April 26, 2013 00:00 By Inaction 'could be construed
PIYANUCH THAMNUKASETCHAI PANYA TIEWSANGWAN THE NATION
The Royal Thai Police, the Navy and the Air Force will not be pressing charges against suppliers of the fake GT200 and Alpha 6 bomb detectors, a source from the Department of Special Investigation said yesterday.
The source said the agencies had purchased the GT200s, but after a British court ruled that the devices were hoaxes, the three agencies declined to come forward to file complaints that they had been cheated.
The source said the DSI has so far been unable to tell how many GT200 and Alpha 6 devices had been purchased by the three agencies nor could they determine the cost of damages.
The source said the inaction by the Police, Navy and Air Force might cause senior officers of the three service branches to be viewed as failing to protect national interests.
On Tuesday, James McCormick, the owner of Comstrac Co Ltd, was convicted in London of selling the hoax devices to Iraq and other countries.
The DSI source said investigators had so far questioned 90 witnesses and would speed up questioning of witnesses of agencies cheated by Comstract.
The source said the DSI found that Comstract appointed two companies as representatives in Thailand – Jackson Electronics (Thailand) and ASSM Trading.
After the DSI passed the case to the National Anti-Corruption Commission to check for possible graft by senior permanent officials, the NACC’s investigation took the same direction as the DSI’s, the source said.
For example, the NACC suspected that permanent officials in charge of procuring the bomb detectors allowed irregularities during the bidding process and then more irregularities when the quality of the products was to be checked.
The source said the purchasing panels checked the devices under the guidance of the suppliers. The DSI’s ongoing investigation found that when the manufacturer of the GT200 and Alpha 6 devices was about to make delivery, it prepared its own explosive-ordnance disposal team for the quality checks.
Also yesterday, Army commander-in-chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha said reporters should stop attacking the Army over the GT200 procurements.
He said the Army had stopped using the products a few years ago. He said the procurements were done by purchasing committees and there were no irregularities.
“Don’t say there was foul play because the purchases were done several years ago. Please provide evidence to back your allegations,” Prayuth said.
Purchases of GT200 and Alpha 6 devices by 13 government agencies and provincial administrations (Agencies/from company/numbers of unit/unit price/dates of purchase)
1. The Department of the Provincial Administration/Jackson Electronics (Thailand)/which purchases 63 Alpha 6 units at Bt530,952 apiece in March 2009