New York Times: Left to Languish, Costly Fire Trucks Present a Reminder of Thai Dysfunction

Left to Languish, Costly Fire Trucks Present a Reminder of Thai Dysfunction – NYT, October 24, 2013
…In the decision last month, the Thai Supreme Court sentenced Pracha Maleenont, the former deputy interior minister, to 12 years in prison and Athilak Tanchukiat, the former head of Bangkok’s Fire and Rescue Department, to 10 years. The court said the Steyr ladder trucks that were bought were 67 percent more expensive than Mercedes ladder trucks bought in a previous procurement. And fire trucks with the capacity to carry 2,000 liters, or more than 500 gallons, of water were each bought in the Steyr deal for 18 million baht, or about $580,000 — six times the price of a similar Isuzu fire truck previously bought in Thailand, the court said.
…“In Thailand, the odds are pretty good that a no-bid government contract could involve money flowing to politicians,” it said. “Whether the foreign suppliers might be party to any possible corruption is not certain…”

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