The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Legendary Thai tourism official charged for corruption, now on hot seat

Written By: herbrunbridge - Aug• 10•15

JuthamasSiriwanIn an event that many thought would never happen, former Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Juthamas Siriwan will be indicted for allegedly accepting Bt60 million in bribes, as reported by The Nation. She has been ordered to report to Thai authorities within two weeks.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has considered asking her to be extradited to face charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) after two Hollywood executives, Gerald and Patricia Green, were found guilty in 2009 of bribing her to the tune of $1.8 million USD to obtain Bangkok International Film Festival contacts, which allowed them to take over the festival from 2003 to 2006. According to prosecutors, she then steered contracts worth an estimated $14 million to the Greens, of which 10 to 20 percent were kicked back to Juthamas. These were laundered through banks in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Jersey, and Singapore. Her daughter Jittisopa Siriwan was also charged for participating in the scheme.

After a two and one-half week trial, the Greens were convicted of 19 counts, and sentenced to six months in prison and another six months of home confinement, primarily due to Gerald’s old age and ill heath, and Patricia’s role in caring for him. The U.S. DOJ indictment of Juthamas and her daughter are still pending, with extradition processes complicated by the fact that she was also being investigated by Thai authorities.

So now, what’s going to happen with Juthamas? Veteran Thailand legal proceeding watchers are wondering whether she will end up buying her way out of this one. If so, it’s going to be expensive, as she’ll also have to ensure that whatever the outcome, she isn’t extradited to the United States to face the charges levied against her.

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One Comment

  1. Emm says:

    Can she be bar-fined for short time ?

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