Lawyer targets TCC chief, ex-NBTC member over 'leaks' on Thailand's True-Dtac merger
The secretary-general of the Thailand Consumers Council (TCC) and a former member of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) have recently been accused of allegedly leaking confidential information.
Lawyer Trairong Tanthasuk said on Monday that he had filed police complaints against TCC secretary-general Saree Ongsomwang and ex-NBTC member Prawit Leesathapornwongsa early this month.
His allegation is that the two had leaked confidential NBTC information by exposing the “14 conditions” set for the merger between True Corporation and Total Access Communication (Dtac).
In his complaint with Huai Khwang Police Station, Trairong also named some news agencies that had published interviews with Saree and Prawit over the 14 conditions.
He said the NBTC had not announced the conditions it will set to mitigate the impact the merger would have on consumers, but the duo had managed to obtain the information and leaked it to the public. He also accused them of distorting confidential information.
TCC and Prawit have openly expressed opposition to the merger, saying it would hurt consumers as it will leave only two key players in the market – the merged company and Advanced Info Service (AIS).
Trairong is also threatening to file another complaint against Saree for publishing a report from a foreign NBTC adviser on the negative impact the merger would have on consumers.
The lawyer said NBTC had last week deferred its decision on the merger to October 20, pending a report from the foreign adviser, SCF Associates Ltd.
However, he claimed, Saree had got her hands on the classified report and published it on her Facebook page.
He said the NBTC chief later told reporters he did not know how Saree had obtained the document.
Trairong also mentioned that Dr Pirongrong Ramasoota was part of the NBTC public relations team, but stopped short of making allegations.
“Both the 14 conditions and SCF Associates’ study are confidential and still pending deliberation by the NBTC,” he said.
Trairong advised NBTC to guard all secret documents and prevent them from being leaked ahead of official announcements. He added that leaking confidential government information violates the Criminal Code’s Articles 83, 86 and 164, while distorting information violates Article 14 of the Computer Crimes Act.
“I don’t know how the two got the confidential information, but they have done it repeatedly,” he said.
Early last month, Trairong also filed a complaint of malfeasance and nonfeasance with the National Anti-Corruption Commission against Napat Winitchaikul, a member of the panel monitoring NBTC.
He alleged that Napat’s behaviour had caused damage to the state because he acted beyond his authority as a member and former chair of the NBTC monitoring panel.
The complaint cited an incident in which Napat wore a shirt with the panel’s logo while submitting a letter to the NBTC to oppose the merger.
Trairong said this action caused the public to believe that the monitoring panel was opposed to the merger when the panel had made no decisions on the issue.