquandeekul has been suspended from duty pending an investigation into his theft of paintings from a Japanese hotel, the commerce minister said Sunday.
Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said Suphat had also called his superior to admit that he had committed the theft.
“He said he was sorry for what happened and apologised to his superior, fellow officials and all Thais for what he had done,” Apiradi said.
Suphat, 60, was arrested by Japanese police last week after he stole three paintings worth 15,000 yen (Bt4,684) from the Kyoto hotel. He was later released by prosecutors after paying compensation to the hotel.
The official returned to Bangkok on Saturday night but avoided a large group of reporters by leaving through the airport’s VIP channel.
Apiradi said the investigation into Suphat would involve representatives from all sides, including the Office of the Civil Service Commission (OCSC), the Prime Minister’s Office and the Commerce Ministry.