In a country like Thailand, where the military have had a long-standing position of dominance and untouchable, corruption becomes a problem, not just because there is little check and balance for transparency so the problem is seen and know, but since news and suspicion of corruption always tend to find a way to the public, even knowing about corruption in the military means little. For example in the case of the spy blimp and fake bomb detectors, where the Thai military bought equipment, in the billions, that does not work and even if they did worked, at some questionable price. That entire episode, highly publicized and know by the public, resulted in little justice, meaning those responsible held accountable.
To summarize corruption in Thailand’s military, Gen Udomdej Sitabutr, the current Deputy Defence Minister and former Army Commander-in-chief, can be an example of what is going on.
He admitted that the construction of Rajabhakti Park, a royal theme park featuring gigantic monuments of seven prominent past monarchs in central Thailand, was rife with corruption.
The project costing about a billion baht (about 28 million USD) was overseen by Gen Udomdej.
According to Khaosod English, he said that corruption is common in every sector, adding the individuals hired by the Army took ‘commissions’ of about 10 per cent from the budget for the park.
When further pressed by the media, Gen Udomdej said that he is uncertain whether the money was returned to the Army, but said that the damage is already mended because the ‘middleman’ on the project had already returned the commission as a ‘donation’.
The following is 17 accounts relating to transparency and corruption in the Thai military:
1) Thai Press Development Institute (ISRA): 10 Companies Biggest Thai Arms Dealers in Period of Time Studied, Got About 1,800 Contract Worth About 20 Billion Baht From Thailand’s Military (4 With Cross Share Ownership Got About 10 Billion Baht)
ISRA (source in Thai language)
2) Famous (Made Patriarchy, God–King & Dignity Marks Mainstream Thai Ways, Normalized Military Take-Overs as Good Revolution & Popularized Patriarchal Rule) Thai Dictator, Sarit, Amassed Fortune Equivalent to 26 % of 1990 Thai Gov Budget
3) Thailand’s Anti Gaff Agency (NACC) Dose Not Reject Junta Lift Asset Declaration Regulations for Some Thais in Position do Graft, Quickly Announce Change NACC Regulations
Cronyism in Thailand: Anti-Corruption Commission to ease assets declaration rule (source)
4) A Company Registered in British Virgin Island Holds Share in Company That Does Business with the State & Gave to PPRP Fund Raising & Potentially Going Against EC Clearing PPRP in the Fund Raising of Wrong Doings
According to Thai election laws, state enterprise and government officials are barred from giving funds to political parties, but in PPRP Chinese table fund raising efforts, it appeared that state enterprises gave funds as the sign on several Chinese table were letters identical to state enterprise. Therefore a complaint were launch against PPRP. Thailand’s Election Commission, came out to clear the PPRP fund raising event saying because no foreign entity were involved in the funding. ISRA, the Thai Press Development Enterprise went to investigate the donations and found in one case, a company registered in the British Virgin Island help shares in a local company, that did business with the state, that donated to PPRC (source).
ISRA reports (source) many state agency gave substantial amount of money to Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) ahead of elections, an illegal election activity (Up-Dated: Of course, The Election Commission is crooked and has now cleared the PPRP from wrong doings, citing no foreign interest in the fund raising. Please note this is not the complaint filed at the EC.)
5) Voice of America (VOA): NACC “Drops Probe” into Rolex General (Says Case No Ground (Yet Add Still Considering if Prawit Broke Rule) & Minority Vote Says More Investigation Can Be Pursue (On Big Issue) Find Out Truth & Therefore Refer to Persecution, Ignored
Voice of America (source).
6) Former Bank of Thailand governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul Said: “Graft Gobbling Up B200bn Baht (About US$7 Billion) of State Budget” Citing UTCC 2018 Survey of Thailand’s Private Sector
Graft gobbling up B200bn of state budget, survey in 2018 shows, Former Bank of Thailand governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul made the remarks yesterday following the release of the latest corruption situation index (CSI) survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) (source)
7) Junta Head Prayut, Gets Full Mark from Private Sector, Anti-Corruption Unit, ACT – There Thai & Foreign, People & Units, All Over The Place, Call Them Whatever, i.e. Media, Courts, Pollsters, University, Association, Doctors, Buddhist, Scientist, Whatever, Do Anything Kiss Junta’s Ass
In sum, several Thai media reported head of a private sector anti-corruption organization, ACT, has been silent on its decision to award full marks to junta leader Prayuth in its annual assessment.
