Saturday, May 8, 2021

Sentence Stands in Embezzlement Case Where Former Revenue Collection Officer Took 93,163 Baht; Originally Sentenced to 410 Years

Her sentenced was reduced to 205 years for pleading guilty; and then to 50 years.

When: January 9th, 2021

Where: Phatthalung province

Perpetrator: Ms. Manasawi, alias Ann Simangmas

Victims: Phatthalung taxpayers

What: On January 9th, 2021, Mr. Kosolwat Intuchanyong (pictured in image), Deputy Director General and Prosecutor on Corruption in Region 9, revealed that on January 6th the court read the verdict of an appeal in an anti-corruption case against Ms. Manasawi, the defendant who was convicted as an official in embezzling taxes and fees 82 times for a total of 93,163 baht.

The prosecutor concluded that Ms. Manasawi, while serving as a district revenue collection officer in Han Thao subdistrict in Pak Phayun district of Phatthalung province, was responsible for collecting taxes, fees, and other income, issue receipts, collect documents, and bring them to the bank.

She collected land, house, signage, and other income from taxpayers and did not bring the money to the deposit account or deliver it to the local district offices according to law.

Ms. Manasawi committed a variety of offenses, which resulted in a sentence of 410 years imprisonment. She pleaded guilty and the sentence was thus cut in half to 205 years. According to Section 91(3) of the Criminal Code, she’d be imprisoned ultimately for 50 years for her crimes. The defendant filed an appeal against the judgement but the sentence stood.

The defendant still has the legal right to request permission of the Supreme Court to file an appeal.

The prosecutor said of the case: “Don’t think that if you take a little money at a time that you won’t get caught or that the inspectors will ignore it. It’s fraud. Even if the defendant returns the funds, the court will still punish you hard. Just like in this case, 410 years prison sentence, before reducing the sentence because the defendant pleaded guilty.

Some people might think that a hundred thousand baht isn’t a lot and they aren’t likely to get caught. But no matter the person in the Treasury Department, or accounting department, everybody is professional. Don’t be dishonest.”

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My take: An example was made out of this public servant. Some might think the punishment was excessive: 410 years, later reduced in half, and then to 50 years. Meanwhile, others get away seemingly with anything in terms of corruption in Thailand.

The law should be blind. That is the ideal. But where was that ever the case?

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Source: https://www.matichon.co.th/local/crime/news_2521316

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