Thursday, January 26, 2006

how Thaksin got where he is today; a Horatio Alger story for Thailand

from the comments page of the Nation, re: the tax-free sale of Shin Corp to a Singporean firm

Date: 24 Jan 2549 22:49

Once upon a time, a deputy Director-General of the then Police Department quickly signed not less than 5 licenses for opening 5 love motels (each signature on each license netted him 20 million baht)

This very Deputy D-G of the Police Dept. has dark skin, and had an assistant with a Ph. D. who was a police lieutenant.

Later, the Ph. D. assistant married the police general's daughter. This assistant resigned from the Police Dept to start his business. He started with computer business because his father-in-law had known of a mega computer project of the Police Dep.

Well, the Ph. D. ex-cop got that computer deal because his father-in-law authorised and signed for him. That gave him the first start of a few hundred million baht profit.

From computer, the family went onto telecom business through paying huge amount of money to a former permanent-secretary of Transports and Communications. This guy passed many licenses for this family, for example, the near-monopoly and advantageous mobile phone license which has given this family an edge (every none-AIS phone call to TOT numbers will be charged, while the ones of AIS are free.), satellite license, etc.

From that start, the family has dug gold and ripped off mobile phone users as well as competitors. They use their wealth in buying votes and men in key positions, e.g. former Secretary-General of the Elections Commission, some members of the Constitution Court.

The family has turned their wealth to poliical power. They also send their men, especially those who used to work in their company and cops, to control key political and bucratic posts.