Friday, March 9, 2007

Junta Officers: Business as Usual, Government Positions Available for the Right Price


Bangkok Post

Cash for seats con men nabbed


Council for National Security (CNS) secretary-general Winai Phattiyakul found himself in the hot seat yesterday after his name was allegedly used by con artists to solicit 40 million baht from a publisher in return for a ministerial seat. The defence permanent secretary denied knowing the accused 51-year-old colonel attached to the Supreme Command Headquarters -who also works for the CNS-or his accomplice.

The arrests came after Panatthana Tamprateep, editor and owner of the Kha Pandin Siam newspaper, last Friday alerted crime suppression police to the men who he said claimed to be Gen Winai's close aides and trusted headhunters with a mission to find suitable people to join the cabinet.

Mr Panatthana said the men told him he was a promising contender and could secure a seat on the cabinet if he provided the financial backing of 40 million baht.


This is how it works in Thailand. Politicians and generals auction off government positions to folks in the private sector, and once those private sector folks are in place they milk their position for all its worth to get a return on their investment, or they do it to look like big shots.

In the beginning of this corrupt process, all the business of selling positions is done through trusted underlings in the bureaucracy and through trusted aides like colonels.

Rarely do the bigwigs get their hands dirty. But just like in the mafia, those at the top get the biggest payoffs. The money is always kicked upstairs. The notion that these guys were acting like free agents is a joke.

It looks like this is just one example of how the junta is getting its financial rewards for the coup.

I have no doubt that the colonel and his accomplice will get off scot-free, because the worthless Thai media won't do any follow ups to this report.

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