In Thailand, Politicians Investigated for Airport EDS Scanner Scam

The Assets Examination Committee (AEC) will tomorrow debate whether to name eight additional suspects in the CTX bomb-detectors scandal, said AEC member Amnuay Tanthara.

He said the eight additional names were now in the hands of a sub-committee in charge of a hearing on possible indictments relating to the airport's controversial installation of the CTX system. Amnuay, also chairman of the sub-committee, said the names would be handed to the AEC for consideration tomorrow.

The AEC has accused deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, former transport minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit and 20 other officials of performing their duty dishonestly by hiring contractors to provide 26 CTX 9000 luggage-scanners and related equipment.

Amnuay said the AEC was ready to widen its graft probes relating to the construction of Suvarnabhumi Airport should relevant authorities uncover new evidence.

"The AEC is ready to get to the bottom of the Suvarnabhumi case," he said, adding that evidence already uncovered would be a basis on which to build additional cases.

He was commenting on news reports that the Council for National Security was poised to ask the AEC to expand its investigation into the Suvarnabhumi case.

The AEC's two sub-committees have reached the hearing stage for indictments relating to the CTX scandal and the airport's electrification system.

AEC member Kaewsan Atibhodi said he was waiting for a formal request from the National Leglislative Assembly before looking into the substandard air-conditioning system and the 400-Hertz power-transmission system at the new airport.

NLA transport committee chairman Admiral Banawit Kengrien said last week he had uncovered fresh evidence of irregularities relating to air-conditioning and power transmission.

In regard to the AEC's investigation into the Shin Corp deal, AEC member Sak Korsaengruang said he expected one of the tax-evasion cases would be complete and reach public prosecutors within a week.

The case in question involves Khunying Pojaman Shinawatra, wife of Thaksin, and her brother Bhanapot Damapong, he said.