8) Thailand’s Press Development Institute (ISRA) Reports Ukroboronprom, a Corrupt Ukraine Arms Maker, Sold Arms to Thailand, Might File for Bankruptcy – Thai Military Talked to ISRA
News on Ukroboronprom and Thailand (source). Way back, some ten years ago, when news of how corrupt Ukraine arms industry was well known news globally, Thailand military fell in love with buying arms from Ukraine, and with that, it purchased a large numbers of armored personal carriers from the country. Critic in Thailand, of course, know of Ukraine’s reputation and have accused the Thai military with corruption, and the situation was made worse by changing of the contracts and failure to deliver the military equipment on time, meaning the contract was not full-filled. This news from ISRA is the latest saga on those earlier events.
9) Thai Media PBS & The Mystery Behind Junta’s Thailand Pulling Out of Transparency International
Thailand pulls out of Transparency International (source)
10) Political & Economic Risk Consultancy Says Thailand’s Official Anti-Corruption Agency Politicized & Ranked at Bottom in Asia on Credibility
Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) analysis on Thailand’s official anti-corruption agency being politicized and ranked at bottom in Asia here (in Thai language by Thai press association news institution ISRA (source).
11) Group Known Close to Thailand’s Junta Got Big Chunk High Speed Rail for Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) with No Auction, Ahead Election Junta Head, Prayut, Being Propped Up as PM
Here is a report in the Thai language (source) from a media.
12) Washington Post on Sihanouk Fund Skimming – Reagan Administration Decided to Increase its Aid to Cambodian Despite the Discovery of Serious Corruption in Thailand’s Delivery of Assistance
Washington Post quoted The Far Eastern Economic Review that said the Reagan Administration had decided to increase its aid to the Cambodian guerrillas despite the discovery of serious corruption in Thailand’s delivery of the assistance (See Here).
13) Berlin Based Transparency International: Thai Military Spending Among the Least Transparent
Thai military spending among the least transparent: Transparency International (see)
14) Ever Wonder Why Thailand’s Military went Out of Way & Fell in Love with Sweden (Bought Lots Gripen Fighter from it) & Ukraine (Bought Lots Armoured Personal Carrier from it)? Sweden & Ukraine Arms Industry Massively Corrupt
Here about massive corruption at Sweden arms industry
Here about massive corruption at Ukraine arms industry
15) We Know Corruption is Bad in Thailand’s Military, But How Bad is it Really? Thai Press Development Institute, ISRA, Can Help Answer This Question (10 ISRA Findings Presented in This Blog Post)
The following is from Thai press development institute (ISRA)
15/1) 2 firms have a virtual monopoly on selling tear gas to Thailand (see)
15/2) Isra News shows cross share-holding structure of 4 big arms seller to Thailand’s military (see)
15/3) Thai army buys 2 breeder dogs at about US$30,000 each (see)
15/4) A newly formed firm win contract worth about US$40,000 with the Royal Guards (see)
15/5) Three big contractors monopolizes army’s animal division US$60 million business (see)
15/6) A firm has a virtual monopoly on socks & other, contract with army, about US$50 million (see)
15/7) Army bought soldiers clothing 6 times at single day/store, spending of about US$2 million to escape scrutiny (see)
15/8) Isra News calls on Prayuth to look into US$1.5 million gun shooting range contract (see)
15/9) A firm, monopoly on Thai military radio battery, sold about US$150 million (see)
15/10) Thai army, close relationship with a firm, over years bought total US$40 – 50 million (see)
16) Global Media, The Diplomat Reports Headlined: “Thai Junta Beset By Corruption Scandals” for Sure Statistics & Probability There will be Many More Juntas & Many More Dictators so More Scandals
Corruption, under Thailand’s current “Dictator” Prayuth junta, is well known, as the Diplomat reports, headlined “Thai Junta Beset By Corruption Scandals” (See).
17) Corruption by Thailand’s Current Dictator, Prayut, So Bad, Reached Point of Creating a Pollster to Produce Fake Public Opinion News
Corruption by Thailand’s current “Dictator” Prayuth, have reached point, of creating a pollster, to produce fake public opinion news. Thai junta: Why are some opinion poll results so positive (See)