A Move Forward Party (MFP) MP has revealed additional evidence of alleged asset concealment by Saksayam Chidchob, the suspended Transport Minister, and prepares to file a complaint with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
On 25 July 2023, MFP MP Pakornwut Udompipatsakul gave an update on the case, which had been filed by the opposition with the NACC and the Constitutional Court in 2022. The complaint sought to investigate whether Saksayam submitted a false declaration of assets and liabilities to the NACC, specifically regarding his alleged ownership of Buri Charoen Construction.
After the Constitutional Court suspended Saksayam from duty on 3 March 2023, he provided additional documents to the court to refute the allegations. Pakornwut and Pol Col Tawee Sodsong, as representatives of the complainants, received all of these documents three weeks ago.
Pakornwut said several suspicious points have been found. He plans to file a further complaint with the NACC. The new evidence shows that Saksayam still had unpaid debts to the company on the day he assumed the position of minister, and he did not disclose this in his asset declaration submitted to the NACC.
According to the documents submitted to the court by Buri Charoen Construction, Saksayam borrowed a total of 108,499,000 baht from the company in four loans from 2015 to 2016. He paid off the debts on 22 April 2020 before taking office as an MP.
The document submitted to the court by the company
(Photo from MFP)
Pakornwut noted that during a no-confidence debate in 2022, he asked whether Saksayam’s debt had been transferred along with the shares. Pongsak received no answer. But the documents from the company indicate that only his shares were transferred, not the debts.
Pakornwut raised doubts about whether the debts were actually paid on 22 April 2019 since the company's annual financial statement for 2019 shows a loan amount of 38 million baht. The debt was zero in the 2020 statement.
The company’s annual financial statements for 2018-2020
(Photo from MFP)
Pakornwut reiterated that annual financial statements need to align with other financial statements and balances, as they must be submitted to government agencies. Pakornwut said it is likely that Saksayam still owed the company 38 million baht at the end of 2019 and did not include it in his asset declaration filed with the NACC.
The company’s annual financial statements for 2016-2020
(Photo from MFP)
The company has acknowledged that Saksayam borrowed money four times. The loan amounts in the statements for 2016 to 2018 totalled 69 million baht, which matches the combined third and fourth loans. The question is, why did the 39,499,000 baht from the first and second loans never appear in the financial statements, not even once? Where did this particular amount of money come from, Pakornwut asks.
Pakornwut stated that it is possible that not all of the debts have been paid. He made the assumption that this is possibly a transaction for another purpose, claiming that the debts were paid.
“I would like to emphasize that this is an assumption of possibility from suspicions found in the documents. It is within the authority and duty of the NACC to investigate and follow up on documents and examine this matter according to the complaints,” said Pakornwut.
On the same day as Pakornwut’s update, Saksayam, now the Bhumjaithai Party’s Secretary-General, said in an interview that his legal team will gather information on this matter and he would give a clarification in a press conference the next day. He emphasized that he has clear evidence since the disclosure of assets must be thoroughly examined, especially for public figures. He also stated that there are documents and evidence confirming that he did not own the shares since assuming the position in 2019.
Saksayam was suspended from ministerial duties on 3 March 2023 over alleged share concealment. The complaint stated that he still remains a shareholder of Buri Charoen Construction, which is prohibited under Section 187 of the Constitution that forbids ministers from holding shares in any company. Saksayam was also alleged to have used a nominee to hold shares in the company.