Supreme Court sentences Vatana and 10 others to jail over Klong Dan corruption case

The trial of the so-called “Mother of Corruption” case concerning the Klong Dan wastewater treatment plant has come to an end with the Supreme Court finally sentencing 11 individuals, including former deputy interior minister Vatana Asavahame to 3-6 years imprisonment each.

Seven co-defendants which are corporations were fined 6,000 baht each.  They were Vichitphan Construction, Prayoonwit Karnchang, Seesaeng Karnyotha, Krungthong Engineer, Gateway Development, Klong Dan Marine and Fishery and Palm Beach Development.

The case concerns the sale of 1,900 rai of land worth 1.9 billion baht to the Pollution Control Department for the construction of the 23 billion baht worth of wastewater treatment project in Klong Dan, Samut Prakan.  However, it was discovered later that some of the lands encroached on canals, roads, and mangrove forest.

The case was lodged with Dusit district court which handed down the first verdict on November 12, 2009.  11 individuals, including Vatana, were sentenced to three years each whereas the seven companies were fined 6,000 baht each.

Four years later on November 19, 2013, the Appeals Court reversed the lower court’s verdict and acquitted all of them.

Besides Vatana who was convicted in absentia, the other co-defendants found guilty and sentenced to three years jail term by the Supreme Court. The co-defendants were Mr Sangvorn Liptapallop, director of Prayoonwit Karnchang; Sirote Wongsirotekul, director of Seesaeng Karnyotha; Nipon Kosaipalakul, director of Krungthon Engineer; Chalee Chutapa, director of Klong Dan Marine; Prapas Sirasongkran, director of Klong Dan Marine; Chayanat Osathanukroh, director of Klong Dan Marine, Mrs Boosri Pinkayan, director of Palm Beach Development; and Kuok-wa Oyeng, representative of Palm Beach Development.

Phisanu Chavananan, director of Vichitphan Construction and Roi-isaraporn Chutapa, director of Gateway Development were sentenced to six years each.

The Supreme Court’s verdict was read at the Dusit district court on Friday.